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The Concept of Sacrifice: A Reconsideration of the Feminist Critique

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Domestic violence is an on-going problem, especially for women. Moreover, feminist theologians have criticized the Christian churches for failing to respond adequately both to the violence itself and to the underlying theology that supports and legitimizes the subordination of women; in particular, this includes the concept of sacrifice. With the release of the Church of England's guidelines on 'Responding to Domestic Abuse', it is time for public theology to reconsider the feminist critique. This article sets out the historical background of the Christian concept of sacrifice, explains the feminist critique of it and then assesses the role of self-love in answer to the feminist critique; finally, it attempts to make sense of why and how we might still value some sacrifice, while taking feminist concerns seriously.

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