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Toward Useable Categories of “Women’s Experiences” and “Power”: A Canadian Feminist Pentecostal Considers the Work of Margaret Kamitsuka and Kwok Pui-lan

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Abstract This article explores the potential of, and problems associated with, the use of the concept of “women’s experiences” within feminist Pentecostalism, including the ways in which “power” is being exercised by, for, and against Pentecostal women. The exploration unfolds in dialogue with Margaret D. Kamitsuka’s Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference, which utilizes poststructuralist theory and Foucault’s work to demonstrate the potential of difference, and Kwok Pui-lan’s Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology, which highlights the realities that many majority-world feminists face as they seek to address their own realities using the category of “strategic essentialism.” As the argument unfolds, Caucasian, first-world feminist Pentecostals are encouraged to make it explicit within their work that no one particular, located subset of Pentecostal women and their experiences can be generalized to speak for all. Rather, more privileged feminist Pentecostal theologians are encouraged to intentionally include diverse Pentecostal women’s voices in their scholarship.

Affiliations: 1: School of Religion, Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6


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