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Heretic But Faithful: the Reclamation of the Body as Sacred in Christian Feminist Theology

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This article investigates the history of Christian patriarchy, misogyny and devaluation of the body, and the response of the feminist theological movement to this history; namely to reclaim the (female) body as sacred. It uses a metaphorical method to rediscover the goddess traditions as one of the main sources for such are-appraisal of the body as sacred. This is done because, in these ancient traditions, the female (and male) body was regarded as sacred, powerful and fruitful and the sexuality of the human body was accepted fully. The author then continues to investigate how three contemporary feminist theologians use this metaphorical approach and combine it with historical, psychological and exegetical approaches to rediscover and re-evaluate the sacredness and the goodness of the (female) body. By doing so, the author also assesses these theologians' understanding of Eros as that primordial life-force in the lives of women and men which include the spiritual-psychological, the physical, the erotic, the rational as well as the political. In short, these theologians have a basic understanding of Eros as love and power in action.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Missiology University of South Africa P O Box 932, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa


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