DIVERSITY, DIVERSITY, ALL IS DIVERSITY: THE IMPACT OF FEMINIST THEOLOGY ON THE WOMEN IN MINISTRY OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA
This thesis examines the attitudes towards feminist theology among women in ministry within the United Church of Canada. Making use of data collected in a survey administered to women in paid, accountable ministry in the United Church of Canada, the thesis seeks to assess the impact of feminism in the contemporary church. The diverse and divergent nature of feminist theology is discussed, particularly in relation to the various approaches taken to the use of inclusive language.
The thesis addresses, in turn, the following questions:
"What are the origins and key characteristics of feminist theology?": a discussion of feminist as a modern construct with roots in the Enlightenment. "What are the varieties or types of feminist theology?": a typology of Christian feminism based on Hans Freis typology of Christian theology. "What is inclusive language?": a discussion of inclusive language with particular reference to proposed changes to the Trinitarian formula Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "What is the nature and ethos of the United Church that has brought inclusive language to the forefront of attention?": a review of United Church decisions and policies regarding inclusive language. "What do the survey results show about the impact of feminist theology on the women in ministry of the United Church?": an analysis of the survey findings.
The thesis argues that only a fully orbed biblical feminism, in which neither orthodox biblical faith nor feminist ideals need be sacrificed, is a feminism suitable for the Christian community as it moves from modernity to post-modernity.