Synopses & Reviews
Who is my neighbor? As our world has increasingly become a single place, this question posed in the gospel story is heard as an interreligious inquiry. Yet studies of encounter across religious lines have largely been framed as the meeting of male leaders. What difference does it make when women's voices and experiences are the primary data for thinking about interfaith engagement?
Motherhood as Metaphor draws on three historical encounters between women of different faiths: first, the archives of the Maryknoll Sisters working in China before the Second World War; second, the experiences of women in the feminist movement around the globe; and third, a contemporary interfaith dialogue group in Philadelphia. These sites provide fresh ways of thinking about our being human in the relational, dynamic messiness of our sacred, human lives.
Each part features a chapter detailing the historical, archival, and ethnographic evidence of women's experience in interfaith contact through letters, diaries, speeches, and interviews of women in interfaith settings. A subsequent chapter considers the theological import of these experiences, placing them in conversation with modern theological anthropology, feminist theory, and theology. Women's experience of motherhood provides a guiding thread through the theological reflections recorded here. This investigation thus offers not only a comparative theology based on believers' experience rather than on texts alone, but also new ways of conceptualizing our being human. The result is an interreligious theology, rooted in the Christian story but also learning across religious lines.
. . . a major contribution to an evolving field.-S. Mark Heim, Andover Newton Theological School
Jeannine Hill Fletcher's research in this work is ingenious and original. She discovered examples of distinctively women's experience, brought extensive theological knowledge and penetrating reflection to bear on it, and generated new insight to our understanding human existence and Christian mission. This well written book documents unique contributions to interreligious dialogue on the part of women. Outstanding.-Roger Haight, Union Theological Seminary
About the Author
Jeannine Hill Fletcher
is Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham University and the author of Monopoly on Salvation? A Feminist Approach to Religious Pluralism.
Table of Contents
Introduction: We Feed Them Milk: Theological Anthropology as a Labor of Love
Part I: In Mission and Motherhood
Chapter 1: Encounter in the Mission Fields: Engendering Dialogue Among Women in China
Chapter 2: We Meet in Multiplicity: Insights for Theological Anthropology
Part II: In the Sacred Secular
Chapter 3: Encounter in Global Feminist Movements: Enacting Trans-religious Alliances
Chapter 4: Creativity Under Constraint: Freedom in Theological Anthropology
Pater III: In Lives Intertwined
Chapter 5: Encounter in Philadelphia: Engendered Dialogue Today
Chapter 6: The Dynamic Self as Knower: Insights for Theological Anthropology
Conclusion: Seeking Salvation