Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The feminist theology of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza : an evaluation
Author: Ng, E. Y. L.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1999
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Central to Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza's feminist theology and to her impact on scholarship is her reconstruction of Christian origins. According to her, there were emancipatory tendencies in both the Jewish and the Graeco-Roman contexts struggling against the predominantly patriarchal ethos, thus providing the plausibility structures for early Christianity in its vision and practice of egalitarianism. However, she tends to paint too rosy a picture of the egalitarian plausibilities in society. By contrast she paints too dark a picture of the patriarchalism in Graeco-Roman society that is not warranted by the data. In addition, the evidence does not warrant her claiming that the Jesus movement was an egalitarian discipleship where men and women had equal leadership roles, though Jesus did reform patriarchal notions of leadership. While certain women definitely played significant roles in various Christian communities, and Gal 3:26-28 has socio-ecclesial implications, the evidence is not conclusive to demonstrate complete egalitarianism in the early church. Moreover she has failed to demonstrate a trajectory towards patriarchalization in the New Testament. Rather, a number of New Testament writers evince a tension between a hierarchical understanding of the roles of men and women and notions of their quality in status before God. She has also exaggerated the difference between different authors, unreasonably imputed evil motives to some of them, and neglected the importance of rheological concerns in the mainline church. Likewise she is wrong to assume in early Christianity a degenerative development of mainline orthodoxy, of "kyriarchal" christology, and of a cultic understanding of Jesus' death. Questionable too are certain of her presuppositions of historical critical scholarship, her views of language and reality, her notion of an open-ended prototype within the "women church", her assumption of the general oppression of women, and her denial of biological causes for gender differences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available