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Anderson, Pamela Sue, , . Feminist Challenges to Conceptions of God: Exploring Divine Ideals
2007, Philosophia 35 (3-4):361-370.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper presents a feminist intervention into debates concerning the relation between human subjects and a divine ideal. I turn to what Irigarayan feminists challenge as a masculine conception of the God’s eye view of reality. This ideal functions not only in philosophy of religion, but in ethics, politics, epistemology and philosophy of science: it is given various names from a competent judge to an ideal observer (IO) whose view is either from nowhere or everywhere. The question is whether, as Taliaferro contends, my own philosophical argument inevitably appeals to the impartiality and omni-attributes of the IO. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.

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Anderson, Pamela Sue, , Beverley Clack (eds.). Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings
2004, Routledge.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Publisher’s note: Feminist philosophy of religion as a subject of study has developed in recent years because of the identification and exposure of explicit sexism in much of the traditional philosophical thinking about religion. This struggle with a discipline shaped almost exclusively by men has led feminist philosophers to redress the problematic biases of gender, race, class and sexual orientation of the subject. Anderson and Clack bring together new and key writings on the core topics and approaches to this growing field. Each essay exhibits a distinctive theoretical approach and appropriate insights from the fields of literature, theology, philosophy, gender and cultural studies. Beginning with a general introduction, part one explores important approaches to the feminist philosophy of religion, including psychoanalytic, poststructuralist, postmetaphysical, and epistemological frameworks. In part two the authors survey significant topics including questions of divinity, embodiment, autonomy and spirituality, and religious practice. Supported by explanatory prefaces and an extensive bibliography which is organized thematically, Feminist Philosophy of Religion is an important resource for this new area of study.

Comment: Any one of these chapters would make a great stand-alone piece to study for a philosophy of religion course at any undergraduate level. Part 2 in particular might be more accessible in topic for undergraduates, since it focuses specifically on feminist subject matter, rather than on feminist approaches.

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Clack, Beverley, , . Feminism and the Problem of Evil
2014, in Justin P. McBrayer & Daniel Howard Snyder (eds.) The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil (Wiley & Sons): 326-339.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: Feminists have challenged the claim that gender is irrelevant to the discussion of evil and suffering in the world. This chapter considers a range of approaches offered by feminists to the problem of evil, suggesting something of the innovation that considering gender issues bring to the discussion of evil. In describing a variety of feminist perspectives, I intend to highlight the way in which feminist theories invariably turn to the practical solutions that might be made to evil and suffering in our world.

Comment: Useful for an introduction to philosophy of religion course – especially after looking at traditional theodicies to get students re-thinking the whole framing of the problem of evil.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Transforming the inner circle: Dorothy Smith’s challenge to sociological theory
1992, Sociological Theory 10 (1):73-80.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: “Women have been largely excluded from the work of producing the forms of thought and the images and symbols in which thought is expressed and ordered,” suggests sociologist Dorothy E. Smith. “We can imagine women’s exclusion organized by the formation of a circle among men who attend to and treat as significant only what men say.” In this male discourse, “what men were doing was relevant to men, was written by men about men for men . . . this is how a tradition is formed” (Smith 1987, p. 18). Smith’s perspective aptly describes the outer circle that delineates sociology from other equally male-centered disciplines, but it also characterizes the important inner circle of sociological theory lying at the center of the field.

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Hewitt Suchocki, Marjorie, , . The Idea of God in Feminist Philosophy
1994, Hypatia 9(4): 57-68.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: The marginal position of women within the Western tradition provides a critical vantage point for feminist redevelopment of the notion of God. Feminists tend to replace the classical categories of substance philosophies traditionally used for God with relational categories often drawn from organic philosophies. They also project the dynamic character of language itself into the discussion of God. This essay focuses on these issues as they are developed by Mary Daly and Rebecca Chopp

Comment: A good overview and development of some key feminist philosophies of religion that seek to redevelop the notion of God. If being used in a standard philosophy of religion course, it would be good to set this reading after covering the ‘traditional’ conceptions of God, and then to have a debate to find out the views of students regarding how we ought to conceive of God.

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Holroyd, Jules, , . Feminist Metaethics
2013, International Encyclopedia of Ethics (ed. H. LaFollette).
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Abstract: Metaethical questions concern the nature of morality: are there moral properties, and, if so, what kind of thing are they? How do they motivate us? How should we understand moral discourse, and how can we gain moral knowledge?

Comment: Great paper to use for either a metaethics or a feminist philosophy course. Would work well as a core reading, as it maps the terrain very well. It could be good to set students seminar prep work of picking one feminist meta-ethicist that Holroyd mentions, and to research some more into their view – to explain to the class briefly (a minute or so per person).

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Jantzen, Grace, , . Becoming Divine: Towards a Feminist Philosophy of Religion
1999, Indiana University Press.
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Publisher’s note: “The book’s contribution to feminist philosophy of religion is substantial and original…. It brings the continental and Anglo-American traditions into substantive and productive conversation with each other.” Ellen Armour

To what extent has the emergence of the study of religion in Western culture been gendered? In this exciting book, Grace Jantzen proposes a new philosophy of religion from a feminist perspective. Hers is a vital and significant contribution which will be essential reading in the study of religion.

Comment: Just about any of these chapters would make for a great set reading, in my opinion, but in particular for a course that strives for a more cross-cultural philosophy of religion. In particular, the introduction and chapters 1 and 11 would make for good and accessible primary readings.

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