The patriarchal hierarchy imbedded in Confucianism breaks the original design of harmony through filial piety and results in male dominance. This oppressive tendency is in dire need of the healing power of the gospel seen in women’s role in New Testament household codes.
In this episode of “Conversing,” Mimi Haddad, president of CBE, discusses gender equality and women in leadership. She reflects with Dr. Labberton, president of Fuller Seminary, on the complex relationship between theology and real-life injustice, the social and economic benefits of women in leadership, and the pressing task of “dismantling theological patriarchy” in the church.
This lecture covers an array of exegetical views expressed by Christian commentators of the ancient, medieval, and Reformation eras, and how their perspectives and concerns can be surprisingly similar to the concerns of feminist and womanist critics today.
1 Timothy 2:8-15 is the primary verse that has been used to exclude women from teaching and leadership in the church. However, a careful examination of the passage in its context shows that it is most likely addressing false teaching and myths about marriage and childbirth that were spreading from house to house. As in 1 Corinthians 11:34, Paul wants women to be taught at home, as he corrects behavior and content, and answers a central concern of all women historically: How do we deal with maternal mortality?
Julia Kavanaugh, an Irish Roman Catholic, was a Victorian novelist and biographer. Her book "Women of Christianity" offers the earliest survey of women’s lives in the Christian tradition. This text refutes the frequent charge of trendiness of egalitarianism, as it was written 150 years ago. It confronts male-dominated history (“great events, dazzling actions”) as pagan and transcends the “wearisome similarity” often depicted in saints’ lives. Finally, her book invites connections with contemporary feminist texts.