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.
This lecture begins with the identification of the topics of gender and justice. Johnson then examines the challenge of looking at justice issues in ancient societies from the contemporary perspective.
With reference to creation narratives in Genesis and examples drawn from different cultures in Africa and other parts of the world, Chemorion demonstrates how cultural worldviews contribute to a diminished view of women, and what needs to be done to restore human dignity.
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?
The status quo typically favors one ground over another. So if the way things are will never change until Christ returns, those experiencing oppression and marginality today struggle to believe that the gospel is truly Good News for all. Christ calls us to live today as a preview of what will be true for all eternity.