Shuck and Jive

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Television Worth Watching

University of California Television has some great programs that you can download and watch on your computer. Here is a page of links and here is a presentation from Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza of Harvard at the Burke Lectureship on Religion and Society. This is called Scripture and the Rhetoric of Empire.

She speaks how scripture and its interpretation has legitimated the ethics of empire, violence, and exclusion. Her latest book, The Power of the Word: Scripture and the Rhetoric of Empire is due to be published in September. This is a critically important book in regards to how we read the Bible, who gets to choose how we read it, who benefits, and who suffers by the dominant reading.

Quote for the day:
"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."


  1. "Feminism is the radical notion that women are men." :-)

  2. **"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."**

    Very true. I still think that it's a radical notion today, not so much in the Western world, but in other countries. Feminism literally means "the principle that women should have political, economic, and social rights equal to those of men." On that definition alone, I don't see how anyone could not be a feminist, especially when looking at the historical treatment of women. I mean, we've only had the right to vote for little over one hundred years or so. That's sobering.

  3. Correction: "Radical Feminism" should read the beginning of my comment. Heather is correct about feminism. We all should be for equality (i.e. real feminists).

  4. So Jim, what is the difference between radical feminism and feminism?

  5. Radical feminism makes you squirm.


    Radical feminism is any feminism that hasn't yet succeeded.


  6. John,
    Feminism is in fact your "quote of the day", that women are people. Radical feminism attempts to remove the differences between the sexes. This is why abortion is seen by radical feminists as an issue of equality. Lose the right of abortion and women are not equal to men. "Being equal" is one thing, being "the same as" is something altogether different, yet an argument of radical feminism.

    For more on radical feminism you can read Nadine Strossen’s book Defending Pornography or The Color of Gender by Zillah Eisenstein to name two.

    Will I see you copying and pasting their words before long?... :-)

    I'm curious of one other thing. My faith has led me to clashes all along the political spectrum. [My most vicious assault was from a libertarian who thought my support of the wrongly named "death tax" was outrageous]. But all your decisive eggs always appear to fall in the same basket. What on the liberal/left platform have you been in opposition to?

  7. The complication with the concept of radical feminisim is that what's seen as normal feminism today was beyond radical 100 years ago. In another 100 years, it would curious to see what would fall of the "radical" and just be a part of feminism.

    There are some that have taken feminisim too far. However, there are some that have taken everything too far, including Christianity.

  8. John, Someone recently wrote to VOW asking for a definition of radical feminism. This is some of what I wrote:

    "Radical feminism basically defines all important issues against the term “patriarchy.” So I will first give you a definition of that term from a radical feminist position. Rosemary Radford Ruether begins her definition in Dictionary of Feminist Theologies, by stating, “Patriarchy means the ‘rule of the father.’ While this is true, radical feminists generally go on to attribute all social ills to the term. For instance, in the same dictionary, under the heading “conversion” is the statement, “Feminist theologians raise many questions about the patriarchal mindset that makes use of conversion techniques to dominate others.” And under a sub-heading of “Feminists Consciousness Raising” which is under the heading “Conscientization,” is this statement:

    “Feminists conscientization has revealed the role of patriarchy not only as the root of women’s oppression but also as the source of all other forms of hierarchical domination; in this way, women’s liberation finds itself related to liberation movements throughout the world.”

    I should say something about the different kinds of radical feminists. There are those who hold to different radical theologies, for instance, Asian, Mujerista (American Latina women), Womanist (African-Americans), Queer, etc. Most of the theologians holding these positions deny the essential teaching that Christians have held for two-thousand years. That is they deny that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit; they deny that Jesus Christ is the unique Savior of humanity. They deny that Jesus’ death on the cross is redemptive.

    There are also differences in ideology or philosophy, for instance there are the essentialists who believe that women’s nature is the important part of their position and there are post-modern or deconstructionists who believe each person (if that word is possible for them) is constantly being reconstructed, that there is no essential nature for humanity. Queer theologians and philosophers often subscribe to the latter position.

    All of these varying feminists are in the process of attempting to gain rights for women. They may not always agree about the rights but they always agree about the oppressor."

    I could add to that that if radical feminists are religious and even if they consider themselves Christian, they will often attempt to define deity in female terms including goddess but it is usually from a panentheism or even a pantheism view. And the Holy Spirit renamed simply spirit becomes more important than Jesus Christ.

  9. Viola,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I am not qualified to really address your criticisms. Perhaps some radical or regular feminists could.

    I just would say that I value highly feminist criticism regardless of whether they self-identify as Christian or not. I think they have many important points regarding language and power.


  10. John,
    I didn't mean those as criticisms but as definitions. I don't think any Radical feminist would disagree with me on those terms. There are feminists such as "Christians for Biblical Equality" who can not be identified that way at all.

  11. Far be it for Jim to quote anyone accurately.

    I do always find it fascinating that someone whose ideas are attacked from both the left and the right assumes they are therefore in the center and ergo, 100% correct.

    Dick Cheney gets attacked from both the left and right, but no one's calling him a centrist.

    BTW, Jim, have you lifted your fatwah on Pastor Bob yet? Or are you just going back to threatening people and their families?