It is hard to over-estimate the challenge that feminism poses to Roman Catholicism. Pope John Paul II's call for a 'new feminism' has led to the development of a Catholic theological response to the so-called 'old feminism'. The New Catholic Feminism sets up a dramatic encounter between the orthodox Catholic establishment and contemporary critical theory, including feminist theology and philosophy, queer theory, and French psycholinguistics, in order to explore fundamental questions about human identity, personhood and gender. From the naked bodies of Eden to the 'gay nuptials' of liturgy, it argues that the strange and volatile world of Catholic sexual symbolism cannot be 'tamed' to meet the ideological agendas of either feminist theology or conservative Catholicism. Only through a radical re-evaluation of the sacramental significance of the sexed human body might the Catholic Church provide a redemptive response to the sexual politics of contemporary society.
Tina Beattie is Senior Lecturer in Christian Studies at the University of Surrey Roehampton, where she also convenes the MA programme in Religion and Human Rights. A leading Catholic and Marian theologian, she is the author of Woman: New Century Theological Studies (2003); Eve's Pilgrimage (2002); God's Mother, Eve's Advocate (2002); The Last Supper according to Martha and Mary (2001); and Rediscovering Mary (1995).
CONTENTS Preface Introduction THE MIDDLE Chapter 1 -- Catholicism, Feminism and Faith Chapter 2 -- Feminist Bodies and Feminist Selves Chapter 3 -- Gender, Knowing and Being Chapter 4 -- Knowledge, Desire and Prayer THE END Chapter 5 -- Incarnation, Difference and God Chapter 6 -- Masculinity, Femininity and God Chapter 7 -- Cherchez la Femme: Gender, Church and Priesthood Chapter 8 -- Desire, Death and the Female Body Chapter 9 -- Sex, Death and Melodrama THE BEGINNING Chapter 10 -- Being Beyond Death Chapter 11 -- Maternal Beginnings Chapter 12 -- Redeeming Fatherhood Chapter 13 -- Redeeming Motherhood Chapter 14 -- Redeeming Language Chapter 15 -- Redeeming Sacramentality