New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views edited by Mary E. Hunt and Diann L. Neu, Skylight Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 2010; 300 pages, ISBN 9781594732850, hardcover $24.95.
These essays by twenty-eight prominent feminist Christians give a sweeping view of this field, its history, variations, concerns, and future directions. Included are women of many denominations, ethnicities and viewpoints, including pioneers in this movement which began to gain public notice in the 1950s and 1960s. Focusing on feminist Christianity in the United States, the editors "invited the writers to describe what the future of feminist Christianity looks like from their various starting points. Some are scholars teaching in the academy, while others are ministers working in churches; still others are activists running centers or working in their denominations. To accomplish the same task, some have emphasized history; others have deepened the scholarship on their topic, while a few have chosen personal narrative as their primary mode." (p. xvi)
The book covers theological visions, scriptural insights, ethical agendas, liturgical and artistic frontiers, and ministerial challenges. I found the chapters on "Seeking Justice and Healing" by Marie M. Fortune and "Critical Feminist Biblical Studies" by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza particularly memorable. Overall, I was struck by the inclusiveness of feeling and thought, and the strong emphasis on justice for all people. This book makes a good introduction for those unfamiliar with feminist Christianity. – Sarah Belle Dougherty