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Critique Essay Nonfiction Social Sciences

Recognizing the Full Spectrum of Gender? Transgender, Intersex and the Futures of Feminist Theology

By Susannah Cornwall, 2012

The recognition that female embodiment and feminine experience are legitimate and specific sites of the revelation of God’s love has been one of the most significant developments in theology in the last hundred years. However, an over-emphasis on feminine experience as supervening on female embodiment risks erasing unusual sex-gender body-stories and perpetuating the idea that only some bodies can mediate the divine. Feminist Theology’s future must involve a re-examination and re-negotiation of what it is to be feminist theologians without fixed gender essences. Does Feminist Theology have space to hear from and nurture the voices of those whose gender experiences (especially as transgender, ‘third’ or otherwise) challenge a binary, either-or model? Can Feminist Theology, in contrast to much secular feminist theory, give space at the table to those whose sex-gender life stories undermine the notion that there is such a thing as a common or biologically-contingent feminine experience in the first place? Keywords Essentialism, exclusion, intersex, transgender

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