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Essays in Analytic TheologyVolume 1$
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Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198866800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198866800.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Gender as a Divine Attribute

Gender as a Divine Attribute

(p.98) 5 Gender as a Divine Attribute
Essays in Analytic Theology

Michael C. Rea

Oxford University Press

It is standard within the Christian tradition to characterize God in predominantly masculine terms. Let ‘traditionalism’ refer to the view that this pattern of characterization is theologically mandatory. This chapter seeks to undercut the main motivations for traditionalism by showing that it is not more accurate to characterize God as masculine rather than feminine (or vice versa). The novelty of the argument lies in the fact that it presupposes neither theological anti-realism nor a robust doctrine of divine transcendence, but instead rests heavy theoretical weight on the imago Dei doctrine and the method of perfect-being theology. The chapter closes by examining the implications of its main argument for the moral and liturgical propriety of characterizing God in predominantly masculine terms.

Keywords:   gender, divine attributes, feminism, feminist theology, Elizabeth Johnson, perfect being theology

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