Feminist Theology


Feminist theologies are gender-sensitive. They are alert to patriarchy—systems that favour males—and they contest kyriarchy—the operation of ‘lordship’ of some over others.
Feminist theologies are advocacy theologies. ‘Second wave’ feminist theologies developed strength in the 1970s, giving special attention to justice for women (and their dependents—it is notable that children are often prominent in feminist theologies). Increasingly ‘third wave’ feminist theologies in the new millennium are ‘intersectional’, shoulder to shoulder with other minoritized persons and highlighting the interlocking nature of identity, and of oppression.
Very importantly, not all feminist theologians are women, and not all female theologians are feminist theologians. However, feminist theologians tend to be keen to explore women’s contributions to Christian tradition, as these have often been sidelined or silenced by more dominant—not necessary more wise—male voices.

Search Terms

  • Feminist
  • Feminist theology
  • Feminist theologies
  • Gender
  • Queer theology
  • Indecent theology

Call Numbers


Reference Texts

  • The A–Z of Feminist Theology, ed. by Lisa Isherwood and Dorothea McEwan (London: Bloomsbury, current edition 2016) is an invaluable reference tool for research in feminist theologies.
  • Sexism and God-talk: Toward a Feminist Theology, by Rosemary Radford Ruether (London: SCM Press, 1983) was a feminist first in a ‘systematic’ kind of theology, a touchstone for later work in the field. It remains a helpful resource to orientate oneself to the sound of feminist theologies.

Regional Contributions

The University of Divinity-based Australian Collaborators in Feminist Theologies is an important regional resource for feminist theologies. Their publications include:

  • Contemporary Feminist Theologies: Power, Authority, Love, ed. by Kerrie Handasyde, Cathryn Mckinney and Rebekah Pryor (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021).
  • Feminist Theologies: Interstices and Fractures, ed. by Rebekah Pryor and Stephen Burns (Lanham: Lexington, 2023), which places Australian voices in dialogue with ones from other locations.

A number of scholars associated with the UD contribute to feminist theologies. Examples include:

  • Reading the Magnificat in Australia: Unsetting Engagements, by Anne Elvey (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2021), an excellent book that engages feminist theologies with the struggles of first peoples in Australia.
  • Reinterpreting the Eucharist: Explorations in Feminist Theology and Ethics, ed. by Anne Elvey et al (Sheffield: Equinox, 2012), which indicates something of the challenge of feminist theologies to the churches.

Other Important Texts