Spirited Exchanges Banner

Book review

Faith and Feminism: An introduction to Christian Feminist Theology
by Nicola Slee. Darton, Longman and Todd, London. 2003


Feminism has been in existence for some time now and working for several years in the area of women's health, I find I have sub consciously absorbed some of the ideas which have grown out of the women's movement. A university course on ethics introduced me more formally to some of the ideas of the feminist ethic of care. I was therefore interested to read the recently published ‘Faith and Feminism' which has allowed me to start looking at the Christian faith from a feminist viewpoint; a viewpoint which I find reassuring and alarming at the same time. It is reassuring because it expresses some ideas that have been part of me (though unexpressed) for  a long time, and its good to find others think the same way. It is alarming because some of the ideas are completely  new  and different  to me  and question many of my previous assumptions about the Christian faith.


‘Faith and Feminism' is part of a series entitled ‘Exploring Faith - Theology for Life' which is “designed for people who want to take Christian theology seriously in a way that engages  the mind, involves  the  heart and seeks active expression in the way we live.” It is therefore written in a straightforward and readable style with short chapters on each topic and clearly titled subsections. The author suggests exercises and reflections which use the imagination as well as the brain in an attempt to engage the reader fully with the topic under discussion. As a newcomer to feminist theology, I found the combined glossary and biography useful and have added several new words to my vocabulary! The suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter would keep the enthusiastic reader busy for some time to come.


I enjoyed this book because Nicola Slee clearly presents key concepts of feminist theology in a way that is easily understood, but not simplistic. Key topics addressed include sin, salvation and atonement and the future of the church. The author stresses the variety of approaches found within current feminist theology and appears to value each while allowing the reader to respond individually to the ideas presented.


‘Faith and Feminism' has proved to be a challenging read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in feminist theology or to those who want to be open to different ways of understanding the Christian faith.    

Fiona McDougal

Web Design Wellington - Vision Web Design