A promising theology: in conversation with Sallie McFague and Elizabeth A. Johnson

Author: Elizabeth John

John, Elizabeth, 2021 A promising theology: in conversation with Sallie McFague and Elizabeth A. Johnson , Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Drawing into conversation Sallie McFague and Elizabeth A. Johnson, this study explores the promise of their respective approaches for contemporary theology. McFague and Johnson integrate creative construction with retrieval of Christian tradition to both practical and critical effect. Using feminist methodology, these scholars examine how a traditional doctrine of God functions in the current ecological and economic climate. They conclude that effective Christian response to serious issues is unlikely if exclusive, dualistic imagery remains unchallenged. Accordingly, each seeks to broaden language for God and develop alternate models; McFague constructs the “world as God’s body” while Johnson’s focus lies in a retrieval of Wisdom/Sophia and kinship. These steps reimagine the God-world relationship in terms of mutuality and interconnectedness, and their resultant theologies of kenosis and accompaniment generate practical thought experiments to help bridge the gap between theory and practice. Together, these scholars’ theologies move Christians toward the kind of conversion necessary to address the current earthly and spiritual crisis. McFague and Johnson employ an open-ended and tentative, conversational and collaborative, iconoclastic and tensive approach which may be appropriate in addressing a range of contemporary issues that remain divisive in the Christian Church.

Keywords: Sallie McFague, Elizabeth A. Johnson, Feminist, Theology

Subject: Theology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Dr Victoria Lorrimar