Susan T. Foh 's The Christian Faith

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Complementarity in the Christian faith is the belief that, "God has created men and women equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but different and complementary in function with male headship in the home and in the Church." This view of gender roles is drawn from Biblical interpretations and emphasizes the equality as well as the valuable dissimilarities of men and women. Susan T. Foh, a Christian author, has redefined the concept of complementarity in her own terms, coining the phrase "ontologically equal, but functionally subordinate" (Foh, 391). Her interpretation also comes directly from Biblical sources, but the meaning behind her careful phrasing does present some disparities between the two concepts. As stated above, both concepts are drawn from Biblical sources, utilizing both the Old and New Testaments in order to provide a strong foundation for these principles. Complementarity and Foh 's notion of "ontologically equal, but functionally subordinate" stress separate spheres of influence for men and women. One large disparity, however, is that while complementarity is considered by those who practice it to be egalitarian, Foh 's concept is inherently hierarchical, which is made obvious by her use of the word "subordinate." Many of the strongest critics of complementarity label it as archaic or strongly traditionalist, but by not directly including hierarchical rhetoric in its definition, there is room for an egalitarian interpretation of the
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