The Feminist Response To The Gender Portrayal Role Of God?

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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all share a conception of a God who supposedly transcends gender, though the sacred texts of these faiths present God using male pronouns and masculine imagery. This masculine portrayal of God not only has the theological consequence of contradicting doctrine, it also alienates women. However, each faith faces unique challenges. Even though Jews and Christians use male God-language, Christians must grapple with the physicality of Jesus’ sex. Furthermore, unlike God in Judaism and Christianity, Allah in Islam is not as clearly understood in masculine terms. Nevertheless, a feminist response to these issues encompasses using gender dynamic language to describe God and expanding the institutional roles of women in these religions. Jewish feminist theologians have written extensively about God’s maleness in the Jewish conception of God. In the Hebrew Bible, God is a “shepherd,” “king,” and “father” (Psalms). The use of male imagery extends into Jewish worship as “every blessing invokes God as lord and king of the universe” (Plaskow, Standing Again at Sinai 123). Employing masculine language to describe God is not simply a matter of pronouns and metaphors, it contributes to the marginalization and subordination of women. The maleness of God establishes maleness as the “norm of Jewish humanity,” which leaves women as the “Other” who are not equal members in the Jewish community (Plaskow, “The Right Question” 228). Thus, in Judaism, male images of
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