Feminist Studies

My interests in feminist hermeneutics began with my teaching career when I was asked to teach an undergraduate course entitled “Women in the Christian Tradition” in 1988. Whereas I was had dabbled in the area when I was an undergraduate it had not been a primary focus during my graduate career and I therefore had a great deal of reading to catch up with as I prepared for this lecture course.

The topic is of course huge but back in 1988 there was still not a great deal that had been published in the field of Church history and in the field of Biblical Studies the primary concerns were manageable. Over a period of 12 years I gained an understanding of Christianity I would never have had except for the fact that the area of feminist interpretation virtually exploded in terms of interest and publications during that per iod.

I was fortunate that it coincided with my own keen interests in developing the Womens Studies program at McGill and so as chair of the Womens Studies Advisory Committee. I was able to keep pace with developments in other disciplines. At the same time I was deeply involved in pastoral matters and was keenly aware that women’s voices in the churches were only gradually becoming less marginalized.

Although I am not presently teaching in the Womens Studies program, my own research interests remain focused on Feminist hermeneutics and the Hebrew Bible and the change of liturgical language over the past thirty years as the churches have begun to take seriously the need for inclusive language.

[popup url=’http://www.patriciagkirkpatrick.com/courses#relg313′] RELG 313 [/popup] has provided me with that base on which to build several ideas concerning the use of more inclusive metaphors which do not drown out women’s identity.

My most recent SSHRC application deals precisely with the nature of metaphor in liturgical documents as a means of assessing the church communities commitment to gender inclusivity. This is a long term project which is analyzing documents from the Anglican, United and Roman Catholic churches in Canada.

Students interested in gender and feminist studies relating to the Hebrew Bible should e-mail me at Patricia.kirkpatrick@mcgill.ca.


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