Making sense of our lives

Feminist and Womanist Pastoral Theology, edited by Bonnie Miller-McLemore and Brita Gill-Austern

Feminists and womanists both consider "the experiences of women and girls and recognize the authority of female encounters with power, difference, and oppression." But while feminists often represent middle-class European Americans, "womanists" attend to the lives of women of color. According to Jacqueline Grant, "A womanist is one who has developed survival strategies in spite of the oppression of her race and sex in order to save her family and her people."

"Pastoral theology" is harder to define. Beginning with Anton Boisen, whose struggle with mental illness caused him to found clinical pastoral education, and Seward Hiltner, who emphasized systemic attention to "shepherding," pastoral theology once focused on the (usually Protestant male) minister's practice of pastoral care and counseling.


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