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Comparison of The Church and the Second Sex and In Memory of Her

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Most of the Christian traditions described God as a male, because exactly like that, in patriarchal way, people used to think that men in society are more privileged than women. Moreover the Christian theology guarantees men a full participation in life, while women have lesser role. Feminism fights against these traditions and rules. Some of the women theologists and feminists are seeking the ways to fully change the situation, while others are seeking the way just to make Christian traditions and rules less sexist. There are many different theologists, from different countries and parts of the world with their own different feminist theories. Some of them are ruled and followed by strong orthodox traditions, while others are saying that sexism changed Christian doctrines and traditions in a very twisted way. Two feminists, whose views are going to be discussed in the following essay, are very similar in their beliefs, yet they both have differences – Mary Daly with her work The Church and The Second Sex and Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza with her work In Memory of Her. First it is needed to be said that for Fiorenza, Daly was an example of feminism. She made a great influence on Fiorenza’s works.

Mary Daly was a professor in Boston and taught till the time when she was dismissed from her position, because she did not allow man to take part as teachers in her classes. Daly even has her own opinion about the antichrist, described in the New Testament. She is sure that all this tales about the antichrist in Bible has been written just because men are afraid that one day women can arise and return their powers. Mary Daly declares that antichrist has been created by men, patriarchs, as the surge of their unconsciousness presentiment about spiritual awakening that could help to get to know God and his spiritual life better. She also says that if she is right, then for men antichrist’s coming and the awakening of women are synonymous. As to Fiorenza and her works, it can be said that she follows Daly’s theories and understanding that according to Christian and patriarchal ideologies women were considered as some marginal creatures from the very beginning.

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First Daly’s big publication that exactly makes her a well-known feminist is The Church and The Second Sex. In this work, Daly mentions that women could not have been born or conceived, but rather become women according to some environmental conditions. Daly also mentions in her work that women also play a great role in the Church and that the revolution, made by them is a very significant thing. As to the other work of Daly’s follower, Fiorenza, in her In Memory of Her book she is paying attention to the story about Mary Magdalene and her role, how important she has been as the woman-leader, who has been represented in the Bible and many other works and yet so ignored by interpreters. The role of interpreters became the most important theme to discuss among feminists. This is the issue of the role of interpreters in women’ fate as the leaders and their influence in the Church and the Bible. Men experience as the God’s helpers has been accepted long ago, while the participation of Mary Magdalene in Christ’s life has been highly criticized and considered to be even forbidden to talk about. Mary Daly believes that the Catholic Church played the active negative role in women’ oppression and the oppression of their living – this is the opinion she articulates in her works. She said that exactly Church is the main sexist in the society and that it propagates women’s submission to men in all the spheres of life. Mary Daly argues that the Church is trying to manipulate women’s minds and the mind of the society and at the same time it is trying to create the pseudo picture that women are really significant in Churches life and that all these accusations are just the talks of some feminists. So, while Mary Daly is trying to prove that women are playing a great role in the life of society and mainly the Catholic Church, Fiorenza with her work In Memory of Her is trying to reveal the history data about women’ significance and to prove that from the beginning of humans’ existing in this world, women has taken the leading part in the history of mankind. Fiorenza is trying to reveal biblical traditions both in men’ and women’ history. In the book In Memory of Her Fiorenza aims at depicting Christian traditions and history stressing the women’ role in them. While Daly tries to describe all feminists and the society in general and to convince her readers, that even nowadays men with the help of Catholic Church are trying to oppose women’ significant role in society, Fiorenza, with her work In Memory of Her, proves Daly’s arguments with the help of the data from the early history of Christianity and mankind in whole.

All in all, it is needed to be said that both Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Mary Daly are the strong feminists that are fighting with their works not only against the false patriarchal arguments towards women’ significance in Christianity, but also just the false information that we are getting daily in the Churches. Both works In Memory of Her and The Church and The Second Sex are quite similar and fighting for justice, moreover, they complement each other’s arguments and data, and maybe there is a difference between them, but it seems one can find it only in the summary of these works and not in the ideas.

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