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Title: How Compatible are the Writings of John of the Cross with a Christian Feminist Spirituality?
Author(s): MAPPLEBECK, Althea
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 18    Date: 2008   
Pages: 215-228
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.18.0.2033290

Abstract :
This essay brings into dialogue some of the key issues of feminist spirituality with the writings of St John of the Cross, asking whether the latter tends to reinforce gender bias or enable change towards the flourishing of women. It suggests that although John’s dark night theology has been acclaimed as a creative interpretive framework for contemporary feminist experience there are some significantly problematic areas. It focusses especially on three of these: the use of imagery, a potential encouragement to passivity, and sense/spirit dualism. Elucidating these issues the essay raises questions for further research and recommends that feminists look critically at some aspects of John’s work, rather than accept them unequivocally.

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