Compelling Knowledge: A Feminist Proposal for an Epistemology of the Cross

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SUNY Press, 1997 - Religion - 226 pages
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Asks what sorts and sources of knowing we should consider compelling as we seek to live morally responsible lives. Contends that Martin Luther's theology of the cross provides a solid theological and ethical basis for a surprisingly congenial conversation with feminist thought and scholarship on these issues.

Few feminist philosophers would expect to find a resonant dialog partner in the sixteenth-century theologian and reformer Martin Luther. This book contends, however, that Luther's theology of the cross, in its critique of both official theology and human pretension, its announcement of God's incarnate solidarity with humankind and the value of embodied experience, and its intention to equip humans to "use reality rightly", provides a solid theological and ethical basis for a surprisingly congenial conversation.

The "epistemology of the cross" that emerges from the conservation between secular feminist thought and Luther's theology of the cross raises and responds to the essential epistemological questions of power, experience, objectivity, and accountability. It helps us as people of privilege to overcome our resistance to knowing the reality of suffering, a reality we need to recognize if we are to respond to it, bear with it, and seek to overcome it. Solberg describes the movement from lived experience to "compelling knowledge: " seeing what is the case, recognizing one's implication in it, and responding accountably.

"The topic is of clear and present significance. Suffering and atonement are hot topics in the worlds of feminist theology; epistemology and agency are hot topics in the world of feminist philosophy. I know a lot of feminist theologians and ethicists who arereading feminist philosophy and wondering how to integrate it into a theological framework that is not post-Christian. This book would be enormously helpful to them, both substantively and methodologically". -- Martha Ellen Stortz, Pacific Luther Theological Seminary/The Graduate Theological Union


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Critiques and Concerns
Luthers Theology of the Cross
Drafting an Epistemology of the Cross

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About the author (1997)

Mary M. Solberg is Assistant Professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College.

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