Fortress Press

Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Difference: A Contribution to Feminist Systematic Theology

Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Difference

A Contribution to Feminist Systematic Theology

Janice McRandal (Author)


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Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Difference argues that the most potent and resourceful theological response to the challenging questions of gender and difference is to be found in a retrieval of a doctrinal framework for feminist theology. In particular, it is suggested that a doctrinal narrative of creation, fall, and redemption—underpinned by the doctrinal grammar of the Trinity—provides resources to resolve the theological impasse of difference in contemporary feminist theology. The divine economy reveals a God who enters into history and destabilizes fixed binaries and oppressive categories. The biblical narrative discloses a subtle yet potent fluidity to the Triune relationships. As created subjects—precisely in our difference—we are sustained, affirmed, and drawn back into the Triune life. The subtleties of divine transgression are already recognized in the patterns of the liturgy, in prayer, and in practices of contemplation.

Here, bodies not only encounter the transgressive love of God but are enabled to inhabit their differentiated humanity with distinctiveness and grace. The grammar of Christian faith cannot ultimately be uncovered except in prayer, opened beyond itself to a source of life and giving.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451484472
  • eBook ISBN 9781451494242
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 203
  • Emerging Scholars category Theology
  • Publication Date February 1, 2015


“In the best medieval tradition, creation becomes a source of diversity rather than uniformity. This book dissolves several problems with elegance.”
—Eugene F. Rogers Jr.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“The discipline of systematic theology has not been particularly hospitable to the questions raised by feminist theologians. In this ambitious and wide-ranging study, Janice McRandal argues for a deep inner convergence between contemporary feminist theology and the grammar of Christian doctrine. Her conclusions should provoke a fresh evaluation of the place of feminist discourse within the systematic study of the Christian faith.”
Benjamin Myers
Charles Sturt University, Sydney
“It is fascinating to follow how Janice McRandal sorts, questions, affirms, and turns her resources in this contribution to ‘feminist systematic theology.’ Her reflections make for an exciting read…” 
Stephen Burns
Episcopal Divinity School

“In this insightful first book, Janice McRandal draws discerningly on recent feminist theological writing to argue that Christian doctrine is the answer, not the problem, for contemporary concerns about ‘difference.’ Both Christian and non-Christian feminists will find this a provocative and creative argument.”
Sarah Coakley
University of Cambridge