Church Times article, 21 Feb 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 21.04.13

I wrote for The Church Times this week (the leading Church of England newspaper, with a weekly circulation of over 34k subscribers).

My article explores the tensions I’ve experienced by identifying as ‘Christian’ and ‘Feminist’ simultaneously.

You can read it here.

  • Phil Warburton

    Vicky. Thank you for the article. I have ‘enjoyed’ reading Trible, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Daphne Hampson. We must take serious the ‘problem’ of a male Christ and a patriarchal church.

    I too am a Christian feminist. Or at least as much as I can be as a man. I, for example, believe that women can carry out any role within church life. This is not a secondary issue but a gospel issue. Less to do with equality and more to do with the fact that Jesus, who’s particular flesh was gendered male, died for men and women. Therefore a women can represent Jesus’ flesh in the pulpit or at the communion table. Any serious theology of the Spirit also challenges sexist power notions in the church. Indeed I think of many of Paul’s house rules laid down in his letters are reactions to the new freedoms found by women after the Spirit burst into these communities. Paul’s instructions to women to reign in their freedoms (that we find anachronistic now) were because the church was suddenly way ahead of society and these outrageous women were giving the church a bad reputation in that society.

    This time society is ahead of the church. You have a prophetic / priestly role to help the church see it’s offense and feminists see the radical system change that Jesus makes possible. As you have suggested this is a difficult and lonely path to walk. May God bless you in it.

    Do you have any thoughts about what practices and habits we can put in place as church communities that ensure that men and women learn to live together, can tackle issues of domestic violence, the sexualisation of our children ……..etc …

  • MichB

    A man can be a feminist just as much as a woman can. It was a revelation to me (a young woman) once I discovered feminism, and Christian feminism in particular, that there could be male feminists. All affirmation I’ve had from those I’ve met has been so encouraging to me. Rather than the women being the stereotypical bra-burners forcing our way up the social ladder by violently knocking men off it, where there is a man who believes in gender equality a woman can simply say “Excuse me, my view here is a little restricted. Can I sit on your level?” and he graciously replies “I see what you mean about the view. Of course you can sit up here! Let me just move over to make a space for you.” They sit side by side. So thank you, Phil, and all men like you :)

  • Phil

    MichB. Thanks for your kind response – though you don’t need my permission to see the view. Peace.