Karl Barth and Feminism (continued)

You may be interested to know that the latest recipient of the Karl Barth prize is a woman, Meehyun Chung. Ben Myers did an interview with her back in October. Here’s part of it:

BM: What does your current work at Mission 21 involve?

MC: Three main things: (1) To strengthen theology from a woman’s perspective in our partner countries, and to bring the voice of women to attention here. (2) To promote women’s networks in our partner churches and organisations, especially by providing information in the Women’s Letter and by providing a special fund for the promotion of women. (3) Gender mainstreaming: to support gender as a transversal subject in all of Mission 21’s programmes and projects.

BM: Do you think Karl Barth’s theology offers resources for the contemporary struggle to improve the place of women in the church?

MC: Not directly. But nor does feminist theology help directly in this struggle. The important thing is the way Barth’s theology took the church so seriously (cf. his change in 1931 from Christian Dogmatics to Church Dogmatics). Feminist theology could and should also take seriously this aspect and impulse of Barth’s theology. In my opinion, contemporary feminist theology around the world has tended to neglect ecclesial things. Feminist theology has achieved various things in the academic sphere, but the voice of women in the church has not actually been accepted – or rather, feminist theology has neglected the everyday voice of women in the church. So I think there are different aspects of Barth’s theology that could be taken into consideration in the discourse of feminist theology. Above all, gender equality in the church could be developed further.

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