12 books by female theologians to be reading right now
Most of the Christian tradition has been recorded and passed on through history by Men. The Bible, as far as we know it was written and the canon decided on by men. Men have been the primary interpreters of scripture and the primary teachers and preachers of the Bible. Most commentaries that we use today have been written by men, and most books written about the bible have been by male authors.
We regularly talk about and hear God talked about as a male Father, and we know Jesus was historically a male. We unfortunately often talk about the Holy Spirit as male as well, although this isn’t exactly accurate.
From our earliest days of becoming Christian, there is an undercurrent of male dominance that permeates our faith and impacts how women see themselves and how men see women.
This narrative of androcentrism has shaped the minds of generations of Christians into thinking God has set up a hierarchy within the sexes and that the Bible is best understood from a male perspective. This is a lie.
Jesus came and radically changed our world, and part of this change was to eliminate the gender differences that divide us (Galatians 3:28). Jesus set us on the correct track toward equality of all people, and it has been up to us to keep us on course ever since.
Regrettably we have been off track more than we’d like to admit.
Despite thousands of years of oppression women still speak and are heard, write and are understood, create and are recognized. Both men and women appreciate and recognize the work of female prophets, apostles, leaders, creators, thinkers and change makers in our world.
To recognize some of these women I’ve selected some fantastic books by female theologians that are not to be missed. I’ve attempted to pay attention to the diversity of race and social location as well. Although there are countless more female theologians writing, speaking and teaching today, I chose these 12 books that I feel are particularly compelling right now that I have either recently read or am currently reading. I hope you enjoy!
- Lucy Peppiatt : Rediscovering Scripture's Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts (2019)
- Aruna Gnanadason: With Courage and Compassion: Women and the Ecumenical Movement (2020)
- Christena Cleveland: Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart (2013)
- Amy-Jill Levine: Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi (2015)
- Wilda C. Gafney: Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction To The Women Of The Torah And The Throne (2017)
- Loida I. Martell-Otero: Latina Evangelicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins (2013)
- Lynn Cohick & Amy Brown Hughes: Christian Women in the Patristic World: Their Influence, Authority, and Legacy in the Second through Fifth Centuries (2017)
- Kathy Khang: Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up (2018)
- Natalia Kohn, Noema Vega Quiñones & Kristy Garza Robinson: Hermanas: Deepening Our Identity and Growing Our Influence (2019)
- Delores S. Williams: Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk (2013)
- Sandra Glahn (Ed.): Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible (2017)
- Dorothy L. Sayers: Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society (2005)
(For more info on the books above, check out our book review stories in the Know Your Mothers Instagram account!)