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Professor's Book Provides Guide
To Feminism and Christianity

Posted August 16, 2000

HOLLAND -- A new book by Dr. Lynn Japinga of the Hope College religion faculty introduces the themes and controversies of Christian feminism.

Japinga, an associate professor of religion at Hope, has been teaching the college's course on feminist theology for seven years. She wrote her book, "Feminism and Christianity: An Essential Guide," because she saw a need for a text that provided an easy-to-understand introduction to the topic and the issues involved.

"I wanted to use something that would be basic and accessible to laypeople and college students, and there wasn't a lot out there," she said. "Part of what I try to do in both teaching and in the book is correct some of the stereotypes and try to give people a clear sense of what feminist theology is all about."

The book, published by Abingdon Press of Nashville, Tenn., offers an overview of feminism generally in addition to outlining a number of feminist and non- feminist approaches to the Bible. In her introduction she notes, "It is representative and suggestive rather than comprehensive, but I hope it will whet the reader's appetite for more reading, study, and learning."

Examples of ways that women are depicted and discussed biblically run throughout the text, as do examples of women in the history of Christianity through the 20th century. Topics that receive extended analysis include ways that God's gender is interpreted and Jesus's gender is understood; gender-influenced assumptions concerning human nature, sin and salvation; and the question of whether or not women should hold leadership roles in the church.

Japinga has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1992. She graduated from the college in 1981, completed a master of divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1984 and completed her doctorate at Union Theological Seminary in 1992.

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