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Feminism and Postmodernism in Susan Frank Parsons

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

Reviewing The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics, and The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology, the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief treatment of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body.

Keywords: Levinas; Seyla Benhabib; Susan Parsons; ethics; feminism; feminist theology; postmodernism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9795.2004.00176.x

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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