I want your opinion on something.
I’m rereading a favorite book of mine, When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James. It addresses the issue of women and theology, and why so many women shy away from it. She lists several reasons why women run from "the dreaded T-word." They believe that
Theology is for men – "Two ideas seem to bolster the notion that theology is for men and not women. The first is the belief that God didn’t equip women for theological pursuits. According to their thinking, women are more relational and practical, and their role centers on being a wife and mother rather than on theological reflection. The presupposition is that God designed a world in which womanhood and theology are not compatible. The second is the conviction that deep knowledge conflicts with the biblical idea of wifely submission; a thinking woman will find it difficult to submit to her husband and to church leaders. Consequently, the safest and most sensible path, according to some, is for women to leave theology to the men."
Theology is bad for the soul – "Many women share this grim conclusion. Arrogance and pride are the pitfalls that concern us –individuals who know alot, grow puffed up, and look down their noses at Christians who know less… Other times we are troubled when ideas seem more important than people…Sometimes theology drives a wedge into relationships. The woman who marries a self-described theologian can be shattered to realize his books and heady concepts are dearer to him than she is…Instead of drawing them together, theology affords him the perfect excuse to be dysfunctional and leaves her feeling abandoned and hurt by his preference for theology over her."
Theology is for professionals – "The church has also played a part in discouraging women from getting serious about theology, sometimes in ways that discourage men too. A big problem for both sexes is the assumption that theology is only for professionals and church leaders….. The thought of women studying theology can cause alarm. The implicit fear is that women who get serious about theology will become restless and start an insurrection at home and in the church. And so women are not encouraged to overcome their aversions to theology."
So I’ve been thinking about this concept alot… are you afraid, turned off, or intimidated by theology? Do you think that theology is a man’s topic? Are men intimidated by women who understand and enjoy theology? Does your church look down on women who are theologically educated, afraid that they’ll suddenly become to "liberal"? Do you think that theology has no place in a woman’s practical, every-day life?
I’m really interested in what you think- this is NOT a rhetorical question! Post about it on your blog, or leave me a comment (or email) here.