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I am a year 11 student in Canberra Australia. I am writing to you, in the hope that you can help me with my Religious Education assignment on feminism. We have been asked to talk about the feminist approach to religion and spirituality, and how societal changes have been reflected in the Catholic church and its traditions. They have also asked us to talk about the impact of feminism in religion - not just for the benefit of women.

Another issue is exploring the church's response to feminists within the church. Personally I would like to know if feminism is what could be described as "an equality issue. " I am not sure if you can help me answer all of these questions but it would be highly appreciated if you could attempt, or give me some leads to where I could find some of the answers.

Yours faithfully,


Dear Rebecca,

Religion/spirituality are currently hot topics. Historically, I think that feminism has been ambivalent about embracing organized religions because they have been hostile to women. However, it's not necessarily the root religions themselves that have been hostile, but those who are in control of interpreting these religions like the Vatican, and Muslim Extremists. So feminists have had to struggle with rejecting these interpretations without rejecting the religion. Feminism has done much to bring this uncovered history to the forefront as well as to ensure that women attain leadership positions within organized religions. There are a few people/places I suggest you contact to learn more:

  • Karen Armstrong, a theologian/author based in England who has done much on women's place in religions including a book on Mohammed
  • The Union/Auborn Theologial Seminary - based in New York City - and with much attention on women. One of their professors, Hyung Kyung Chung is specifically a great resource.
  • The Sister Fund - which funds projects in the U.S. that focus on women's spirituality.
  • Catholics for a Free Choice which works to expose the equality hidden in Catholic doctrines.

I hope that helps.


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