Feminism, based on a belief in the fundamental equality of the sexes, specifically promotes the rights and interests of women. Within Christianity, feminism is primarily concerned with the role of women in the church. A distinction may be made between two groups: "Liberal-Christian feminists" who work from the standpoint of a commitment to the Christian faith but accept the authority of Scripture in only a limited way, and "Evangelical feminists" who have a high view of Scripture and believe that the Bible teaches the full equality of men and women without role distinctions based on gender." [1]

To many, liberal-Christian feminism and evangelical feminism are both seen as included in the idea of Christian egalitarianism (gender equality) -- the difference being primarily in how they each deal with the Scriptures.

To the liberal-Christian, the Bible is not viewed as infallible or inerrant, and therefore its authority is limited. The patriarchal framework of the Old Testament and the New Testament teaching of Paul (which seems to limit the role of women) are simply viewed as culturally obsolete and wrong.

The evangelical feminist, who generally accepts the infallibility of Scripture, seeks hermeneutical (or interpretational) means, in addition to issues of cultural limitation, to argue for egalitarianism. However, they attempt to do so while remaining faithful to the text of Scripture.


See also