CAN OUR CREEDS SPEAK A GENDERED TRUTH? A FEMINIST READING OF THE NICENE CREED AND THE BELHAR CONFESSION

Piet Naude

Abstract


In a short methodological note on the complex array of feminist theological
viewpoints, it is argued that the focus on language (metaphors) and its relation to
reality is a common concern for most feminists. Whereas much creative reinterpretation
or the biblical text has been accomplished by feminist scholars, very little
attention has been given to the liberation potential of secondary texts such as the
creeds and confessions. An feminist reading of the Nicene creed and the Belhar
confession shows the ambiguity of both texts: they share the dominant androcentric
metaphors of the canon and tradition, but are at the same time open to surprisingly
inclusivist meaning. Further work needs to be done, but these texts challenge the
church to address the question of inclusivist liturgical practices. The aim of this
paper is to explore the potential of the Nicene Creed (381 AD) and the Belhar
Confession (1986AD) “to speak a gendered truth”1 i.e. their openness toward a
feminist hermeneutic and re-reading. I will proceed in two parts: The first is a short
methodological orientation on feminist scholarship, and the second is an actual
attempt at a feminist interpretation of the two texts under discussion.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/86-0-949

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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