"It is only right that a theologian of Von Balthasar's influence should have a "Devil's Advocate." Tina Beattie's animated discussion will surely be read by all who are interested in his work and in the sexual dynamics of Catholic Christianity."-Dr. Janet Martin Soskice, Reader in Philosophical Theology, University of Cambridge "The centrality of gendered, sexual bodies to the life of faith and traditional theology's repression of such have long been the focus of feminist theology. Beattie's book takes the conversation to new levels with her exploration of the crucial role of the psychological - desire, pleasure, fear, terror - in the workings of faith and theology."-Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Associate Professor of Theology, Divinity School, Duke University "Beattie insightfully exposes false paths in the all-important quest in religion, as elsewhere, to realize the profound implications of sexuate difference. This timely book is acutely necessary for the efforts to recover a sacramental sense of language, symbol and the female."-Charlene Spretnak, author of" Missing Mary
From the Inside Flap
Roman Catholicism exerts a continuing influence on the culture and politics of the worlds nations, and never more so than on issues of gender and sexuality. If the Catholic church is to continue to be relevant to modern women, it needs to go beyond its traditional anachronistic sexual stereotypes and hierarchies, to present the Gospel in a way that is attentive to the questions, needs and values of the age, without surrendering the central truths of Christian faith.
New Catholic Feminism is a radical and dramatic feminist enactment of the Catholic faith. Engaging with feminist theory and postmodern feminist theology, Tina Beattie offers a detailed and often disturbing analysis of Catholic neo-orthodoxy in its representation of gender and sexual difference. Through encounters with thinkers such as Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, Martin Heidegger and Hans Urs von Balthasar, Beattie explores Catholicisms gendered imagery and sacramentality in the context of language, sexuality, prayer and the body, questioning the assumptions upon which neo-orthodoxy rests in its resistance to women priests, and its theological models of masculinity and femininity. Having confronted the conflict between feminism and the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI, Beattie proposes a new theological approach to the encounter between feminism and Catholicism, for the twenty-first century.