To dismiss the work of philosophers and theologians of the past
because of their limited perceptions of the whole of humankind is
tantamount to tossing the tot out with the tub water. Such is the
case when feminist scholars of religion and ethics confront Thomas
Aquinas, whose views of women can only be described as
misogynistic. Rather than dispense with him, Susanne DeCrane seeks
to engage Aquinas and reflect his otherwise compelling thought
through the prism of feminist theology, hermeneutics, and
Focusing on one of Aquinas's great intellectual contributions, the
fundamental notion of "the common good"-in short, the human will
toward peace and justice-DeCrane demonstrates the currency of that
notion through a contemporary social issue: women's health care in
the United States and, specifically, black women and breast cancer.
In her skillful re-engagement with Aquinas, DeCrane shows that
certain aspects of religious traditions heretofore understood as
oppressive to women and minority groups can actually be parsed,
"retrieved," and used to rectify social ills.
Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good is a bold and
intellectually rigorous feminist retrieval of an important text by
a Catholic scholar seeking to remain in the tradition, while
demanding that the tradition live up to its emphasis on human
equity and justice.
Subjects: Religion, Sociology
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