Powers and Submissions: Spirituality, Philosophy and Gender

In this volume, Sarah Coakley confronts a central paradox of theological feminism - what she terms 'the paradox of power and vulnerability'. Drawing together an essential collection of her work in this field. Powers and Submissions explores this theme, offering an original perspective on contemporary feminist thought. Gender theory has in recent years given an increasingly nuanced account of the worldly 'powers' that serve to stifle human flourishing. However, feminist theology has been loath to acknowledge that form of surrender to divine 'power' which can alone sustain authentic human freedom, and chasten the abusive will to power in both women and men. Powers and Submissions tackles their question of how these narratives of divine and human 'powers' should be disentangled. Coakley examines this issue through the lens of spiritual practice, philosophical enquiry and doctrinal analysis, arguing that contemplative practice must be sustaining matrix of any truly liberative human empowerment. Powers and Submissions will be of interest to those working and studying in the fields of feminist theory, philosophy of religion, systematic theology and spirituality.