Western Christianity in Ecofeminist Perspective

Posted on: Tuesday January 31, 2012

by Janet Conway (from CJ Journal, Vol. 44 No. 1, Fall 1991)

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The CJ Editorial Board at the time (chaired by Shamai Kanter) introduced the work as follows:

Janet Conway's paper links environmental issues, women's issues and the history and evolution of Western religion. Though her religious base is within the Roman Catholic Church, the key concepts she presents are equally challenging to Jews and Judaism. Eco-feminists view both Judaism and Christianity as patriarchal traditions which pose important questions for women and for environment. (See Judith Plaskow's Standing Again at Sinai for a current Jewish statement.)

Women scholars have been writing about women, environment and religion for well over ten years. They assert that "eco-theology", meshing concern for the earth with concern for human well-being, requires a substantial transformation in traditional religion. Most Jewish readers may not accept the descriptions of Western religion-and the implications for Judaism-presented here, but the eco-feminist view is moving into the mainstream of current religious discussion. Jewish theology is obligated to confront and to respond to it.