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Daphne Hampson argues that the Christian 'myth' is neither moral nor true: untrue since there can be no such particularity as Christianity claims; immoral since that particularity roots the religion in a past patriarchal society with its imagery and values. An analysis of Christian doctrines shows them to be deeply masculinist, while the construct of 'women' present in the religion is a figment of the male imagination.
Nevertheless the author believes the Christian myth to have been a vehicle which has carried human awareness of God. The question thus arisesas to how that power and love may best be conceptualised in a way that both true to our experience and commensurate with our ethics. She suggests that understandings of the self present in feminist theory and in Schleiermacher will serve us here.
Finally spiritual practices that predispose us to be open to God and that may be foundational to religion are discussed. "After Christianity" gives a disturbing analysis of the past and proposes creative possibilities for the future. In a new introduction Hampson reflects on her book and the response it has called forth, clarifying her position and responding to critics. Here then is a systematic theology for an age in which many who are compelled to discard the Christian story would nevertheless be spiritual persons.
'There is much to be admired here: the combination of erudition, courage and honesty which is unique in any contemporary British theologian.'
Prof. Elaine Graham (University of Manchester) in Theology
'No theologian should evade the very deep metaphysical issues in Hampson's book.' Fergus Kerr OP (The Regent, Blackfriars, Oxford) in New Blackfriars
'Daphne Hampson is without doubt one of the foremost contemporary feminist theologians. She gives a devastating account of how the paradigms of Christian theology reflect masculinist structures.' Prof. Grace M. Jantzen (University of Manchester) in Women's Philosophy Review
'It is a magisterial work, rigorously argued and intricately detailed. I, for one, am satisfied that it will be regarded in the future as one of the most important contributions to systematic theology of the late-20th century.' Prof. Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok, in a letter to The Church Times
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