What I am giving up for Lent: Kyriarchy

Lisa Simpson

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So last week, I announced that I was giving up KYRIARCHY for LENT.

I guess I did not announce it yesterday and that makes me a bad person. But yeah, I am giving up KYRIARCHY. If you notice, my blog posts have been a tad bit angrier and more detailed, because a small group of people going unnamed until later keep infuriating me with their smugness. So, I have responded with theological critiques of their world view, with my primary sources being that of feminists and womanists, what many would consider “The Other.”

For those not familiar with Kyriarchy, I apologize for making assumptions, so kyriarchy defined is:

Kyriarchy – a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and derived from the Greek words for “lord” or “master” (kyrios) and “to rule or dominate” (archein) which seeks to redefine the analytic category of patriarchy in terms of multiplicative intersecting structures of domination…Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.
Patriarchy – Literally means the rule of the father and is generally understood within feminist discourses in a dualistic sense as asserting the domination of all men over all women in equal terms.  The theoretical adequacy of patriarchy has been challenged because, for instance, black men to not have control over white wo/men and some women (slave/mistresses) have power over subaltern women and men (slaves).
– Glossary, Wisdom Ways, Orbis Books   New York 2001

 

Thank you, Lisa.

It is a term that has superseded “PATRIARCHY” as such.

So, I will continue doing so for the remainder of the Lent season.  It’s not that I have never read or written on  feminist or womanist theology before, I did take two courses on Womanist theologies, but their words remained important yet truly never at the center of my work.  As a Black, heterosexual, (some would say traditional on social issues) male, I felt disturbed by the recent trend on biblio-blogs and theo-blogs with the lack of recognition for women.  Already I feel that my theology is shifting a bit, and re-reading Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza last week has renewed my hermeneutic of suspicion.  I feel guilty for not going to an Ash Wednesday service, but to make up for it, please enjoy this piece on the lives of women, from Women IN Theology, An Ash Wednesday Reflection.

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