Sin and Evil in Feminist Thought
By Christine M. Smith
Christine M. Smith is Associate Professor of Preaching at United
Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She is the author of Weaving the Sermon: Preaching in a Feminist Perspective (1989) and Preaching as Weeping, Confessing, and Resistance: Radical Responses to
Radical Evil (1 992).
"Praxis is central to feminist thought and theology. It is not enough simply to speak or to write about sin and evil if our
theologies do not lead to change and transformation. Feminist theology takes as its starting point concrete human suffering and oppression and, then, builds theologies in response to that human reality."
For the past three decades, women across theological disciplines have sought to articulate distinctive insights about sin and evil that arise out of
women's experiences, world views, and belief systems. The work of one particular woman opened the door for new theological thinking about sin to emerge. In 1960, Valerie Saiving wrote an article titled "The
Human Situation: A Feminine View."1 This appears to be the first time that traditional understandings of sin were critically identified as exclusive reflections of male experience and a woman's insights about sin were clearly asserted:
...[T]he temptations of woman as woman are not the same as the temptations of man as man, and the specifically feminine forms of sin ...
have a quality which can never be encompassed by such terms as "pride" and "will to power." They are better suggested by such terms as triviality, distractibility, and diffuseness; lack of an
organizing center or focus; dependence on others for one's self-definition; tolerance at the expense of standards of excellence ... in short, underdevelopment or negation of the Self.2
To suggest that the negation of the self was uniquely women's sinfulness, while pride was men's, was a shocking departure from traditional theological
Twenty years later, Judith Plaskow built on Saiving's constructive work in her dissertation, Sex, Sin and Grace: Women's Experience and the Theologies
of Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich.3 Even though Plaskow brought a much more sophisticated understanding of women's enculturation into the discussion and exclusively focused on the work of two particular theologians, she joined Saiving in pressing beyond the universal claims that white males had made for centuries regarding human sin.
These two critiques became foundational for further feminist thought in two important ways: First, they exposed the limitations and partiality of
theological doctrine and beliefs and challenged theologians to be more particular and specific in their constructs and thinking. Second, they confronted the universal claims of white, middle class males as
inappropriate, irrelevant, and ultimately oppressive. Both writers challenged many prior assumptions about theological methodology and content. Even though they did not always voice their claims in these terms,
their work suggested by implication that theological assertions are in fact particular, not universal; contextualized in concrete human reality, not abstraction; and, when unexamined, often perpetuate oppressive
power distortions in our human relations, not relations of equity and justice.
To be sure, other women writers were making their own contributions to the discussion between the years of 1960 and 1980, but these two pieces of work
provided a foundation upon which diverse feminist thought about sin and evil could be constructed. I want to turn now to some of that thought, charting a few of the distinctive contributions feminists have made to
renaming and reimaging sin and evil. There is no uniformity in the thought of feminist thinkers on either of these important topics. Even though there may be points of similarity, it is this particularity of thought
that is precisely one of the most important contributions feminist theologians make in response to the theological task. In the process of looking at these contributions critically, I will suggest places for further
work and challenges that await us.
In a fascinating way, Mary Daly stretched feminist thinking about sin in her 1973 book Beyond God The Father. She did not construct a systematic
critique of traditional understandings of sin from within Christian thought. Rather, in a somewhat iconoclastic fashion, she invited women to break out of the practical implications of that thought:
The first salvific moment for any woman comes when she perceives the reality of her "original sin," that is, internalization of blame and
guilt.... However, it is understood that the "sin" is inherited through socialization processes. It is the inherited burden of being condemned to live out the role of "the Other." The fault
should not be seen as existing primarily in victimized individuals, but rather in demonic power structures which induce individuals to internalize false identities.4
In an attempt to move women to participate in their own and each other's liberation from the oppression of sexism and the injustices of patriarchal
culture, Daly goes on to name some of the side effects of this original sin: (1) Psychological paralysis-the general feeling of hopelessness, guilt, and anxiety over any kind of social disapproval; (2) feminine
antifeminism-women's disapproval and hostility toward other women who threaten present power structures; (3) false humility-imposing on the self a strange and ambivalent fear of success; (4) emotional dependence-a
rigid following of rules, unhealthy relational attachments, and lack of free thought and creativity.5
If all theological thinking is contextualized and particular, then it is essential to remember that Daly's primary agenda is the eradication of sexism.
She constructs her theological and philosophical agenda with a persistent focus on the oppression of women and, then, points to possible steps toward personal and social liberation. In this context, Daly is
suggesting that, for women, sin is the enculturated and internalized false identity of "the Other" and women's individual and collective unwillingness to resist psychological paralysis, feminine
antifeminism, false humility, and emotional dependence. In the "Original Reintroduction" that was written some thirteen years later (1985) she even suggests in one of her footnotes that, "Elemental
being outside the father's rule(s) is Sinning; it requires the Courage to Sin."6 Because Daly holds women accountable for how they will respond to their own original sin, she comes perilously close to "blaming the victim," even though she suggests that women have been forced to be complicit in the original sin they have inherited.
One of the most significant contributions Daly made to feminist thought was boldly to locate her reflections about sin within a much larger discussion of
the transformation of patriarchy. For women to eradicate sexism, they must understand original sin not as disobedience or pride, but internalization of blame and guilt. And finally, women must respond to this
experience of sin with acts of "sinful" resistance and movements that will build the communal power of sisterhood, rather than responding with acts of repentance and relinquishment.
In the past decade, as greater numbers of women theologians have added their voices to the discussion of sin and evil, several points of similarity have
surfaced in the midst of ever-increasing diversity: (1) Most feminist women are highly suspicious and critical of individualistic, privatized understandings of human immorality/morality that have so dominated
discussions about sin; (2) there has been a persistent shift from sin and evil being defined as pride, disobedience, idolatry, and alienation to sin and evil as a violation of right relation,7 a sign of
our brokenheartedness,8 a betrayal of trust,9 the reign of injustice,10 the consequence of disparities of power,11 and as tyrannical systems of oppression;12 (3) many feminist writers push beyond the individualism of sin by concentrating their primary work on naming and defining the more corporate, systemic reality of evil; (4) increasing care has been given to naming the social location of the theologian and the specific human contexts that give rise to every particular and nuanced expression of evil or sin.
Four women have made distinctive, constructive contributions to new feminist/womanist13 understandings of sin and evil: Rita Nakashima Brock, Katie Cannon, Mary Potter Engel, and Carter Heyward. It is important to note however, that these women have not always made their contributions explicitly. What contemporary writers say about sin and evil, and what they choose not to say, has significance for the discussion. Some feminist/womanist writers do not use, and perhaps have never used, the explicit concept of sin in their writing (Katie G. Cannon). Other women write in a very focused way on the interconnected relationship of sin and evil (Mary Potter Engel). Still other writers name and articulate dimensions of sin and evil as a part of much larger theological agendas (Carter Heyward and Rita Nakashima Brock). All approaches make their own particular contribution.
Rita Nakashima Brock, in her book Journeys by Heart, develops a significant critique of traditional Christian understandings of sin as one
dimension of her larger constructive work in forging a new christology. Believing that sin frequently has been aligned with blame, punishment, and guilt, she suggests a much more self-accepting and potentially
I am suggesting that sinfulness is neither a state that comes inevitably with birth nor something that permeates all human existence, but a symptom of
the unavoidably relational nature of human existence through which we come to be damaged and damage others.... Hence sin is a sign of our brokenheartedness, of how damaged we are, not of how evil, willfully
disobedient, and culpable we are. Sin is not something to be punished, but something to be healed.14
Brock shifts the conversation away from original sin, and the qualitative judgments theologians have been making for centuries about whether human beings
are basically good or evil, to a probing examination of the ways our fragility and finitude damage ourselves and others. This movement enables and compels human beings to take greater responsibility for seeing the
historical and social realities of sin and evil and holding one another accountable for damage inflicted. In contrast, traditional notions of original sin propel us to look outward for some redemptive, saving
transformation. "The existence of that category requires us to misplace divine incarnation and human redemption in someone else's perfection and heroic action, or in a power outside ourselves that helps us
transcend the concrete realities of our lives."15 This act of transcending the concrete realities of our damaging acts and the depth of our own brokenheartedness is exactly one of the critical departure points of feminist thought. Feminist theologians are trying to construct theologies of sin and evil that call human beings into accountability and to provide clues about what redemptive and saving human work might look like in response to our limited human character. Attempting to transcend that humanity is a part of the problem, not a part of the faithful response.
Brock's basic definition comes very close to my own theological commitment. Human beings are not basically good or evil; we are simply human beings. This
implies tremendous potential for good and unrelenting potential for evil, all resulting from human limitation, not original sin. The concept of original sin suggests something basically flawed or evil by nature, not
simply limited. The major place I depart from Brock's language and naming is in her use of the word healing. Healing seems a problematic concept when applied to corporate and collective evil. Transformation and
radical structural change seem more applicable to systems of oppression and injustice than does healing. In our culture, concepts of healing have emerged so strongly from within the psychological world, they seem to
suggest dimensions of human experience that pertain to the private world of individuals. It is true that many individuals need to be healed, and we need also equally strong and appropriate language to describe what
must happen in response to systemic and widespread evil.
It is always dangerous, and perhaps presumptuous, to draw upon a writer by implication. The importance of Katie G. Cannon's work in Black Womanist
Ethics, however, challenges me to move beneath what she says explicitly to discover what she implies about sin and evil. The power and confrontation of her work are overwhelming. Here is a woman who focuses our
attention on sin and evil, not with an explicit critique or discussion of sin and evil but by painfully charting the concrete oppression and suffering that flow from it in the lives of African American women. Within
her larger agenda of constructing
new ethical paradigms and praxis from the lived moral agency of African American women, we are stretched into new categories and insights.
Cannon's work names evil as tyrannical systems of oppression, white supremacy, male superiority, economic exploitation, and gender discrimination.16 Also, she moves us into new ways of understanding moral and ethical behavior, which have everything to do with sin and evil. "Black women's analysis and appraisal of what is right or wrong and good or bad develops out of the various coping mechanisms related to the conditions of their own cultural circumstances."17 African American women have been forced to live out their lives in the realm of survival, not freedom, and this truth shifts and changes every category of theological thought. Cannon suggests that Black women have lived out their moral agency through invisible dignity, quiet grace, and unshouted courage.18 Because it is not Cannon's agenda, we do not know explicitly how she might construct theologies of sin and evil related to these categories. One can only raise important questions of possibility. Might sin be those moments of human decision and action when, out of human limitation, Black women are unable to live with dignity, grace, and courage, or does this still subtly continue to locate blame and guilt in the lives of people who are already fundamentally oppressed? In Cannon's ethic, is sin and evil primarily the responsibility of people of privilege who have the power to inflict suffering and injustice? And finally, because Cannon's work is so focused on African American women's lives and the larger African American community in which they exist, 1, as a white woman, can only imagine how sin might be conceptualized within this community. I wonder how sin, damage, negation of self, and brokenheartedness find their expression within the lives of this oppressed people. Do sin and violation relate to ruptures in community loyalty and solidarity in some distinctive way? How do African Americans hold each other accountable for damage done to one another out of profound internalized self-hatred? Within the community, is sin or evil ever understood as unwillingness to resist, or complicity with white structures of oppression, or denial and rage? The concreteness of Cannon's work, and the strength of its particularity, force us to ask questions of equal specificity about sin and evil as they relate to lives and communities of African American women.
Just as some traditional understandings of sin have often focused on blame, guilt, and punishment, many of those formulations also have provided a firm
foundation on which silence and denial thrive within our collective life. In an article titled "Evil, Sin, and Violation of the Vulnerable," Mary Potter Engel begins to construct a new understanding of sin
from the perspective of a theology of liberation from sexual and domestic abuse. Sin and evil are fundamentally intertwined in Engel's thought. "Evil, as Latin American liberation theology has taught us, is
systemic.... By contrast, sin refers to those free, discrete acts of responsible individuals that create or reinforce these structures of oppression."19 Sin and evil reinforce each other and are interrelated at every turn.
Engel explores four dimensions of a new understanding of sin that contribute to a liberating theology in response to violence against women, all of which
are important to breaking the silence surrounding violence. She renames sin as distortion of feeling, as betrayal of trust, as lack of care, and as lack of consent to vulnerability.20
Christian theologies have argued that it is sinful to be angry and resistant. Human beings are to be self-sacrificing, slow to anger, and always loving.
This definition of sin and its implications for righteous human behavior leave victimized women blaming themselves for the violence inflicted upon them. Women believe that, if they had been more self-giving, less
angry, and more loving, violence would not have occurred. Traditional understandings of sin have robbed women and men of the power and impact of righteous indignation and healthy anger. Anger and resistance have
been portrayed as the epitome of sin. In defining sin as distortion of feeling, Engel makes two important theological moves. She shifts responsibility to perpetrators who distort and shatter right relation while
simultaneously encouraging women to express anger, indignation, and resistance in their own lives in ways that help them terminate violence. For Engel, sin is corporate in nature. The moral indifference of religious
communities is named as the sin of distorted feelings. Sin as distortion of feeling, or passive acceptance, demands that we break into the cycle of violence with outrage and resistance.21
Christian theology has also suggested that sin has to do with the prideful arrogance of disobedience and self-love. These understandings have kept many
women and children silenced in their own victimization and have kept religious communities believing that this suffering is necessary and righteous. Here again, Engel makes two very helpful theological moves. She
suggests that sin is the act of betraying trust, not the act of disobedience. She also shifts the definition of sin from self-love to a lack of care. Through both suggestions, she helps us understand that the sin of
perpetrators is the betrayal of a trusted relationship and that the sin of women caught in the web of violence is a willingness to participate in their own victimization.22
Engel finally names sin as lack of consent to vulnerability. "Trained to ignore, deny, and fear their own dependence, vulnerability, and fragility
(often understood as impotence), many men (and women) learn contempt for whatever is weak."23 This contempt leads to abusive uses of power and authority and the denial of human vulnerability at all costs. This is where Engel and Brock would find a strong point of connection. Both feminist writers are suggesting that much of what is damaging in our human relations springs from a profound denial and fear of our human finitude and an unwillingness to be accountable for the evil we participate in while steeped in that denial. Human beings are unable to consent to their extreme vulnerability as surely as they are unwilling to face the level of their own brokenheartedness. Both of these theologians suggest that unwillingness and inability have profound alienating and oppressive results while simultaneously acknowledging the myriad forms of oppression that prevent human beings from expressing genuine vulnerability.
Carter Heyward has been constructing a theology of right relation for over a decade. In the process of struggling with what that salvific goodness might
look like in our common life, she has also been attentive to the very real power of sin and evil.
Living creative/liberating lives as individuals does not eliminate, of course, the problem of alienation. From a traditional christian perspective, this
is the problem of original sin-the vast, global character of structures of domination and subjugation that permeate the foundations of our life together. But our personal relational efforts toward liberation can
empower us to resist the evil generated by our lack of mutuality, our sin, and can contribute to the cultivation of a sacred realm of right relation that is both here and not here yet.24
Like Engel, Heyward confronts us with the absolute connections between sin and evil. Evil is the corporate, systemic, and global manifestation of our
sin. Sin is that which distorts and destroys right relation.
Central to the particularity and concreteness of Heyward's work about right relation, and about sin and evil, is the fact that she writes as a lesbian
woman within the Christian church. Once again, we see that sin and evil, as with all theological categories, must be contextualized. In Heyward's most recent book, Touching Our Strength, she locates her work
within a continued critique of sexism in general, and a critique of heterosexism in particular.25 She sees heterosexism as a systemic expression of oppression, fundamentally connected to other systems of injustice such as sexism, classism, and ageism. These systemic forms of oppression are expressions of evil and reflect our inability to enter into right and mutual relation. "In feminist liberation theology, good and evil are at root systemic problems: racism is evil, antiracist struggle is good; heterosexism is evil, working for sexual and gender justice is good."26
A significant contribution of Heyward's theological work is her commitment to expose and reveal all the links between various forms of systemic
oppression. In her effort to name clearly what mutual, right relation looks like, she urges us to name and identify all of the myriad ways this reality is damaged and subverted. Her work on sin and evil is as
nuanced and context specific in relation to her critique of heterosexist oppression as is Engel's work on violence and abuse. Yet her category of right relation is broad enough to allow us to look critically at
other forms of oppression. Accountability and praxis are dominant challenges that emerge from her work. We are given a salvific category, right relation, out of which the human community must take responsibility for
naming and resisting all expressions of human behavior that distort and destroy that possibility.
Probing the work of Brock, Cannon, Engel, and Heyward gives us particular insights into sin and evil from feminist/womanist perspectives. It is also
important at least to note the distinctive perspectives of Karen Lebacqz, Susan Thistlethwaite, and Beverly Harrison. Without making sin and evil her primary focus, Karen Lebacqz, in Justice in an Unjust World,
speaks passionately about a world of oppression and injustice. "Rupture is the reality of most of the world. We live in a web of ruination and injustice."27 Her use of rupture to describe the basic world reality suggests clear, implicit links with the ways many feminists speak about sin and evil. Her chapter "Rue: Christian Complicity" is a stinging confrontation of Christianity as one of the most complicit forces in worldwide oppression and suffering. She gives evil very particular faces: racism (Christians and racial injustice), rape (Christians and sexual injustice), repression (Christians and political injustice), robbery (Christians and economic injustice), removal (Christians and cultural injustice), rhetoric (Christians and verbal injustice), and ruination (Christians and the web of injustice).28
In a very provocative book, Sex, Race, and God, Susan Thistlethwaite attempts to bring black and white women into serious dialogue about their
vast differences. On the book flap, she poses a question that informs the entire project: "What happens when the differences between black and white women become the starting point for white feminist
theology?"29 She includes chapters on grace, God, creation, and an especially important chapter on the human self and sin. Once again, remaining true to particularity, Thistlethwaite attempts to name sin as it specifically relates to white women in a white supremacist culture. She confronts white women with what many of us have known for a very long time but do not want to hear. "As a member of the white women's movement, I have not confronted the terror of difference. I have sought to obliterate it in connections."30 She goes on to affirm many of the skills white women have learned in making relational and social connections, yet she ultimately leaves us confronted when she says, "This learning has its strengths, but in relation to cultural and racial difference, it should be defined as sin for white women."31 Here is yet another feminist writer who has so particularized the praxis of sin that it has the possibility of informing and transforming our ethical and moral behavior.
As a feminist ethicist, Beverly Harrison has confronted and transformed many feminist/womanist voices with her sophisticated social analysis and
uncompromising ability to link all systems of human oppression. In Making the Connections, she speaks about evil always in the context of naming and describing it. She has enabled women and men to discern
more clearly how individual sin grows into corporate evil:
Human alienation and sin live on so ferociously from one generation to the next because evil, injustice, or wrong and distorted social relationships are
patterned or institutionalized over time.... Evil is the consequence of disparities of power because where disparity of power is great, violence or control by coercion is the predominant mode of social interaction.
Evil, in this reading, is the active or passive effort to deny or suppress another's power-of-being-in-relation.32
For Harrison, one cannot speak about sin without evil, and one cannot understand either apart from patterned historical and social relations and systems.
In helping the human community understand more fully the tenacious and institutionalized dynamics of sin and evil, she allows us to become clearer about the kind of radical change that is needed in order to
transform these dimensions of our human life. No other feminist scholar has influenced my own theological thinking as much as Beverly Harrison. Her bold social analysis, coupled with her new theological thinking,
has made a significant claim on me as feminist theologian and homiletician.
In my own recent work, Preaching As Weeping, Confession, and Resistance: Radical Responses To Radical Evil,33 I seek to probe interlocking systems of oppression through the lens of social analysis and constructive theological reflection. During the past fifteen years, a primary focus of my personal and professional life has been the exploration and analysis of a web of "isms" that structures a foundation of oppression worldwide. As I have come to acknowledge and understand the breadth and depth of oppression in the human
community, I have come to see the interlocking partners of oppression more clearly as handicappism, ageism, sexism, heterosexism, racism, and classism.
My world reality, my theology, my faith, and my preaching have shifted over these years in direct relationship to my deepening analysis and experience of these expressions of oppression. I name this interlocking
mass of oppression "radical evil," a kind of evil that goes to the root of our human life together. Yet, even as I write these words, I am confronted by my own denial for so long. Why has it taken me this
many years to give the name "radical evil" to this web of oppressive structures and systems? I have understood these systems and ideologies as expressions of injustice, as sources of immense suffering,
even as demonic repercussions of human greed, fear, and hatred. It is only now, somewhat overwhelmed and enraged at the magnitude of that reality that confronts us, that I am compelled to name this evil. I have not
wanted to give up my deep, abiding belief that human beings are basically good. I have not wanted to face fully the ultimate questions of how to understand the nature of God and God's relationship to creation in the
midst of such massive human suffering. I have not wanted to relinquish a somewhat naive eschatological hope that the human community is moving toward a day in which justice will prevail. I have not wanted to
experience the deep abyss of human horror, and the haunting silence of indifference. Nor have I wanted to confront the depth and breadth of my own white, North American, middle-class privilege and complicity. These
are some of the dimensions of my theology and faith that have kept me denying and unresponsive.
As we have already noted, evil is particular and concrete, not universal and abstract. Evil always manifests itself with a particular social face. For
example, evil shows itself in handicappism as the fundamental denial of persons with disabilities in our common life. In ageism, evil's face is profound and persistent marginalization. In sexism, it is the constant
physical and emotional violence of misogyny (the hatred of women). Active and vicious condemnation is the face of heterosexism. Supremacy is the lived reality of white racism. And, privilege reveals economic and
class disparity. These are some of the faces and expressions of evil among us.
It is the specificity of these faces of evil that continues to inform and make claims upon feminist theologians. Praxis is central to feminist thought
and theology. It is not enough simply to speak or to write about sin and evil if our theologies do not lead to change and transformation. Feminist theology takes as its starting point concrete human suffering and
oppression and, then, builds theologies in response to that human reality. In my own work, resistance has become the guiding word. Part of our resistance to evil must be work that is theological in nature and content. To provide critiques of theologies of the cross that justify and condone human suffering of every description is an act of resistance. Suggesting that persons with disabilities know and experience God in ways able-bodied persons do not is an act of resistance. Participating in the redemptive work of breaking the silences surrounding rape, incest, and woman battering is an act of resistance. Religious communities participate in resisting evil as they criticize and uproot theologies that undergird it and seek to build new theologies that bring embodied justice into the world. We can only hope that each and every distinctive contribution that feminist and womanist theologians make to a deeper and more concrete understanding of human sin and evil will ultimately give rise to mighty acts of resistance.
1 Valerie Saiving, "The Human Situation: A Feminine View," in Womanspirit Rising:A Feminist Reader in Religion, edited by
Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979), pp. 25-42.
2Ibid., p. 37.
3 Judith Plaskow, Sex, Sin And Grace: Women's Experience and the Theologies
of Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich (New York: University Press of America, 1980).
4Mary Daly, Beyond God The Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), p. 49.
5Ibid., pp. 51-54,
6Ibid., p. xxv.
7 Carter Heyward, Touching Our Strength: The Erotic As Power
and the Love of God (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 190.
8 Rita Nakashima Brock, Journeys by Heart: A Christology of Erotic Power (New York: Crossroad, 1988), p. 7.
9 Mary Potter Engel, "Evil, Sin, and violation of the Vulnerable," Lift
Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from The Underside, edited by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite & Mary Potter Engel (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990), p. 151.
10 Karen Lebacqz, Justice
in an Unjust World: Foundations for a Christian Approach to Justice (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1987), p. 10.
11 Beverly Wildung Harrison, Making the Connections: Essays in Feminist Social Ethics, edited by Carol S. Robb (Boston: Beacon, 1985), p. 154.
12 Katie G. Cannon, Black Womanist Ethics (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), p. 4.
13 Womanist is used throughout the article to describe the distinctive scholarship of African American women who are forging new insights and paradigms across theological disciplines.
14 Brock, Journeys by Heart, p. 7.
15Ibid., p. 9
16 Cannon, Black Womanist Ethics, pp. 2-3.
17Ibid., p. 4.
18 Ibid., chapters IV and V.
19Engel, "Evil, Sin, and Violation of the Vulnerable," p. 155.
20 Ibid., pp. 152-164,
21 Ibid., pp. 156-157,
22 Ibid., pp. 157-162,
23Ibid., p. 162.
24 Heyward, Touching Our Strength, p. 91.
25 I am using heterosexism to denote the systematic denial, domination, and oppression of lesbians and gay men.
26 Heyward, Touching Our Strength, p. 190.
27 Lebacqz, Justice in an Unjust World, p. 36.
28Ibid., pp. 38-50.
29 Susan Thistlethwaite, Sex,
Race, and God.- Christian Feminism in Black and White (New York: Crossroad, 1989), book flap.
30Ibid., p. 89.
31 Ibid., p. 90.
32 Harrison, Making the Connections, p. 154.
33 Christine M. Smith, Preaching
As Weeping, Confession, and Resistance: Radical Responses to Radical Evil (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992).