By Lisa Isherwood
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Extra resources for Introducing Body Theology (Introductions in Feminist Theology, 2)
There is an open future of challenge, the challenge of facing diversity rather than fitting into neat prearranged categories. Those who believed they held the power suddenly realize that they do not, but rather that power lies between people and within them as they strive for justice. Beginning theological reflection from the concrete stuff of people's lives and not from some lofty contemplation of an Almighty Absolute is a revolution. Actually placing what we feel and experience in our everyday lives at the heart of how we begin to understand God is a reversal of traditional theological method.
Certainly, during the time that the priestly strand of the Hebrew Scriptures was being formed, Israel was in potentially fatal chaos following the exile and it is therefore understandable, following Douglas's theory, why the priests should have become preoccupied with bodily purity. But there are some flaws in the theory which are drawn out by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, who points out that Douglas never explains why, in light of the fact that Israel was almost constantly under some sort of threat, preoccupation with the body appears to be largely confined to the priests (Eilberg-Schwartz 1997: 34-55).
L. WHY BODY THEOLOGY? 29 consequences that reach into wider society. Women who live outside this institution are largely ignored as real people in society as a whole. Even matters such as credit status can still be a difficult matter if one is not seen to have the backing of a man regardless of one's own financial situation. The perceived security that women feel in monogamous relationships also tends to make them give priority to that relationship and this does not always act in their interests.