Where Is Women’s Wisdom in the Life of the Church? A Feminist Perspective on the International Theological Commission’s “Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church”
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award Second-Place Winner
This article is a feminist critique of the International Theological Commission's “Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church.” Using examples from women's experiences as Roman Catholic Church members in the Global South, the author illustrates that although women are active in the church, their participation remains restricted. Within this context, the article assesses whether the “Sensus Fidei” delivers a positive message for women. While the document renders support for women's wisdom, it nevertheless maintains two limitations from church tradition that can be detrimental to women. First, the epistemological framework of classical theology foundational in “Sensus Fidei” hampers the recognition of other rationalities. Second, the instruments of consultation the document expounds remain insufficient for ensuring lay participation in decision making. The author proposes a sapiential worldview and power-with-others structure as means by which to improve women's political status in the church and unleash their wisdom.
Back to Volume 32, Number 2