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Contradictions, Contextuality, and Conceptuality: Why Is It That Luther Is Not a Feminist?
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“Language, Sex, and Luther: Feminist Observations”

Office of the Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, IL 60631, USA
Religions 2020, 11(2), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020083
Received: 29 December 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2020 / Accepted: 2 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luther’s theology and Feminism)
Reading Luther from a feminist perspective reveals paradoxes and ambiguities in Luther’s writings related to language and sex, but we cannot make sense of Luther without important historical information, particularly the history of the meaning of sex; it affords a fresh reading of Luther. Even while Luther reinforces male-identified language and symbolism, he begins to shift it, and his work offers clues relevant to theological dialogue on the androcentrism of the Christian tradition 500 years into the ongoing reformation of Christianity. Because of the power dynamics infused in Western accounts of sex, gender, and sexuality for humans, Christians cannot in good faith cling to a primary gender or sex identity for God. More careful English translations demonstrate Luther is a resource in this work because he begins to shift an androcentric view of God and humanity even while paradoxically repeating it. Previous English translations of Luther have obscured his shifts in language and imagery and thus have led English readers to misunderstand Luther’s subtle but powerful views.
Keywords: feminist; Lutheran; language; sex; gender; father; son feminist; Lutheran; language; sex; gender; father; son
MDPI and ACS Style

Streufert, M.J. “Language, Sex, and Luther: Feminist Observations”. Religions 2020, 11, 83.

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