Progressive Islam(s) in the West, particularly in Canada and the US, have been defined as movements that primarily encompass Islamic feminism(s), LGBTQI affirming movements, anti-Conservative theologies, feminist theologies, women-centered liturgies, etc. From within this umbrella, we have seen calls to embrace women-led prayers, women-only spaces, LGBTIQ inclusive and affirming mosques and practices like ijtihad, which are said to be useful in breaking away from Conservative understandings of Islam. All in all, Progressive movements often depict themselves as “reformers” within a paradigm that is usually conceived to be dominated by Orthodox theologies and attitudes mainly driven by Saudi Arabia and Iran.
However, to what degree are Progressive movements truly inclusive? Are they as “radical” as they have been made out to be? Are Progressive spaces any safer for women and trans-women? Are Progressives free of misogyny and violence? Continue reading “Progressive Islam: A Critical View from Latin Muslim Feminists by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente & Eren Cervantes-Altamirano”
I came to the United States in 1984 to begin my doctoral studies at Harvard Divinity School. It was an exciting time to do feminist theology and religious studies. Womanist ethics just began to emerge, as Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon has just completed a dissertation on the subject at Union Theological Seminary in 1983. I count it as a blessing that she was teaching at the Episcopal Divinity School, just on the other side of the Cambridge Common.
The mid-1980s saw the paradigm shifts in feminist studies in religion, as womanist, mujerista/Latina, Asian and Asian American women began to articulate their own theological understanding. If Womanspirit Rising (1979) was a reference text for our field, which contained essays by white women, we had the first reader by radical women of color, This Bridge Called Our Back(1981).
We began to discuss multiple oppressions and multiple identities, and the need to integrate race, class, and gender into our analyses. We challenged white women who have universalized their middle-class, white experience as if women were all the same. Continue reading “A Next Wave of Scholarship By Kwok Pui Lan”