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Visions of Justice, the Question of Immortality: A Study of the Nature of Oppression and Liberation in the work of Rosemary Radford Ruether and Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki

Martin, Anne Marie
June 4, 2015

Source: (1997) Ph.D. dissertation, Religious Studies, School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University, Canada. Downloaded 28 February 2005.

This thesis examines the ways in which two Christian, feminist theologians, Rosemary Radford Ruether and Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki understand the relationship between liberation, the fulfillment of justice and the concept of an immortal self. Central to this discussion are Suchocki’s and Ruether’s differing views of immortality. Suchocki argues that without subjective immortality (the possibility of continuing to experience some form of “life” after death as a subjective centre of consciousness) there can be no justice.
Ruether, however, contends that the concept of an immortal self is the root of injustice.
While Ruether reproaches the concept of subjective immortality, this thesis shows that she nevertheless defends a form of “objective” immortality (that all that occurs within the creation is taken up within the divine)….
I conclude that while both Suchocki’s and Ruether’s theologies are driven by a concern for justice, Suchocki provides a better understanding of the nature of oppression which results in injustice, and a better understanding of liberation as the fulfillment of justice. I, moreover, conclude that while for the most part the concept of subjective immortality has been viewed as anathema by feminist theology, Suchocki’s view of subjective immortality may in fact open up the possibility of reassessing the concept of an immortal self within feminist theology as not only consistent with but as an aid to developing its own deepest concems for liberation and justice. Author’s abstract.


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