The Relationship between Second-Wave Feminist Philosophy and Interpretation of Biblical Gender Roles by Entering Seminary Students
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SubjectSex differences--Religious aspects--Christianity.
Sex differences--Biblical teaching.
This dissertation analyzed the relationship between second-wave feminist philosophy and the interpretation of biblical gender roles by entering seminary students in select theological schools accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The study also considered the influence of select demographics (gender, race/ethnic origin, denominational affiliation, state, theological persuasion, and age) upon student beliefs regarding feminism and gender roles. The research design consisted of a descriptive quantitative survey that analyzed responses from two instruments that are both made up of Likert type scales. One survey instrument is entitled the Attitudes Towards Women Scale (AWS), which consists of fifteen questions and was developed in 1978. Another survey instrument that will be administered is entitled the Spiritual Interpretations of Gender Issues Survey (SIGIS) developed in 2005. The research revealed that there is a statistically significant relationship between second-wave feminist philosophy and the interpretation of gender roles, and that the relationship is very strong. The respondents, for the majority, were classified as profeminist, concerning the AWS and also scored complementarian on the SIGIS. This finding exposed a disconnection in espoused theology versus theology-in-practice. The findings are beneficial for educators, who may now be cognizant of generalized student belief regarding the cultural influence of second-wave feminist philosophy. Evangelical seminaries may seek to develop instructional methods that relate to the influence of second-wave feminist philosophy and its relationship with the interpretation of biblical gender roles.