Standing in the midst of confusion among disparate views within feminist theology, a woman in the church can feel torn between honoring her dignity as a person and honoring her faith. She hears a cacophony of voices screaming for liberation and reform that have risen from the oppression of misogyny, omission and amputation from the Christian tradition and Scripture as the result of an androcentric church history and structure. The division among these feminist voices, ranging from reform to dismantling or vacating the Christian faith altogether, can leave a woman in the church questioning Scripture, tradition, roles, and even Jesus himself as she tries to answer the beautiful and haunting words of Christ, “Who do you say that I am?”
However, another voice, a silent one, from the antiquity of Scripture waits to impart an important, enriching message for women followers of Christ – a message of true liberation and empowerment to discipleship, and a way of being in the church regardless of its structures. Mary of Bethany can model, even for today, a disposition that transcends gender and structures. Through Mary’s example and relationship with Jesus, a woman in the church can be inspired to navigate the confusion and patriarchy by putting her focus on Jesus and embracing the will of God over and above the structure of any system, including the church.
Kiefer, Karen M.. 2014. Silent Liberation: Navigating Feminist Theology through the Christological Lens of Mary of Bethany. Obsculta 7, (1) : 61-86. https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/obsculta/vol7/iss1/7.