Maggi Dawn, Dean of Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology and Literature in the Divinity School at Yale, blogs about reading women theologians, and not just for their perspective on women’s issues. She cautions against assuming that men present ‘neutral’ theology, and that women provide less important secondary information solely from their perspective as women.
From the blog:
When people ask about “women theologians” the subtext is often “I need to read about “women’s issues” in theology so I need a female author”. But the most interesting women’s voices in theology are not necessarily writing about “women’s issues” per se, they are simply writing theology. Certainly their experience of theology may be coloured by the fact they are a woman. But there is something insidious about assuming that women are there to add “women’s issues” to what is otherwise “neutral” theology. It implies that theology written by men (mostly white men, incidentally) is neutral theology, while women add the “on-the-side issues” that are not central. But in fact, no one gives you neutral theology.
These stereotypes and assumptions are common in many disciplines and areas of study, from the arts to the sciences; women are often assumed to be speaking almost solely about their experience as women, and not as authorities or experts in the same way that men are.
Originally inspired by a tweet from a theologian who had no books by women authors in their collection, she created an extensive list from her bookshelf and crowd-sourcing on Twitter. You can read more of her thoughts and the extensive list–and add to it in the comments–on her self-titled blog.