In the Beginning, They Were Equal: The Commonalities between the Muslim and Christian Feminist Interpretations of their Sacred Texts
While passages of both the Qur’an and the Bible emphasize the equality of men and women, neither Islam nor Christianity has been able to fully reflect those ideas in practice. Women have minimal (if any) representation in the power structures, fewer opportunities to participate in the faith, and experience sexism through the traditions and practices. To combat this inequity, Muslim and Christian feminists alike (for example, Amina Wadud and Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza) have reinterpreted their sacred texts from a female perspective through emphasis on including women in the narrative, focus on principles over direct rhetoric, and neutral language. Rather than a complete withdrawal from the historically patriarchal faiths, feminist interpretation of the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity provides an avenue for the full, egalitarian participation of women in their religions.