Eschatology and women's equality: resolving the Pentecostal gender paradox

Dutko, Joseph Lee (2022). Eschatology and women's equality: resolving the Pentecostal gender paradox. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study critically assesses the relationship between women’s equality and eschatology in the Pentecostal movement. For over one hundred years the role of women in Pentecostalism has been debated without a firm consensus. The two competing impulses of the liberation and the exclusion of women in Pentecostal churches has been described numerous ways, including as the so-called Pentecostal “gender paradox.” This paradox has existed, thrived, and remained due to the lack of a consistent authorizing hermeneutic for the equal ministry of Pentecostal women, despite historical evidence to the contrary. No comprehensive argument exists that applies a single, integrated, unified method across each of the areas of Pentecostal history, hermeneutics, theology, and ecclesiology. Without a convincing methodological approach that incorporates these disciplines, hermeneutical inconsistency concerning the place of women in Pentecostal leadership will continue, and the paradox will persist. By examining gender solely through an eschatological lens in history, Scripture, and praxis, this work argues that eschatology provides a valid critical approach in the Pentecostal gender debate because it resolves the gender paradox by providing a consistent hermeneutic that authorizes the unrestricted ministry of women. Rather than perpetuate the gender paradox, an eschatological basis for women’s equality has the potential to reawaken the Pentecostal eschatological imagination and to reimagine gender praxis in Pentecostal churches. This thesis therefore provides a valuable and creative contribution to one of the most important theological and global issues of our time, women’s (in)equality. It is also one of the first comprehensive studies to approach a single social issue solely through an eschatological lens and to provide attention to developing a thorough and methodologically-connected eschatological praxis. By uncovering the unified eschatological-egalitarian narrative thread within both the Pentecostal and biblical story, this work suggests that the present end of women’s inequality begins with fidelity to the future eschaton of gender equality.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology


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