Redeeming Gender argues that the problems about sexuality which continue to sap the churches’ energies are really about gender. The dominant understanding of women’s bodies in the Christian West has been that they are inferior versions of the superior male body. This ‘one-sex model’ of the human body was replaced during the Enlightenment with a model of two opposite sexes. However, both models are inadequate for a theological or a secular understanding of the sexed body. In this innovative work, Adrian Thatcher envisages relations between women and men no longer blighted by long-term patriarchy, androcentrism and sexism in church and world, but redeemed from these structural sins by the grace of Jesus Christ.
Dissected into two parts, Part One explains the legacy of both the one-sex and two-sex theories. It uncovers the one-sex theory and its assumptions, and indicates its presence in early Christian thought. It then describes what happened in our social, intellectual and theological history, which leaves us thinking that there are two sexes. In Part Two, Thatcher contributes to an emerging theology of gender in which women and men are fully and equally valued, and in which sexual difference (insofar as it exists at all), is capable of transformation into joyful communion, reflecting the very life of God the Holy Trinity. He exposes the reliance of much Church and theological teaching about sex and gender either on biblical proof texts or upon the language and nomenclature of late modernity, rather than upon considerations of Theology and Christology. Thatcher also indicates how Theology and Christology, in the area of gender, envisions the redemption of human relationships.