Establishing a Framework for Female-Gendered Embodiment

This study establishes an ontological framework for defining female-gendered embodiment, proposing a definition which is scripturally grounded and ontologically based. If a woman does not comprehend her essential purpose and ontological nature, she may perform duties and responsibilities, but the richness of her living within her God-given design will be diminished—to the detriment of the individual, the family, the church, and society as a whole. Likewise, women, families, and churches will suffer when women are communicated an incomplete definition of their ontological meaning (e.g., a strictly functionally based or roles-derived meaning or a strictly biological definition). Though gender is the central topic of much present-day evangelical scholarship, evangelical scholars typically do not have a shared, working definition of the term. This research articulates a theological paradigm to identify female-gendered embodiment and establishes a framework to define female-gendered embodiment ontologically. The proposed, original taxonomy of gendered embodiment presents some potential accomplishments by (1) affirming the ontological value and dignity of women, (2) extricating ontological meaning from function or role, (3) vindicating common human properties from gender-specific ownership, and (4) beginning the work of exonerating the concept of genderedness from both involuntary assignment and voluntary orientation. The proposed framework serves to foster cross-boundary discussions toward the objective of defining female-gendered embodiment within theological anthropology.

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