Dualities is an important book. It represents a contribution to the field of Hindu Christian studies, but it also adds considerably to women's studies in religion and to the emergent field of comparative theology. Michelle Voss Roberts has managed to treat with sensitivity and creativity two enigmatic figures, each from long ago and far away (from us and from each other), and each from two dramatically different religious traditions. What is remarkable about this study is that Voss Roberts manages to introduce us to the basic shape of both of these women's thought while at the same time pursuing a very contemporary, sophisticated stream of theological reasoning relevant to postmodern concerns about multiplicity, relationality and change as constitutive characteristics of divinity. A dedicated scholar of either one of these figures -- or of the tradition and time she inhabited -- may object that Voss Roberts is dabbling in anachronism by putting her figures to work in a theological agenda that neither woman would recognize. This is true. But the same can be said of biblical texts, patristic figures, and other ancient writers who labor in the pages of contemporary theologies. The fact that such use seems more obvious in a comparative theological project -- due perhaps to the inevitable disjunctures between the philosophical and religious presuppositions at work between the different traditions and cultures -- does not negate the mining of ancient texts for contemporary projects, it just illuminates the challenges of doing so.
Schneider, Laurel C.
"Michelle Voss Roberts' "Dualities","
Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies:
Vol. 24, Article 4.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7825/2164-6279.1481