Friday Feminist – Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza

Cross posted

Kyriarchy – a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and derived from the Greek words for “lord” or “master” (kyrios) and “to rule or dominate” (archein) which seeks to redefine the analytic category of patriarchy in terms of multiplicative intersecting structures of domination. Kyriarchy is a socio-political system of domination in which elite educated propertied men hold power over wo/men and other men. Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.

Patriarchy – Literally means the rule of the father and is generally understood within feminist discourses in a dualistic sense as asserting the domination of all men over all women in equal terms. The theoretical adequacy of patriarchy has been challenged because, for instance, black men do not have control over white wo/men and some women (slave/mistresses) have power over subaltern women and men (slaves).

From the glossary of Wisdom Ways. The glossary was prepared by Laura Beth Bugg.

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Wisdom Ways, 2001

As far as I can tell, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza first used the term, kyriarchy, in Bread, Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation, first published in 1985, republished in 1995. I will try to track it down, hopefully for a future Friday Feminist.

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