Kyriarchy ("rule by a lord"; from the Greek κύριος/kyrios "lord, master" and αρχή/arche "authority, leadership") is a social system or set of connecting social systems built around domination, oppression, and submission. The word itself is a neologism or new term coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to describe interconnected, interacting, and self-extending systems of domination and submission, in which a single individual might be oppressed in some relationships and privileged in others. It is an intersectional extension of the idea of patriarchy beyond gender. Kyriarchy encompasses sexism, racism, economic injustice, and other forms of dominating hierarchy in which the subordination of one person or group to another is internalized and institutionalized.
Structural positions 
Schüssler Fiorenza (2009) describes interdependent "stratifications of gender, race, class, religion, heterosexualism, and age" as structural positions assigned at birth. She suggests that people inhabit several positions, and that positions with privilege become nodal points through which other positions are experienced. For example, in a context where gender is the primary privileged position (e.g., patriarchy), gender becomes the nodal point through which sexuality, race, and class are experienced. In a context where class is the primary privileged position (i.e., classism), gender and race are experienced through class dynamics.
Schüssler Fiorenza writes about the interaction between kyriarchy and critical theories as such:
kyriocentric rhetoric of Euro-American elite men does not simply reinforce the dominance of the male sex, but it legitimates the imperial "White Father" or, in black idiom, the enslaving "Boss-Man" as the universal subject. By implication, any critical theory
— be it critical race, feminist, liberationist, or Marxist theory — that articulates gender, class, or race difference as a primary and originary difference masks the complex interstructuring of kyriarchal dominations inscribed in
the subject positions of individual wo/men and in the status positions of dominance and subordination between
wo/men. It also masks the participation of white elite wo/men, or better "ladies," and of Christian religion in kyriarchal oppression, insofar as both have served as civilizing colonialist
conduits of kyriarchal knowledges, values, and culture.
Tēraudkalns (2003) suggests that these structures of oppression are self-sustained by internalized oppression; those with relative power tend to remain in power, while those without tend to remain disenfranchised.
The term was coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in 1992 when she published her book, But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretation. It is derived from the Greek words κύριος or kyrios (lord or master) and ἄρχω or archō (to lead, rule, govern).
See also 
- ^ a b Kwok, Pui-lan (2009). "Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Postcolonial Studies". Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (Indiana University Press) 25 (1): 191–197. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- ^ a b c Tēraudkalns, Valdis (2003). "Construction of Masculinities in Contemporary Christianity". In Cimdiņa, Ausma. Religion and political change in Europe: past and present. PLUS. pp. 223–232. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- ^ a b c d e f g Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth (2009). "Introduction: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Gender, Status and Ethnicity in Early Christian Studies". In Nasrallah, Laura; Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth. Prejudice and Christian beginnings: investigating race, gender, and ethnicity in early Christian studies. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- ^ Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth (2001). "Glossary". Wisdom Ways: Introducing Feminist Biblical Interpretation. New York: Orbis Books. Retrieved 2006-02-17.