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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Use of the Pronoun She When Referring to God
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Surely God is beyond all our descriptions? Whatever labels we use of God, even those given to us directly by our Lord, capture only a fraction of who and what God is? Therefore we should only call God "he" if we remember that "he" is also "she" and "not-he" at the same time, only "she" if we remember that "she" is also "he" and "not-she".

All of which gives me an excuse to paste one of my favourite quotations again. From one of the great masters of the via negativa, Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, it tries to describe what God is like as God alone (nb. "it" here is referring to God):
quote:
Again, ascending yet higher, we maintain that it is neither soul nor intellect; nor has it imagination, opinion reason or understanding; nor can it be expressed or conceived, since it is neither number nor order; nor greatness nor smallness; nor equality nor inequality; nor similarity nor dissimilarity; neither is it standing, nor moving, nor at rest; neither has it power nor is power, nor is light; neither does it live nor is it life; neither is it essence, nor eternity nor time; nor is it subject to intelligible contact; nor is it science nor truth, nor kingship nor wisdom; neither one nor oneness, nor godhead nor goodness; nor is it spirit according to our understanding, nor filiation, nor paternity; nor anything else known to us or to any other beings of the things that are or the things that are not; neither does anything that is know it as it is; nor does it know existing things according to existing knowledge; neither can the reason attain to it, nor name it, nor know it; neither is it darkness nor light, nor the false nor the true; nor can any affirmation or negation be applied to it, for although we may affirm or deny the things below it, we can neither affirm nor deny it, inasmuch as the all-perfect and unique Cause of all things transcends all affirmation, and the simple pre-eminence of Its absolute nature is outside of every negation- free from every limitation and beyond them all.
Of this passage Charles Williams said:
quote:
It has been said that this is not the kind of being to whom man [sic] can pray; no, but without this revelation there is no sort of thing to whom men can pray, and the orisons of Christendom will be too much circumscribed.


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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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As a lover of the writings of Martin Buber, I agree with Wm Duncan that "thou" may be the best pronoun for God. But we need to rmember that anything we use to refer to Him is metaphorical, because He is beyond all human concepts.

Jesus used the metaphor of a loving Father as our best way to understand God. The modernisers would like to gainsay Him on this subject for fear of offending women. This is PC crap. I always refer to God as Father in prayer, not because I believe he's a man, but because I don't think anyone has come up with a metpahor more beautiful or unifying than that devised by Jesus Himself.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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FatMac

Ship's Macintosh
# 2914

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One of the bones of contention here seems to be the argument between those who say that choosing to use a differently gendered pronoun for God is sexualising God in a way which using the good old gender neutral 'he' is not, and those who say that the good old gender neutral 'he' is no such thing.

Cognitive scientist Douglas Hoftstadter wrote a very useful article which described the 'cognitive slip' between one usage of (nominally male) pronouns and explicit usage of a male pronoun. A great example he gives is that of looking at the evolutionary history of primates and referring to 'Man the hunter'. Now in this context the reference is clearly to the unique hunting skills of humanity (genderless) compared to their primate ancestors or to their contemporary animal competitors. But when you say the phrase, what image comes to mind? Is it a woman standing victoriously over a hunted prey? Or a man? In fact, due to cognitive slip, the phrase 'Man the hunter', quite unconsciously takes on in our minds the subtext 'Male the hunter' as compared to 'Female the gatherer, nuturer or whatevr'.

This is the reason why inclusive language is so important.

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Do not beware the slippery slope - it is where faith resides.
Do not avoid the grey areas - they are where God works.

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Anselmina
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# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH:
The modernisers would like to gainsay Him on this subject for fear of offending women. This is PC crap.

Why do you say that, PaulTh? How do you know what is prompting a particular man or woman to use certain language in their prayer, public or otherwise? If it happened (which it rarely would) that I used a prayer which feminized God's attributes, my motive would certainly not be to avoid offending women. And I would be very disappointed if anyone thought so little of me as to even consider that a possibility. Sinner though I am, I would, I hope, have slightly higher considerations on my mind when leading a congregation in public worship.

In fact, if anything I usually toe the line, because I'm so conscious of how jarring unusual or so-called controversial language can be, and my concern is for the congregation to have as few barriers as possible in their worship experience.

I know it's difficult to credit people with good motives for what they do, when what they do is offensive and unhelpful to one personally. But I'd like to think that I could still regard a fellow Christian charitably even if their method of expressing themselves or their faith was not what I would want it to be.

I'm not saying people never politicize their liturgy or worship, but I'd have to have a lot more convincing evidence, than a few 'she' words here and there, before I was willing to come to the conclusion that someone was praying in such a way to please the PC-brigade and not God.

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH:


Jesus used the metaphor of a loving Father as our best way to understand God. The modernisers would like to gainsay Him on this subject for fear of offending women. This is PC crap. I always refer to God as Father in prayer, not because I believe he's a man, but because I don't think anyone has come up with a metpahor more beautiful or unifying than that devised by Jesus Himself.

I don't know that "Father" is always the best way to understand God - the word and therefore concept, as Linzc said is limited by its gender. And God is more than a father so if we only use that we are limiting our understanding.

What about "Abba"? That is more what Jesus said. I think of Abba as quite different from Father. My middle-eastern pupils really loved that word. It gave them a wholly different feeling about and knowledge of God. But if we're going to stick to "what Jesus said" we have problems with what language we speak to God in.

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London
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mousethief

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# 953

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An excellent and (for the most part) very thoughtful thread, which i will now derail with a totally pointless aside.

When I was taking Philosophy of Religion back as an undergrad (at the University of Washington (Seattle), if you insist on knowing), the professor, whose name I disremember but who spoke with a very thick Scandanavian accent, insisted on referring to God as masculine one week, and feminine the next, throughout the quarter, so as to offend everyone equally.

Offending everyone equally really appeals to me, in a sick and twisted sort of way, so I "helped" him remember which pronoun to use (it was harder during the feminine weeks as he (like most of us in our society, no doubt) had a tendency to default on the masculine)). But most delightful was how it annoyed the fundies and holy rollers. Which was payback for all the times they had told me I "really wasn't saved."

Reader Alexis

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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3M Matt
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# 1675

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quote:
1. To call a "gentle ministering touch" feminine is too steriotypical for me - it can be masculine.
As I wrote it that thought occurred to me, and I had a long hard think before I wrote it about exactly what the "she" meant. If I was saying "she" because I felt the spirit was like a woman (because obviously women are gentle aren't they?) then clearly that would be a sterotype of women.

However, I think, (although I hadn't conciously thought about it) what I meant was that the spirit, in the context of gentleness was feminine and therefore the feminine pronoun was appropriate.

To say women embody gentleness is stereotyping, but to say that femininity embodies gentleness and all those qualities is not sterotyping but archetyping. It is pretty much the definition of what femininity is.

(Yes, I am aware the word feminine has it's roots in the word female...but what I am concerned with is it's meaning as currently used not it's origins.)

It is certianly not true to say that femininity means "What a woman is" otherwise saying "she was a masculine woman" would be an oxymoron. It would make no sense.However, it makes perfect sense. It means the woman predominantly displays characteristics of the masculine archetype.

If I said I called the Holy Spirit "she" because I saw it as a woman because it was gentle like a woman....that would be sterotypical.

But what I meant was I used "she" because it displayed feminine traits and as well as being the pronoun for a woman, "she" is the feminine pronoun.

I think it is confusing to say that "gentleness" can be a masculine trait. What is more useful is to say that gentleness is a feminine trait, but that men can have feminine traits.

quote:
Some of the women mystics seem to experience the touch of the Holy Spirit like an orgasmic sexual encounter which they would probably describe as like penetration.
I feel utterly unqualified to speak on that! As I say, the biblical precident with relation to the spirit seems to be that we describe it as we find it. The interactional nature of the spirit makes description far more open to personal subjectivity.

C.S. Lewis goes so far as to say that the Spirit actually is the interaction between the first and second persons of the trinity, such that they give off a sort of glow into which we can enter, the very existence of The Spirit is interactonal in nature and we are thus at more of a liberty to be more subjective in our view of The Spirit.

quote:
However, I think that we can't even stick the masculine or feminine pronoun on to any one member of the Trinity.
Surely we can at least call the Son "He"?

quote:
3. Julian of Norwich called Jesus "Our Mother" and that feels to me perfectly appropriate.
It depends. It would be better to state it as a simile than as a metaphor. That is to say "Jesus is likeour mother." would be theologically safer territory. That way Jesus is maintained as an entity in his own right, and the "mother" is an additional term to describe him.

The problem with using a direct metaphor is that you start losing track of the original entity existing in it's own right. If we say Jesus "is like a dove in his gentleness" and "is like a mother in his faithfulness" we are all the time adding to the personality of Jesus and making our mental image of him more vibrant and colourful by drawing on things we know well to make him less shadowy and more real to us.

However, when you move to saying "Jesus is our Mother" or "Jesus is a dove". You end up losing Jesus as a real individual who lived and breathed on this planet (and of course still lives [Wink] ) and instead iconifying him as a set of ideas: "faithfulness" "gentleness" and seeing those ideas as "living" in the mother or the dove.

matt

[sorted out quote]

[ 10. November 2002, 09:14: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]

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3M Matt.

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Glenn Oldham
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# 47

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt the Mad Medic:

quote:
3. Julian of Norwich called Jesus "Our Mother" and that feels to me perfectly appropriate.
It depends. It would be better to state it as a simile than as a metaphor. That is to say "Jesus is likeour mother." would be theologically safer territory. That way Jesus is maintained as an entity in his own right, and the "mother" is an additional term to describe him.

The problem with using a direct metaphor is that you start losing track of the original entity existing in it's own right. If we say Jesus "is like a dove in his gentleness" and "is like a mother in his faithfulness" we are all the time adding to the personality of Jesus and making our mental image of him more vibrant and colourful by drawing on things we know well to make him less shadowy and more real to us.

However, when you move to saying "Jesus is our Mother" or "Jesus is a dove". You end up losing Jesus as a real individual who lived and breathed on this planet (and of course still lives [Wink] ) and instead iconifying him as a set of ideas: "faithfulness" "gentleness" and seeing those ideas as "living" in the mother or the dove.

I read somewhere recently that someone said:
quote:
The price of metaphor is eternal vigilance.
This is correct and reflects some of your concerns, Matt. We can easily forget that we are using metaphor and start taking it literally , or (more commonly) over extend the metaphor, read too much into it. It seems to me that to describe God as 'he' or as 'a person' or as 'a King', is also metaphorical and that that is often forgotten leading to patriarchal and anthropomorphic views of God. God is not Male (which is a biological category). Nor is he literally masculine. 'He' may have qualities that find some reflection in human masculinity, but 'he' also has qualities that find some reflection in human femininity. Some cultures have the concept of a Goddess, but this does not mean that the Judeao-Christian term 'God' names an exclusively masculine entity.

We are often quite good at seeing some metaphors as metaphors but not others. We talk of Jesus as 'the lamb of God' but no-one I know thinks Jesus had four legs and a wooly coat. We talk of Jesus as 'the Son of God' and don't realise that it is a metaphor (but if pressed no-one I know believes that God is biological, nor has DNA that could be used in a paternity test). I don't think that many of us would take 'Our mother Jesus' as non-metaphorical, and the use of that a a metaphor is more direct, more powerful than 'Jesus, who is like a mother to us.'

The Wanderer (not Melmoth The Wanderer I hope!) is right when he says:
quote:
Surely God is beyond all our descriptions? Whatever labels we use of God, even those given to us directly by our Lord, capture only a fraction of who and what God is? Therefore we should only call God "he" if we remember that "he" is also "she" and "not-he" at the same time, only "she" if we remember that "she" is also "he" and "not-she".
As an aside it seems that Jesus was happy to describe himself as a female and, in fact, as as a female chicken:
quote:
How often would I have gathered your children as a hen gathers her brood under her wings ... (Matthew 23:37)


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This entire doctrine is worthless except as a subject of dispute. (G. C. Lichtenberg 1742-1799 Aphorism 60 in notebook J of The Waste Books)

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3M Matt
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# 1675

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quote:
We talk of Jesus as 'the Son of God' and don't realise that it is a metaphor (but if pressed no-one I know believes that God is biological, nor has DNA that could be used in a paternity test).
Actually, I would say "Son of God" is not a metaphor. I appreciate what you are saying of course, and if the definition of "Son" is biological then of course it is a metaphor.

I would think though that "Son" actually has higher definitions than "The genetic offspring of...". Hence we hear people say things like "He's not much of a father to that boy". Of course, biologically, that's nonsense, either he is the father or he is not.

How often to you hear people refer to animals as having "Sons" and "daughters"? Almost never, except in a kind of anthropomorphic jest. We use words like their "offspring" or "young".

The biological aspect of "Son" is therefore only part of the definition of the word. In our earthly experience it seems to be an neccessary part, but that may not prove to be the case. I don't have a problem thinking that the second person of the Trinity is actually in some mystic way the Son of the first (Although both existed simultaneously).

It's a small point. I see entirely what you are saying. If your definition of Son is purely biological then your right to say it is a metaphor.

matt

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3M Matt.

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MCC
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# 3137

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quote:
Some years ago, I went to an MCC Church, where inclusive language was used all the time.
What. Where. Who.

Wasn't me guv!

The real...

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mcc____

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MCC
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# 3137

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Joking aside,

When I say the Lord's Prayer privately I say

Our Father and Mother.

This helps me, and of course, God is beyond gender.

What Jesus said we should say was "Abba", more like "Daddy". The point wasn't God's gender, but intimacy, our relationship as children, dependant and loved.

One thing I do find diffcult, and I'm sure more "Catholic" people than I (and maybe Orthodox too) may have someting to say about this, is that I have heard it said that the feminine side of Christianity finds its voice/vision etc, in Mary.
This has never satisfied me, maybe others could explain, discuss etc.

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mcc____

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by MCC:
One thing I do find diffcult, and I'm sure more "Catholic" people than I (and maybe Orthodox too) may have someting to say about this, is that I have heard it said that the feminine side of Christianity finds its voice/vision etc, in Mary.
This has never satisfied me, maybe others could explain, discuss etc.

Thinking of this separately from who Mary actually was...

I think the need for the feminine divine was focused on Mary *because nothing else was allowed*. All that need, and love, and devotion had to go *somewhere*.

And it's no accident, I think, that it was the Council of Ephesus that declared Mary to be "Mother of God". Ephesus, as in "great is Diana of the Ephesians". People still wanted their Mother.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Huia
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# 3473

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I have difficulty with Mary being called "the Mother of God". I prefer the term which translates as "God Bearer" which is, I think, Orthodox.(I can't spell it though).

I have no trouble whatsoever using feminine terms for God as all the words and phrases we use are metaphors anyway and limiting them to male metaphors runs the risk that God is seem as male.

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
I prefer the term which translates as "God Bearer" which is, I think, Orthodox.(I can't spell it though).

"Theotokos"

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Zeke
Ship's Inquirer
# 3271

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Perhaps because their founder was a woman, the Christian Scientists see God as beyond gender-definable. Their version of the Lord's prayer begins "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious." Though I would scarcely agree with them on many things, that does greatly appeal to me.

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No longer the Bishop of Durham
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If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? --Benjamin Franklin

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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I believe that all of us know that God is beyond our description, but that we mortals do need some "concrete" way in which we can refer to him.

I am puzzled, nonetheless, with (I hope I am expressing this clearly) why our language about God has acquired different meanings because there seems to be a self-absorbed interpretation. Heavens, if Jesus used the reference to the chick today, someone would be going on about how s/he once saw a chicken decapitated, was traumatised, and therefore became a lifelong vegetarian... so the language had a meaning s/he could not accept.

I personally loathe inclusive language of this type (though, as I said, if people find it useful to use this privately, that is another matter - I hate its being forced on the rest of us.) I remember well when this sort of business first got started - when (all) women (supposedly) found that non-inclusive language "eliminated them." Rubbish! Can any woman seriously say that "peace to men of good will" ever meant that Jesus only redeemed males?! That implication would be an insult to my intelligence - and Lord knows the many female mystics never had any such impression.

Francis of Assisi could speak of "Wisdom Queen," for example, but this was not catering to a vocal feminist minority. Julian of Norwich's references to Christ as mother contained rich imagery of the Trinity and Eucharist. I doubt that either had any relation to "issues" with their parents.

That is part of my annoyance. Worship is not some form of group therapy! So much of the current emphasis on what images can be used for God is based on what someone's past experience can have on making such images remind them of a cruel Father or Mother.

The human condition has been uniformly troubled since Eden - why, in this bizarre age, is everything so self-centred?

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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Newman's Own
Is not alone;
I agree
with her (or she).


I also want to suggest the notion that perhaps it's not a metaphor in the conventional sense -- that perhaps God as Father is the original base for the earthly masculine and father... that in a special way, He really is Father, King, etc, in a way that He is not Mother or Queen. (Though in a certain sense, within the Trinity, the Second Person is feminine in relationship to God the Father, but masculine in relationship to everything else.) Femininity's original would be, not God as such, but all of Creation. This may sound sexist but it makes sense to me and seems to fit with traditional theology as far as I can tell.

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ChastMastr
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I.e. -- that if anything -- earthly fathers and husbands and kings and masculinity are a metaphor for Him, or a symbol of Him -- rather than the other way around -- like in the way that a picture is a symbol for the thing painted.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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It's all down to sex really! [Wink] Patriarchal rather than matriarchal language can be more easily demythologised / deconstructed to suit creation ex nihilio. Gestation (rather than insemination) language leads to cosmic eggs and the universe be confused with God .... as in many pagan / polytheistic systems. This leaves matriarchal language appropriate for God's care but still under the heading on (non-male) Father. In Christianity God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You can't chop and change labels in a nominalist manner without eroding the infrastructure of Orthodox belief .... which is precisely what some people want to try and do of course.

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Og: Thread Killer
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# 3200

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My....oh my....hasn't this been interesting.

Before I weigh in on this one, let me say thank-you for this discussion. Thought provoking all along.

[Not worthy!] to all for their thoughful posts to my OP.

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Anselmina
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# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:

The human condition has been uniformly troubled since Eden - why, in this bizarre age, is everything so self-centred?

In a way, Newman's Own, you've hit it on the head by saying our present age is self-centred - especially when one takes into account that 'self' comes in two varieties, male and female. That's why the current age has been struggling to try to represent female as well as male, in politics, work, theology etc. In previous millenia, the age was generally male-centred, as in using the male as the 'norm' and centring theology, politics, economy, society and language around that 'norm'.

Now that we no longer live in that male-centred, androcentric, age (hard to believe at times, I know!), some people think it's appropriate that along with the revision of the politics, the society, the economy etc, the language, too, can be revised to reflect this. Clearly, some people don't!

The best feminist theologies will try to focus on 'God-centredness', but in a way even this might be supposed to be doomed to failure; as no matter what language we use it would still be deeply inadequate anyway to express anything about God. Even if it comes straight from the Bible.

In a sense, almost every word is merely a metaphor, or at best a descriptor, for an idea, or an image or a concept. This is why I don't waste my time getting het up with the predominance of male-centred language in worship (though obviously I'm happy to offer a critique on it!); and marvel at the traditionalists who get themselves all worked up over feminist or non-male centred language.

I don't know what the fuss is about, anyway. Most churches within my acquaintanceship use traditional language and Biblical male metaphors without any thought whatsoever about its not being PC, or whether or not there might be more than one way to think about a thing. So far as language is concerned few churches have the imagination or creativity to get beyond the 'what we've always done' stage.

Traditionalism is alive(?) and kicking in the majority of churches so far as language is concerned so I have no idea why so many language traditionalists are wetting their knickers over this one!

--------------------
Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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godspagan
Apprentice
# 513

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Me I think (as do others) that God is both male and female. However, I believe that He is both male and female bound together in loving tension, like the First and Second Great commandments. Bear with me a trifle and I will elaborate:

First, there is inherent tension between the first and second great commandments. It might be also be said that the roles of man and woman (as represented by Adam and Eve) are also held in tension. The role of man in Creation is given in Genesis 2: 15. “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden to work it and tend it.” The Hebrew word for “work” in this context is “abad” meaning “service to one's 'lord'”. When "abad" is used in the context of serving God, such service appears to be that of son
and father, or lord and vassal (e.g. "send free my son that he might serve me"). Where "abad" is used in the context of serving other "lords" (such as Pharaoh in Exodus) or the King of Babylon in Esther "abad" takes on other meanings including "perish", "destroy" and usually involves abject rather than joyful "slavery".
By contrast, in scripture, ordinary service to other humans is usually given as "sharath" while
"painstaking-labor" or "anguish" is "itzavon" and
"crushing labor" (such as that frowned on in
Deuteronomy) "perekh".

Thus, it might be said that the first duty of "mankind" (as represented by Adam) is to serve God. By contrast, the first duty of "mankind" (as represented by Eve) is to be a “helper” to mankind. Although we in the 21st century think of "helper" as a negative or subordinate position, such connotation was not present in the word chosen. ‘Helper’ (Hebrew "ezer"), used to describe the woman, is most often used in reference to God, (eg. "I will send the Holy Spirit to help you") and therefore denotes a superior rather than an inferior being. "Helpers" who are inferior are usually described as young servants with the word "na-ar" meaning a child slave or servant (such as the child Samuel).

In most passages of the Bible, women are represented as acting in their roles of “helpers” in service to mankind. Both the midwives and Pharaoh’s daughter choose humanity over “divinity”, as represented by the “God-King”,
Pharaoh. At least in this context, their role was not offensive to YHWH who “blessed the midwives”. Eve chooses humanity over divinity in the Garden of Eden, as does Lot’s wife, who looked back, in compassion, at the destruction of Sodom, in defiance of YHWH’s order.

In Genesis the fragile bond, maintaining the communion between the first and second commandments as represented by Adam and Eve is lost by the figurative action of disobediance that placed love of mankind over love of God. As I see it the second commandment (represented figuratively by Eve) was made subject to the first as a consequence of the Fall but was never intended to be in opposition to the first great commandment at Creation. In a perfect world, loving one's neighbor should not be opposed to loving and being obedient to God.

In that sense it matter how we address our God. This is not because God is not both male and female. Nor is it because praying "Our Mother" is inferior to praying "Our Father". It is because the way we pray orients our relationships and theology in a subtle fashion. By praying "Our Father" we acknowledge the divine relationship as taking the most prominent place in our affections. When we pray "Our Mother" we place (IMHO) our love of our neighbor as taking the most prominent place in our affections.

I think it also makes a difference whether we are the "bride of Christ" or the "bridegroom of Christ". The church as the "bride of Christ" represents mankind and the second commandment, while Christ represents God. The fact that Christ can also represent man, does not mean that humanity can represent God in a "bridegroom of Christ" metaphor. As I see it, in the marriage of the Lamb and his Bride, creation is restored to her state prior to the fall. Mariage, in this context reminds me of the Hindu word for "love"in the context of "marriage" which is "Tantra". "Tantra" means "essentials" in Sanscrit, and is derived from the root word "to weave". In Hindu mythology, the creation emanates from the marriage dance of Shiva (The Creator) and Shakti (who represents mankind) who are woven together in their essentials, to create new life in joyful union. I think the marriage of Christ and His church is supposed to be something like that.

Pax
Shari

Shari

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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To a few points raised:

Worship: The use of "She" in worship is jarring.
Why? Because we are, by and large, USED to God referred to as He.
But, for some of us who have looked at the dual-gender nature of God, the complete lack of reference to God as female can be equally jarring.

Example: There is this chorus where the main tag line repeated over and over is.....
"Isn't He"
The whole of the trinity is described but the line said before is always "Isn't He....". Unfortunately, the statement always plowing through to me is God's a guy.
(O.K. this chorus may be one that causes some to [Projectile] ; my reason to use this example is only to describe a situation, not good worship)

The answer to me is not to use the female pronoun in worship or discussions in order to make a statement, but to re-discover areas where the aspect of God being worshipped is maternal and use the appropriate word. Otherwise, I believe myself to be limiting God.

And, Matt the Medic, no...I do not believe myself picking and choosing what I like about God. I look at this as a journey to discover God's wholeness.

Oh, and can I just say I also despise the whole idea of calling God "Parent God". [Razz] to that one.

The Lord's Prayer:
If this prayer is the reason to always call God by the paternal, should we then also ONLY pray using that particular prescribed wording? ie. If the Lord's prayer is a prescribed way of praying, then why do we pray using other words? You can't have it both ways. Either the Lord's prayer is the ONLY prayer we can use, or we are allowed to use it as a guide. And...as praying for daily bread does not always mean talking about bread but about sustenance of many kinds, surely in our prayers and worship we can use other words then bread or Father? Again, I see this arguement as limiting God.

--------------------
I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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FatMac

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# 2914

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quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:
Can any woman seriously say that "peace to men of good will" ever meant that Jesus only redeemed males?!

Perhaps you would be surprised how such phrases actually sound to younger people who are used to inclusive language in other areas of their life.

Let me give another example. In the denomination I was originally ordained by, in speaking (or praying) about getting a new Minister for a church, people would invariably use the phrase 'find the right man', or 'God will bring the right man'. This use of the male gendered pronoun meshed with and reinforced a culture in which female Ministers were seen as rare, unusual or inappropriate. Use of a non-gendered description would have been part of bringing about a much-needed change.

--------------------
Do not beware the slippery slope - it is where faith resides.
Do not avoid the grey areas - they are where God works.

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FatMac

Ship's Macintosh
# 2914

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
I.e. -- that if anything -- earthly fathers and husbands and kings and masculinity are a metaphor for Him, or a symbol of Him -- rather than the other way around -- like in the way that a picture is a symbol for the thing painted.

Oh goodness, CM, this is horrifying! [Mad]

We are left with the idea that whereas males are somehow a symbol of God in a way females are not. Why not go the whole hog and simply say that females do not possess the image of God, but only the image of the image of God?? [Eek!]

--------------------
Do not beware the slippery slope - it is where faith resides.
Do not avoid the grey areas - they are where God works.

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FatMac

Ship's Macintosh
# 2914

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Sorry for the multiple posts, I will try to get the rest of my responses in this one post...

quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Patriarchal rather than matriarchal language can be more easily demythologised / deconstructed to suit creation ex nihilio.

I agree that this is correct, but I wonder whether we may not have reached a stage of awareness of different cosmologies and their implications, such that such crude defensive measures are no longer necessary, particularly when in the current climate they seem to engender an almost equally unhelpful misapprehension (ie that God is gendered).

quote:
You can't chop and change labels in a nominalist manner without eroding the infrastructure of Orthodox belief .... which is precisely what some people want to try and do of course.
Of course there are some for whom this is true, but I suspect that for many thoughtful proponents of inclusive language the intent is rather to higlight aspects of orthodox belief which have been disguised by a history and culture of Patriarchalism and which now present a significant stumbling block to a commitment to orthodox belief by at least some within our contemporary society.

quote:
Then godspagan said:
By praying "Our Father" we acknowledge the divine relationship as taking the most prominent place in our affections. When we pray "Our Mother" we place (IMHO) our love of our neighbor as taking the most prominent place in our affections.

But surely this (along with the rest of your post) rests on the assumption that men are 'about' service to a lord etc, and women 'about' serving peers, relatiopnship etc. This assumption is IMO a cultural one and as our culture has significantly changed, the type of theological alignment you have suggested does not in fact occur for contemporary people.

quote:
Finally, in an excellent post, OgtheDim said:
Worship: The use of "She" in worship is jarring.
Why? Because we are, by and large, USED to God referred to as He.

Let me just add that from time to time we need to be jarred. This was precisely the point and affect of many of Jesus' parables; a point which is now lost on us as time and familiarity have leached them of much of their 'in your face' quality.

--------------------
Do not beware the slippery slope - it is where faith resides.
Do not avoid the grey areas - they are where God works.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by linzc:
Oh goodness, CM, this is horrifying! [Mad]

We are left with the idea that whereas males are somehow a symbol of God in a way females are not. Why not go the whole hog and simply say that females do not possess the image of God, but only the image of the image of God?? [Eek!]

Thank you for this!! [Angel]

Never mind all the folks, over the last few thousand years, who've thought exactly that. Or worse, that we're instruments of Satan, meant to take you guys off the holy path. [Roll Eyes]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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godspagan
Apprentice
# 513

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Lincz wrote:
But surely this (along with the rest of your post) rests on the assumption that men are 'about' service to a lord etc, and women 'about' serving peers, relatiopnship etc. This assumption is IMO a cultural one and as our culture has significantly changed, the type of theological alignment you have suggested does not in fact occur for contemporary people.

By no means. What I am saying is that "men" and "women" are also metaphors (living metaphors rather than literary metaphors) just as "Jesus" is/was a living metaphor for "God".

Recall that the Second Great Commandment is not "inferior" to the First Great Commandment. It is "like unto the First".

Remember also that Scripture is all about metaphor. The point of Jonah is not that anyone who runs away from God is gonna be swallowed up by a whale. The point is that it is pointless to try to run away from God.

The point of Adam and Eve is not that men are supposed to be priests and serve God, while women are supposed to be handmaidens and foot washers. The point is that love of God and love of mankind should be bound together seamlessly as "bone of my bone" and "flesh of my flesh".

In His use of the living metaphors of Adam and Eve, God displays to His people His intention that love of God and love of mankind should be seamlessly "woven" in their essentials ("tantric love"), as should husband and wives be woven together, in "tantric" love, which action, makes new the Creation. That is what (IMHO) the "Bride of Christ" imagery is all about. It is the healing of the broken Creation by reweaving in tantric love, love of God, and love of His Creation in the metaphors of the Lamb and His Church.

Shari

Shari

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Linzc

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Concerning cosmologies .... I doubt whether any cosmology will emerge which compromises God's transcendence of which refers to the Cosmos as "God's Body" or generated "out of God." God's creation activity is extrinsic to himself ... seminal not conceptional.

The reference to nominalism was to highlight the current tendency to play with language with only a loose adherence to the revelatory data ... Whatever happens to the language, such beliefs as the Trinity and the Incarnation should never be compromised.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Sarkycow
La belle Dame sans merci
# 1012

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quote:
Originally posted by linzc:
quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:
Can any woman seriously say that "peace to men of good will" ever meant that Jesus only redeemed males?!

Perhaps you would be surprised how such phrases actually sound to younger people who are used to inclusive language in other areas of their life.
I'm with linzc on this. And I am part of the younger generation.

A few examples. In lectures at uni, 'he' and 'she' are used interchangeably for illustration stories. So one story will talk of a child and use 'he', and the next will talk of someone else and use 'she'.

The head of a committee is usually a chair person, or simply chair.

Church language feels a lot more jarring to me, because (up til recently) it was very male centred. And that felt out of place and plain wrong - everyone else was catching up to the idea that humanity was both male and female, and both sexes were equal in value and could do all jobs/hold all positions etc. Male stopped being the norm a long while back. Except in church where each Sunday the congregation dutifully prayed:
quote:
For us men and for our salvation...
.

I am not a man. I am not part of men. I don't use the word mankind as a label for the human race. I am a humna, and a woman as a subset of that, and arguing that mankind is an ok term because 'everyone knows that it doesn't really mean just men' is like using the term 'learning disabled' to describe those with any tyoe of disability - after all, it describes half the group, and it's got the word disabled in there...

Viki [Mad]

--------------------
“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Sorry to be horrifying, but it's certainly not intended to be. Perhaps if we make a distinction between masculinity and femininity in their abstract "chemical purity" -- which, note, we never truly encounter within Creation, just by virtue of its being on an earthly level -- and individual men and women as human beings. Just as one can also look at earthly rulers, on the one hand, as the head of the state and as a symbol of God's authority and as a sinful human being for whom Christ died, no more or less likely to be holy than a beggar, we may look at the masculine aspects of men and the feminine aspects of women as symbols of God and of Creation/the Church, respectively -- without saying that men are holier than women, or any such nonsense.

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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[Not worthy!] Sarkycow [Love]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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3M Matt
Shipmate
# 1675

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quote:
Why not go the whole hog and simply say that females do not possess the image of God, but only the image of the image of God??
"But for a man it is not right to have his head covered, since he is the image of God and reflects God's glory; but a woman is the reflection of man's glory. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man" 1 Corinthians 11v7

I often find it amusing to think what people's reaction would be if Paul showed up and started posting on Ship Of Fools...

matt

--------------------
3M Matt.

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Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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For those who don't think language matters, an experiment:

For the next week, every time you come across "man", "men", "mankind", etc.--switch it to the female equivalent.

Then think about whether it refers to *everyone*.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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3M Matt
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# 1675

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quote:
I am not a man. I am not part of men. I don't use the word mankind as a label for the human race. I am a humna, and a woman as a subset of that
Right..so you consider yourself a woman right? The word "WO-MAN" meaning..."out of man"?? Seems to me rather subserviant and demeaning to me, far worse than being "Man".....

Maybe female would me better...oh no wait...FE-MALE...same problem. Oops.

matt

--------------------
3M Matt.

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Obnoxious Snob

Arch-Deacon
# 982

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:


Whatever happens to the language, such beliefs as the Trinity and the Incarnation should never be compromised.

Our beliefs concerning such concepts as The Trinity and the Incarnation are always compromised by the language we use, language in its broadest sense of explanation and description.
Indeed, without language, the concepts themselves wouldn't exist.

--------------------
'The best thing we can do is to make wherever we're lost in Look as much like home as we can'

Christopher Fry

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Zeke
Ship's Inquirer
# 3271

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Matt, are you trying to be inflammatory? Just because we have a male-oriented language, I see no need to butcher it by changing all the words to negate that, as some well-meaning feminists have attempted to do.

--------------------
No longer the Bishop of Durham
-----------
If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? --Benjamin Franklin

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Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Zeke:
Matt, are you trying to be inflammatory? Just because we have a male-oriented language, I see no need to butcher it by changing all the words to negate that, as some well-meaning feminists have attempted to do.

Sure sounds to me like he is.

And yes, many women work around this by using alternate spellings. (womyn, etc.)

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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FatMac

Ship's Macintosh
# 2914

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quote:
Originally posted by godspagan:
By no means. What I am saying is that "men" and "women" are also metaphors (living metaphors rather than literary metaphors) just as "Jesus" is/was a living metaphor for "God".

Recall that the Second Great Commandment is not "inferior" to the First Great Commandment. It is "like unto the First".

I understand that you are not advocating inequality of men and women, that is not my point. The point is that a metaphor only functions if the primary reference point is something universally (or widely) recognised. If I say something is 'as hot as hell', this is understood because our culture still has a traditional image of hell as a fire and hence hot. If I say something is 'as hot as salmon', people will look at me funnily because they don't have any understanding of salmon as being hot or representing heat.

My point is that the 'living metaphor' of men and women which you suggest, and hence the different flavour of 'Our Father' and 'Our Mother', only works if people generally understand that somehow women represent the second commandment in a way that men don't, and that men somehow represent the first commandment in a way women don't. This is what I think is cultural and does not work in our contemporary society.

Now if all you are saying is that both God, serving God and humanity itself have different aspects, and that the aspects may seem to be in tension but are both required, that's fair enough. But in that case, the regular use of 'Our Mother' ought to be mandatory rather than prohibited.

--------------------
Do not beware the slippery slope - it is where faith resides.
Do not avoid the grey areas - they are where God works.

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Assistant Village Idiot
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# 3266

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Matt,

Interestingly, the words "male" and "female" don't come from the same root. I had thought I had remembered that and so looked it up to confirm it. By association, the words grew to have a parallel structure, but they didn't start that way.

Which helps the current discussion along not at all , I know. Just thought I'd drop by and be pedantic.

--------------------
formerly Logician

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FatMac

Ship's Macintosh
# 2914

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Concerning cosmologies .... I doubt whether any cosmology will emerge which compromises God's transcendence of which refers to the Cosmos as "God's Body" or generated "out of God." God's creation activity is extrinsic to himself ... seminal not conceptional.

I understand the need to guard against pantheism (as demonstrated in the creation myths), but personally I think an understanding of the entire revelation, valuing the immanence as well as the transcendence of God tends to point towards a panentheistic stance - which would not be easily represented as either seminal or conceptional.

quote:
The reference to nominalism was to highlight the current tendency to play with language with only a loose adherence to the revelatory data ... Whatever happens to the language, such beliefs as the Trinity and the Incarnation should never be compromised.
I understand your caution and certainly would not want to see our theology being led by our language. I agree that references to the Incarnation must be male as they are grounded in the historical male Jesus. I am also not in favour of the non-personal Trinitarian formula, "Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer" or the like.

quote:
CM said:
...we may look at the masculine aspects of men and the feminine aspects of women as symbols of God and of Creation/the Church, respectively -- without saying that men are holier than women, or any such nonsense.

Of course it's true that when compared to the culture of the time, masculine/male could be compared to God, as feminine/female was to the creation or church. But the question is whether that metaphor is still a workeable one in contemporary (western) society. I do actually like the idea that God is the absolute, the base and we are the earthly instantiations. But I think that we have to see God as the source of both male/masculine and female/feminine.

quote:
MMM said:
"But for a man it is not right to have his head covered, since he is the image of God and reflects God's glory; but a woman is the reflection of man's glory. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man" 1 Corinthians 11v7

I often find it amusing to think what people's reaction would be if Paul showed up and started posting on Ship Of Fools...

So go on Matt, do you actually hold to the philosophical position implied by that quote taken out of context? Do you see women as only a 'copy of a copy'? Put your money where your mouth is...

quote:
Right..so you consider yourself a woman right? The word "WO-MAN" meaning..."out of man"?? Seems to me rather subserviant and demeaning to me, far worse than being "Man".....
Maybe female would me better...oh no wait...FE-MALE...same problem. Oops.

The fact that our language is rather bad at gender neutral descriptions hardly gives you a right to criticise Sarkycow for the way she feels happy referring to herself and her gender.

quote:
Arch- said, archly:
Our beliefs concerning such concepts as The Trinity and the Incarnation are always compromised by the language we use, language in its broadest sense of explanation and description. Indeed, without language, the concepts themselves wouldn't exist.

Good use of language there Arch-! [Not worthy!]

--------------------
Do not beware the slippery slope - it is where faith resides.
Do not avoid the grey areas - they are where God works.

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MCC
Shipmate
# 3137

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quote:
[B]Except in church where each Sunday the congregation dutifully prayed:[/B
For us men and for our salvation...
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And that has been changed to

"For us and our salvation", and much better it is too.

Seriously, God is above gender. What we are talking about is how we address the infinite, ultimately mysterious, the creating and underlying spirit of all existence which is beyond understanding, and certainly beyond gender.

Historically, society was based on an understanding that male was superior to female, and the masculine terminology was put into place around the Deity. It wasn't inclusive, it was gender specific. It was also limiting.

We have, I hope, moved on (and beyond the idea that all nurturing is female, I hope too.) Some people find the use of that male terminology difficult, and restricting. If they choose to use other terminology, they should be free to do so. Because neither male nor female terminology does justice to God anyway.

Personally I think that leaving that as a private choice is the best thing. Remove gender specific language where we can. Forcing peple to use female terminology is just for the sake of making a point, which is embarrassing, gets peoples hackles up, involves us in the sorts of (ultimately pointless) arguments we are having here.

But justifying male language bacause the Church has always used it does leave the slight problem that the leadership of the Church has always been seen to be male. It's like the assumption that Jesus was only followed around Judaea by the 12 disciples,all men, when we can see from reading the texts that he was accompanied by women too.

Society was different in those days. The language reflected that.

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mcc____

Posts: 419 | From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
hatless

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# 3365

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quote:
Originally posted by MCC:
Seriously, God is above gender. What we are talking about is how we address the infinite, ultimately mysterious, the creating and underlying spirit of all existence which is beyond understanding, and certainly beyond gender.

And for that reason I favour a careful and imaginative use of language about God. We should use female language at times, because that illuminates an easily forgotten side of God, and because it may make us uncomfortable or self-conscious. Remember the old Jewish prohibition against pronouncing the name of God at all; a warning against thinking we know God that well, that we are on intimate terms. Having to find alternatives forces us to think a little harder. Trying to avoid gendered language can lead us into odd constructions (such as 'Godself' or speaking of God's love for God's people) and I think there is a value in this awkwardness. I think it is devotional and guides us towards an appropriate humility towards God.

I think we should be equally careful about words such as almighty. God is powerful, but also revealed to be vulnerable. The up-down language is also overworked. Heaven isn't above and the Holy Spirit may not need to descend to get to us.

The divine is not always or only strong, high, male, and adult, and nor are these the best or the only good features of we humans.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4531 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bonzo
Shipmate
# 2481

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Hatless,

I agree with all of that, I'd add that the reason I sometimes prefer to use 'She' rather than 'He' is because I find it easier to think of such an intimate relationship with a woman rather than a man. For me, language which denies gender can sometimes serve to deny personality (to an extent at least). For most women this might follow in reverse.

My major concern is that this is a problem to some, and try as I might I haven't seen a convincing argument yet to support the view that refering to God as 'She' should present a problem to people.

quote:

Originally posted by Fr G.

You can't chop and change labels in a nominalist manner without eroding the infrastructure of Orthodox belief ....

So there I go again eroding the infrastructure of othodox belief. Blimey. I hadn't realised it was so vulnerable!

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Love wastefully

Posts: 1150 | From: Stockport | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt the Mad Medic:

[B]***snip***[/B}
I often find it amusing to think what people's reaction would be if Paul showed up and started posting on Ship Of Fools...

matt

Well...as some of us think Paul was, for his era, rather more liberal about women then the average Jewish/Roman/Greek Male, you may be shocked too Matt. [Wink]

But...that's another thread.

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

Posts: 5025 | From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
3M Matt
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# 1675

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[quote[So go on Matt, do you actually hold to the philosophical position implied by that quote taken out of context? Do you see women as only a 'copy of a copy'? Put your money where your mouth is...[/quote]

I object to the word "only" preceeding "copy of a copy".

quote:
The fact that our language is rather bad at gender neutral descriptions hardly gives you a right to criticise Sarkycow for the way she feels happy referring to herself and her gender.
If you read back up the thread you will see Sarkycow took the first personal swipe [Razz] I give as good as I get. I took her "single minded" jibe as a "friendly metaphorical poke" and return in kind!

To answer your question, my point was this:

Words are arbitary combinations of letters (when written down) or sounds (when spoken) which act as a label for a concept.

It so happens that in english, as in many other languages the same label can be applied to two concepts. Sometimes the concepts are different enough for this to not cause confusion, but when the two concepts are closely related it gets confusing.

The word man has two meanings. If you look them up in a dictionary, they are listed as two seperate meanings.

1.) Noun for male of the homo sapien species and 2) collective noun for homo sapiens.

Sarkycow chooses to jibe at the second sense of the word because she chooses to read this as the first sense.

Grammatically, if one removes the emotive aspect from her argument this makes little more sense than objecting to calling the stuff than drops through your letter box "post" because a "post" is what holds up fences.

I appreciate her objection would be that the useage of "man" can be interchangable in a sentence while "post" cannot, but in fact, correct useage would be subtly different. Take "Man cannot live by bread alone". If this was intended to refer exclusively to the male of the gender, then it should be "Men cannot live by bread alone" or "A man cannot live by bread alone".

My point in referring to the word "WOman" was simply that if she wants to get particular about the details of these arbitary labels, then the alternatives are scarcely any better.

Although that's not to say the emotive aspects of the arguement aren't important of course.

matt

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3M Matt.

Posts: 1227 | From: London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt the Mad Medic:
[quote[So go on Matt, do you actually hold to the philosophical position implied by that quote taken out of context? Do you see women as only a 'copy of a copy'? Put your money where your mouth is...

I object to the word "only" preceeding "copy of a copy".


[quiet, dangerous voice]

Nonetheless, Matt, I am sure the answer to the question would be interesting. I can re-phrase it without the 'only. (And without the 'copy' as that's not really the right sort of word either).

Men are made in the image of God. Are women made in the image of God, or the image of men?

And don't say both.

[/quiet, dangrous voice]

bird

(By the way, that's someone else's messed up code at the top there, honest.)

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"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow

Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Arch-:
Indeed, without language, the concepts themselves wouldn't exist.

I don't think that's true; for one thing, unless we count Jesus (not only the Son but also the Word) as language, before/apart from Creation, God would certainly know of the concepts; for another, unless we count whatever angels communicate in as language (and I suppose they apparently have something analagous to it, "tongues of angels" from Corinthians), the angels certainly do; but surely you don't mean that concepts and perceptions of reality are inextricably linked to language? What about mystical visions which the recipient cannot put into words?

quote:
Originally posted by OgtheDim:
Well...as some of us think Paul was, for his era, rather more liberal about women then the average Jewish/Roman/Greek Male, you may be shocked too Matt. [Wink]

Yes, and given that, not to mention direct Divine revelation, I think the other (apparently sexist to a modern point of view) things he said should be given due weight.

On a side tangent, I'd love for interested parties (who haven't yet done so) to post down on Priestly Genitalia in Dead Horses, on the whole ordination-of-women-to-the-priesthood issue. Though I hasten to say that they are not the same issue, though I often hear them treated as if they are on both sides of the fence.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Basket Case
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# 1812

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from ChastMastr:
quote:
but surely you don't mean that concepts and perceptions of reality are inextricably linked to language? What about mystical visions which the recipient cannot put into words?
I have to disagree with you, CM. Concepts really are linked to language.
Mystical visions are direct, interior experience - beyond senses and language.

Posts: 1157 | From: Pomo (basket) country | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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# 716

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Jumping in to reply to bird (why the "quiet, dangerous voice"? Are we discussing things in a rational fashion or an emotive one?), I think we should distinguish between individual or even collective women and men, and woman-ness and man-ness, the essence of gender, as distinct from what makes us all human in the first place, or even free-willed spiritual/corporal entities (assuming there are other beings in the cosmos which fit the same role as human beings in the great Chain of Being). We are more than our gender, though gender is important. We are all made in God's image, by virtue of being human; I would also argue that masculinity (not our humanity per se) reflects certain aspects of God in ways that femininity (not our humanity per se) does not (apart from the above postulation of femininity reflecting the Son within the Trinity), femininity reflecting Creation itself. But these are macrocosms and microcosms and multiple levels of meaning... the reality, or one aspect of reality, lying behind the notion of Sky-Father and Earth-Mother.

David
pedantically mystical orthodox guy

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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