17.4.09

This scratches a few itches

Becoming Christ: The Vocation of Women in Theology and Scripture Marie Noonan Sabin Bristol, Maine


I like this for what it elegantly expresses about the often politicised 'bridegroom' imagery in the Bible; for what it says about mutuality and for how it fleshes out again that idea of God and his womb. There was quite a bit of reaction generated on an earlier post of mine to my use of this imagery.

...Being a person in the image and likeness of God ... involves existing in a relationship, in relation to the other “I"....Gen 1:26 means not only that each of them individually is like God as a rational and free being. It also means that a man and a woman, created as a “unity of the two” in their common humanity, are called to live in a communion of love and in this way to mirror in the world the communion of love that is God...this mirroring, this likeness to God [is]‘a call and a task.’ ...to be human means to be called to interpersonal communion, to be mutually for the other...Out of this mutuality...there develops in humanity itself, in accordance with God’s will, the integration of what is “masculine” and what is “feminine”...also develops an understanding of ‘personhood’ out of this ‘call and task’ to live for others: ‘Being a person means striving toward self-realization . . . which can only be achieved “through a sincere gift of self.” . . . To say that a human being is created in the image and likeness of God means that he is called to exist for “others,” to become a gift...The ultimate expression of this self-giving... is the vocation of motherhood: ‘Like a mother, God “has carried” humanity, and in particular his chosen people, within his womb; he has given birth to it in travail, he has nourished it and comforted it (cf. Is 42:14, 46:3–4)’.

This is an essay written in response to words spoken by the Pope, available at SAGE journals. SAGE journals are offering free trial access to the whole lot until April 30th, by the way.

I enjoyed Rob Bell's 'She' for his exploration of the womb imagery in the Bible.

CBMW's response to 'She' by Rob Bell is actually very weak in its criticisms of Christians explorations into this presentation of God. All it can say is because similar images were used to describe men in the Bible, we can not hold them as ways which have us helpfully understand God. I don't follow the sense of this at all. David is a man but God is not a man.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.