Thursday, April 24, 2008

Recovering Divine Mystery through the Feminine Metaphor?

"Feminist critique of patriarchal discourse is surfacing the false assumptions that underlie insistence on exclusively male symbols and thereby propelling new discovery of holy mystery which we call God."

Elizabeth Johnson, in her book, She Who Is, argues that the best spirit of classical theology, which had always prized the essential incomprehensibility (and illimitability--great word!) of God as divine mystery, can be recovered by attending to feminine metaphors and aspects of the divine reality. This requires, of course, that the experiences of women and their theological explorations be taken seriously. The recovery of the divine mystery and ultimately incomprehensibility of God will have several positive consequences: (1) a reminder that finite words, titles and pronouns can never refer, without remainder or approximation, to God and (2) the significance of the male experience will be equalized with and unified with that of women, thus effecting what Paul seems to have in mind with the "new creation" (neither male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus and (3) the legitimation of the female experience and the rightful humanization of woman as equal in God's creation and Kingdom.

Any thoughts?

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