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A guardian who had been a father to me more than most real fathers [Letters p53

One can see here the seeds of Aragorn and Arwens' heroic love and also that of Beren and Luthien from the Silmarillion . Tolkien was told by his foster-father he could only continue his relationship with Edith when he was ready and had passed into manhood 21yrs in the same way Aragorn, is also told by his Elven foster-father, Elrond that he can only have Arwen when he is ready.

Church and Biblical Christianity

Symbols Victory Christianity

(the Jesus movement's roots in rural, peasant society had been quickly left behind). True, Christians liked to draw a distinction between the sexual licence and immorality that characterized wider society and their own commitment to chastity and life-long marriage, but many respectable Romans would have been sympathetic to such a chaste sexual ethic. When it came to more radical matters such as questioning the patriarchal nature of the family, masculine domination in general, or the slave-based economy of the Roman Empire, Church Christianity was silent. Its apologists were more concerned to convince the Romans that Christians were trustworthy, moral, and loyal citizens whose presence in the Empire could only serve to strengthen it. But there is a twist to the tale. Although Christianity was capable of endorsing the exercise of dominating and even tyrannical (masculine) power in both church and state, its repertoire of

Christianity Today Exclusivism in a Pluralistic World

The spiritual equipage of Islam and Christianity is similar their spiritual contents, both in quality and quantum, are about the same. The central piece of the two creeds is 'one true God' of masculine gender who makes himself known to his believers through an equally single, favored individual This 'favored individual' is the purusha of paurusheya religions.

Concepts Of Personhood

One of the first issues to be raised in feminist philosophy of religion and theology in the 'second wave' of the women's movement was put by Valeric Saiving in 1960 is sin the same thing for men as it is for women As Saiving saw it, the modern theological characterization of human beings as essentially free, and therefore prone to anxiety, pride, and 'the imperialistic drive to close the gap between the individual, separate self and others by reducing those others to the status of mere objects which can then be treated as appendages of the self and manipulated accordingly' (Saiving 1979 26) is much more accurate of men than of women. Because of social conditioning, women are far less likely to find that their besetting sins are pride and the desire for mastery. Instead, women are more likely to be prone to inappropriate humility, lack of a sense of self-worth, lack of centredness or focus, and consequently triviality and diffuseness. Because theology has 'defined the human condition...

Dont Tell Me What To Do with My Body Sexual Control and Church Decline

Modern men are every bit as likely as women to agree with Pierre Trudeau that the church has no more place than the state in the bedrooms of the nation. Ideals of masculinity tend to place heavy emphasis on the importance of male agency, not least in sexual encounter - and the idea that this might be restricted by higher authority is likely to be correspondingly less palatable to them than to women. So far as we can tell, men ignored or rejected church teachings on issues like contraception and premarital sex earlier and more readily than women - which may, of course, be one reason for men's lower levels of church attendance and general commitment right through the modern period.16 As suggested above, men's growing alienation from paternal masculinities may be a linked reason which helps explain their more rapid disaffiliation after the 1960s. It is still the case that women outnumber men on almost every index of involvement in most contemporary...

Mystics and Troubadours

The number of surviving manuscripts and translations of their works up to the sixteenth century indicate their great popularity. Chretien developed such characters as Lancelot and introduced the theme of the search for the Holy Grail. He explored the ways of love in his literary works adulterous love in Lancelot, married love in Erec et Enide and Yvain, and quasi-sacred love in Perceval ou le Conte du Graal. Chretien, like his contemporary Capellanus, expresses ambivalent - even contradictory - views of courtly love. Although he wrote of adulterous love, he also opposed the destructive and socially alienating passions of a knightly society. In Erec and Enide, Erec, an Arthurian knight, fell in love with the truly poor Enide (of course she is the most beautiful maiden in the entire world ) and marries her. However, to the dismay of the court, the young hero now cared about nothing else than Enide and abandoned his service in arms and knighthood. ''Erec loved her...

Queering Gender Queering Death

Or nearly so women, to be sure, are again lurking in the margins. In his late essay, The Hermeneutics of the Self, where Foucault continues his exploration of penance, martyrdom, and mortification, Foucault consistently uses masculine pronouns to refer to the penitent Christian. Yet the one example he gives is that of a woman, Fabiola, who had married a second husband before the first had died, and was obliged to do penance for it (Carrette 1999 171-2). Again, in The Battle for Chastity which continues the theme of the formation of the self in early Christianity, women are portrayed as the source of temptation. Or, more accurately, for the monks struggling for purity it is their memories and fantasies of women, even of their own mothers and sisters, which constitute temptation to fornication and these memories and fantasies can be eradicated only by severe mortification (Carrette 1999 189-90). To be sure, these ideas are Foucault's presentation of the thoughts of writers of late...

Shame Honor and Slave Bodies

By tracing the dishonor of slaves and the exclusion of male slaves from the category of masculinity, have I thereby reinscribed this lack or, more properly, this perceived lack Because we do not possess a body of literature from the ancient world that we can reasonably attribute to slave authorship, we have few clues to help us understand how slaves perceived their own personhood, in particular, how they perceived themselves as women and men. We do not know how they absorbed or resisted discourses that excluded them from the game of honor. Clement of Alexandria described free women whose male slaves washed and massaged them in the baths.107 The suitability of male slaves as attendants for women in the baths was predicated on the exclusion of those slaves from the category of manhood. Did male slaves who served as attendants in the baths appreciate this logic If so, did it affect their self-images In the Acts of Thomas, Charisius is the husband of Mygdonia, who has been drawn into the...

Epilogue Philology as Theology

Neither the Bible, nor as I hope to have shown here, the Talmud, knows of such a typology - of that entity called by us sexuality, whose chief conceptual function, according to Halperin, is to distinguish, once and for all, sexual identity from matters of gender - to decouple, as it were, kinds of sexual predilection from degrees of masculinity and femininity. And as Halperin further observes That is what makes sexuality alien to the spirit of ancient Mediterranean cultures (Halperin 1990 100, 25). This is as true for the biblical talmudic Jewish culture of the ancient Mediterranean, as it is for the Greek. Both biblical and talmudic texts confirm rather than refute Foucault's general hypothesis of the history of sexuality Neither of them divide off sexual practices from the general categories of forbidden and permitted. Precisely because there is no separate realm of sexuality with all its definitional fraughtness for self-identification and that of others, there is The element...

The Immanent Trinity Only Incestuous Homoerotics

How is one to stage the inner life of God To attain this near impossible task Balthasar employs gender terms, deriving from but transforming Aristotle. And in case we forget that analogy operates within an always greater difference, Balthasar uses the prefix uber - translated variously as over, above, supra or super - to signify that when supramasculine (ubermannlich) and suprafeminine (uberweiblich) are used of God, they are not to be literally or directly related to the masculine and feminine in the human realm - whatever these terms might mean (see further Gardner and Moss 1999 98 n. 59). However, the use of these gendered terms does denote something specific about the inner life of God, otherwise there would be no use in employing them. What do they say about the divine life Balthasar's Trinity is an ecstatic eternal circle of overflowing love, reciprocally given, received, and shared between the three persons. However, the persons are distinguished by processions, and in these...

The Inestimable Value of Souls

If I do not misinterpret the divine word, nor misconceive human nature, the soul of man is that conscious, intelligent life, or rational spirit, which animates the corporeal body, and in it enjoys, suffers, hopes, fears, thinks, remembers, contrives, chooses, wills and determines. The body is naturally inert the soul naturally active. The body is a curiously complicated, wonderful machine, moved by the soul within it, but in the absence of the soul is an inanimate, motionless mass. The soul is the life of the body and whether in the body or out of it will continually exist. It is, strictly speaking, the man himself, considered as a sensitive, conscious, intelligent being. The soul, the internal or real man, is the only human moral agent, and is accountable to God for the deeds done in the body, according to the knowledge and ability possessed to do right and avoid wrong.

The Search for an Invulnerable Area for Faith

Lessing's (or the Enlightenment) solution, as we have seen, was to postulate an area for faith ('necessary truths of reason')16 incapable of historical investigation, to maintain that religious truth is of a different order from historical truth, and that the former in no way needs or depends on the latter. But the theory of innate ideas ('necessary truths of reason') could not last 17 the truths self-evident to all 'men of reason' soon proved to be neither self-evident nor necessary. Nor have either Reimarus's rationalist Jesus or Strauss's idea of God-manhood commanded lasting assent. Historical method had proved merely reductive of faith even the much diminished faith that remained had not escaped its withering power after all.

Faith Formed by Love Scholasticism

Rossiaud argues that the mayhem and violence of the medieval towns is related to the prevalence of adolescent gangs out to prove their masculinity and challenge the social order. ''City notables and heads of large households had a stake in quelling this turbulence. They offered their sons, their domestics and their working-men liberal opportunities for municipally-sponsored fornication (and they took advantage of it themselves).'' The argument here is that the establishment of municipal brothels and their civic regulation was an effort to

Protestantism The Arts And The Natural Sciences

The best studies are Tony Ladd and James A. Mathisen, Muscular Christianity Evangelical Protestants and the Development of American Sport (Grand Rapids, MI Baker Books, 1999) Clifford Putney, Muscular Christianity Manhood and Sports in Protestant America, 1880-1920 (Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press, 2001), 11-43.

Evangelical Theology In The Ghetto Context

So sociologists stopped writing about the sexual division of labor, and the concept of gender forced its way, self-consciously, into the vocabulary of the social sciences.3 Whereas sex related to what was biological, natural, predetermined, continuous, and the same in all cultures, gender'' referred to what was cultural, socially constructed, assigned, bound up with expectations, and constantly changing. Being a biological male or female may be the same the world over. But being a man or a woman (or ''masculine'' or ''feminine'') is shaped by the prevailing culture, for that is where we learn the conventions and attitudes, behavior, and communication patterns which form gender identity. And cultures vary ''feminine'' behavior in much of Africa, for example (women carrying huge loads on their heads and backs whilst their men remained unburdened), would be regarded as quite inappropriate in North America or Northern Europe. So, ''gender'' provided a concept more fluid and varied for...

Signs of the Times

One of the most cherished forms of salvation found in popular culture is the phenomenon of redemptive violence. In her book on the cultural meaning of the western in fiction and film, Jane Tompkins singles out redemptive violence as the key attraction of the genre. Every western plot culminates in an act of retaliatory violence that follows a certain formula First, the hero is seen saddling his horse or sitting pensively in the saloon (or something along these lines), minding his own business. Then the troublemakers single him out, challenge his courage or his manhood or some other cowboy virtue. Next,

Conscious Despair in Weakness

The next level of despair is conscious despair, in which one has a truer conception of despair and greater clarity about oneself as being in despair, although one may still have only 'a dim idea' of one's true state and self-identity at this level (SUD 48). Anti-Climacus basically distinguishes between two forms of conscious despair despairingly not to will to be oneself (despair in weakness or 'feminine despair'), and despairingly to will to be oneself (defiant despair or 'masculine despair') (49). Although women can manifest masculine despair and men can exhibit feminine despair, these instances are exceptions to the rule, as feminine despair is typical of women, due to their natural or instinctive tendency to lose themselves in devotion to others, while masculine despair is commonly experienced by men, who are more egotistical and intellectual by nature and thus more

Balthasar and Sexual Difference Introductory Notes

Following on from this, sexual difference becomes for Balthasar one of the key terms whereby an analogical understanding of the relationship between God and creation can be developed. The biblical imagery of Israel as bride of YHWH and church as bride of Christ is brought forward and developed in the light, both of a phenomenological analysis of sexual difference and eros and of the whole history of creation and redemption. A complex passage in the final volume of The Glory of the Lord uses the exegesis of Ephesians 5 to develop a vision of creaturely eros sacramentalized and drawn beyond the closed circle of human sexuality by its completion in the agape-love of Christ for the church, which in turn has its source in the selfless self-love of the persons of the Trinity (Balthasar 1982-91 VII, 480-4). Thus, in a further development of the theme of diastasis, sexual difference finds its ultimate ground and analogue in the life of the Trinity itself (see further Moss and Gardner 1998)....

The Catholic Reformation

The response of the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation is often described as two interrelated movements. One, a Counter-Reformation that attempted to win territory and people back to loyalty to Rome and prevent further spread of Protestant ideas, and the other a reform of abuses and problems within the Catholic Church that had been recognized as problems by many long before the Protestant Reformation. Thus the Catholic Reformation was both a continuation of medieval reform movements and a new crusade. Women were actively involved in both movements, but their actions were generally judged more acceptable when they were part of a reform drive even more than the medieval crusades, the fight against Protestants was to be a masculine affair. The masculine nature of the Counter-Reformation was intimately related to one of the key aspects of church reform - an enforcement of cloistering for women. Reforms of the church beginning with the Gregorian in the eleventh

Explanation And Scriptural Basis A The Meaning of Inerrancy

rules of grammatical expression (such as the use of a plural verb where grammatical rules would require a singular verb, or the use of a feminine adjective where a masculine one would be expected, or different spelling for a word than the one commonly used, etc.). These stylistically or grammatically irregular statements (which are especially found in the book of Revelation) should not trouble us, for they do not affect the truthfulness of the statements under consideration a statement can be ungrammatical but still be entirely true. For example, an uneducated backwoodsman in some rural area may be the most trusted man in the county even though his grammar is poor, because he has earned a reputation for never telling a lie. Similarly, there are a few statements in Scripture (in the original languages) that are ungrammatical (according to current standards of proper grammar at that time) but still inerrant because they are completely true. The issue is truthfulness in speech.

Rejecting the Unique American Culture

As if all that weren't disturbing enough, Thompson related that sex was the dominant theme throughout. Historians at America's best universities, he lamented, are obsessed with it. The titles of certain papers and discussion topics make the point. Consider these Strong Hard Filth and The Aroma of Washington Square Art, Homosexual Life, and Postal Service Censorship in the Ulysses Obscenity Trial of 1921 Solitary Self Solitary Sex Constructing Masculinity Homosexual Sodomy, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Penetrative Manhood in Early Modern Spain.

The Divine Image And Human Culture

Honesty requires that an exalted view of the nature of the human creature must go hand in hand with a profound sense that our world is touched by a Fall most of what we regard as 'natural' does not correspond to the Creator's original intent. This applies even to the apparently basic division of humanity into male and female. Certainly, men and women are both created according to the divine image- but does this mean that sexual differentiation is a necessary consequence of being in the divine image Theologians influenced by Russian religious philosophy are more inclined to see masculinity and femininity as ontological components of the human being- Paul Evdokimov is one such who has explored anthropology in some detail, for instance in his Woman and the Salvation of the World Christian Anthropology on the Charisms of Woman.43 But other Orthodox theologians, particularly patristic scholars, are sceptical of the claim that sexual differentiation in humans is part of God's original...

The continuation of the Christological controversy

The Bishop of Rome was one of the ablest men who have ever sat on the throne of Peter, Leo I, the Great. Leo supported Flavian and sent him a long letter, known as the Tome, in which he set forth the view which had been generally held in the West and which had been clearly stated by Tertullian years before, that in Christ Jesus there was neither manhood without true Godhead nor the Godhead without true manhood, that in Christ two full and complete natures came together in one person, without detracting from the properties of either nature and substance. Following the holy fathers we all, with one voice, define that there is to be confessed one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, of rational soul and body, of the same substance homoousion with the Father according to the Godhead, and of the same substance homoousion with us according to the manhood, like to us in all respects, without sin, begotten of the Father...

Isaacs Sons from Commentators

Ill feelings developed between the two brothers when they grew into manhood. Esau disliked the fact that Jacob was favoured by his father and by Allah with prophethood. This ill feeling became so searious that Esau threatened to kill his brother. Fearing for his life, Jacob fled the country.

The Humanity Of Jesus

If Jesus was God Himself, then all this emphasis would be out of place, seeing that God cannot die. Jesus would not have needed saving if he were God. That it was God who exalted Jesus demonstrates God's superiority over him, and the separateness of God and Jesus. In no way could Christ have been very and eternal God (with) two natures Godhead and manhood , as the first of the 39 Articles of the Church of England states. By the very meaning of the word, a being can only have one nature. We submit that the evidence is overwhelming that Christ was of our human nature.

Trinitarian Names And The Language Of Gender

The tradition of the Church confesses unanimously the trinitarian God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We know, on the basis of Old Testament, Judaeo-Christian and Syrian traditions, that the Spirit is a bearer of feminine and even maternal characteristics, but it is impossible to define further the mystery of the third person who has not assumed a human existence and who is in his divine being beyond any gender determination. In the recent common declaration by the International Commission of Theological Dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Church, mention has been made of the use of masculine and feminine categories in theological language. 'God is beyond gender and sexuality', the document affirms.20 The terms 'Father' and 'Son', applied to the first and the second persons of the Trinity, 'are in no way analogical, metaphorical or symbolical, but are iconic'. The 'masculinity' of the proper names of the Father and of the Son belongs to the immutable trinitarian...

In The Beginning Was The Word John 113

The word is only spoken of as he because 'logos' is masculine in Greek. But this does not mean that it refers to the man, Jesus. The German (Luther) version speaks of das Wort (neuter) the French (Segond) version speaks of la parole as feminine, showing that the word does not necessarily indicate a male person.

Jesus Sex and Jesus Gender

Christian traditions have wanted to hide on Jesus' body the organs of male sex at the same time that they have wanted to insist upon his male gender. A full consideration of this division might look to the difference between male organ and male power, between what theorists distinguish as the penis and the phallus. The penis is an organ while the phallus is a totem. I propose for the moment only the beginning of a simpler analysis. Consider how the distinction between sex and gender in Jesus allows his masculinity to be pliable for official purposes. So far, the enforced silence on Jesus' sex. The strident affirmations of Jesus' gender are much more familiar to us. We Catholics hear, for example, that women cannot be ordained to priesthood because they cannot represent or symbolize Jesus. We are told, again, that church leadership is more appropriate to men than to women not only was Jesus himself a man, but he chose only men as his disciples. So Jesus' masculine gender has enormous...

Evangelical theology and gender

Sociology's concern with social institutions and processes means the areas of work and family have been significant in the development of the discipline. Inevitably these have involved discussions of the varied societal roles of men and women, including the division of labor. Yet for decades such discussions were somewhat cliched, based on uncontested stereotypes masquerading as empirical sociological data. The functionalist Talcott Parsons, for example, offered categories which he felt adequately described role differences within the family. He presented the feminine role'' as expressive, fulfilling functions internal'' to the family (strengthening family bonds, socializing children), whilst the masculine role'' was instrumental, performing the external functions of a family (provision of monetary support).1 There was little acknowledgment that such descriptions were, in fact, heavily theoretically loaded and embraced many assumptions waiting to be contested.

Univ Calif Digitized by Microsoft

The historical rather than the ' 'real Constantine, however, must be our point of departure. Even in fields where vast funds of original sources of information are at hand and where an enormous amount of critical work has been done, it is presumptuous to claim knowledge of men and of facts as they would appear to the eyes of omniscience. The best that we can do under the most favorable circumstances is to approximate toward the real men and the real facts between us and them there always remains a margin of ignorancc, if not of error, which we may well call the historical equation. This does not mean that wc are left with merely lies agreed upon, for modern scientific methods are rigorous guides toward the truth, and though lies remain, even the most superficial reader knows how far historians are from agreeing upon them. In discussing men of the fourth century, however, it must be admitted that anything like complete truth seems unattainable. Information on most important points...

Femininity and Mission

What is the feminine for Balthasar His most comprehensive discussion is found in his prolegomena to Mariology (Balthasar 1988-98 III, 283-300). Here, woman is described as a double principle, a dyad, in contrast to the masculine monad. Woman's duality lies in the dual answer she gives to man - as bride and counterpart, and as bearer of the child that both results from and transcends their union. The principle of femininity is first and foremost the principle of receptivity and response. It is the principle of the Other in relationship - difference that does not oppose or exclude, that is ordered towards encounter, and that renders that encounter fruitful. The unquestioned masculinity of God in God's relation to the created order, placed alongside the characterization of femininity described above, has the effect of rendering same-sex relations among women invisible in this passage and elsewhere. The pattern is familiar male same-sex relations are a very visible threat, female same-sex...

God and Christ IN

I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another advocate Gk.-helper, one who gives aid , that he may abide with you for ever. (John 14 16) This word for advocate in the Greek has confused some scholars because it is a masculine word, like many other inanimate objects. Advocate, in this case, is not a being as some have supposed. Jesus Christ is referred to as our advocate in

The Bride in the Passion Crucifixion and Resurrection

At dawn Martha (some would say Salome), Mary Magdalene, and Mother Mary go out to Golgotha and are met by St. John, the only male disciple to attend the Crucifixion. Thus, there are the images or the maid, mother, and crone at the Crucifixion in the Sophian Gospel along with one of the men who accepted the divine feminine as cc equal with the divine masculine. Something of the Mystery of tht Crucifixion is reflected iri this image, as much as the image of the Christ-bearer on the Cross. In conjunction with this image of the three phases of the divine feminine, womanhood, and life itself, Sophians are quick to point out that, because of the Resurrection, the tomb becomes the womb of the Divine Mother from which the Risen Savior emerges. In this sense, the empty tomb is as much a symbol of the Resurrection as the Cross in Sophian tradition. This is reflected in stories told about the Day of Pentecost. According to the Sophian Gospel, St. Mary Magdalene, along with other women disciples,...

The Significance of

It is more likely that the reference to 'the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not' (to stress Mark's deliberate lack of grammatical apposition) is, like Paul's reference to 'the lawless one' or 'the enemy' who 'even takes his seat in the temple of God' (II Thess.2.1-12), There is here the same transition between neuter and masculine Kai ov (v.6), Kai wv (v. 7). traditional apocalyptic imagery for the incarnation of evil which had to be interpreted ('let the reader understand' cf. Rev. 13.18) according to whatever shape Satan might currently take. It is indeed highly likely that such speculation was revived, as many have argued E.g. B. W. Bacon, The Gospel of Mark, New Haven, Conn., 1925, 53-68. , by the proposal of the Emperor Gaius Caligula in 40 to set up his statue in the temple (which was averted only by his death). Josephus, Ant. 18. 261-309. For the horror and alarm which this raised among Jews, cf. Philo, Leg. Ad Gaium, 184-348. Paul was evidently still...

The Radically Redeemed

This is the kind of knowledge through which, according to Irigaray, he seeks to know her, with ready-made grids, with a fully elaborated code in hand. Shea's militaristic imagery suggests that Mariology is particularly vulnerable to Michel Foucault's claim that the history which bears and determines us has the form of a war rather than that of a language relations of power, not relations of meaning (Foucault 1984 56). For women who have played no part in the history of Mariology but who find themselves bodily inscribed within its war-like discourse, the task of liberating theological symbols is complex and multidimensional. It requires going beyond the systematized domain of Mariology itself, in order to construct an alternative theological narrative which draws on different aspects of the Marian tradition. Patristic theology, with its fluid and manifold forms of expression, and Marian devotional writings, provide a language which approximates to the kind of plurivocity that Irigaray...

We Are Compelled To Conceive Of Them As Distinct Persons

John 14 26 the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name 15 26 when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father Galatians 4 6 God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. The Greek Church holds that the Spirit proceeds from the Father only the Latin Church, that the Spirit proceeds both from the Father and from the Son. The true formula is The Spirit proceeds from the Father through or by (not and ) the Son. See Hagenbach, History of Doctrine. 1 262, 263. Moberly, Atonement and Personality, 195 The Filioque is a valuable defense of the truth that the Holy Spirit is not simply the abstract second Person of the Trinity, but rather the Spirit of the incarnate Christ, reproducing Christ in human hearts, and revealing in them the meaning of true manhood. (a) The masculine pronoun ejkei nov , though pneu ma is neuter John 16 14 He ejkei nov shall glorify me in Ephesians 1 14 also, some of the best authorities including Tischendorf...

Jesus Does Not Observe the Sabbath

It was Sabbath, a day of complete rest no fire could be lit or extinguished nor could females plait their hair. Moses (pbuh) had commanded that Saturday be dedicated to the worship of Allah. However, the wisdom behind the Sabbath and its spirit had gone, and only the letter remained in the Jews' hearts. Also, they thought that Sabbath was kept in heaven, and that the People of Israel had been chosen by Allah only to observe the Sabbath. They made a hundred things unlawful on Saturday even self-defense or calling a doctor to save a patient who was in bad condition. This is how their life was branded by such hypocrisy. Although

Ministerial Priesthood Men Only Representatives

Thus for Balthasar, the doctrine of the Trinity rules out women priests, for otherwise God's self-revelation would be perverted. Throughout this chapter I have labored to suggest that the opposite is in fact the case and that Balthasar's Trinity is not queer enough it is not as relentlessly analogical as it set out to be. It fails to transform Aristotle's categories thoroughly enough it fails to think gender in terms of its complex biblical construction. But Balthasar's theology is still immensely fruitful, and it is because of this that I have looked at his Trinity in such detail. We have nowhere else but the existing tradition from which to work. If Balthasar had followed his concern with the maior dissimilitudo, then his account of the trinitarian love - which so radically includes receptivity, letting be and activity (in contrast to so much of the metaphysical tradition) - would be capable of symbolizing homosexual as well as heterosexual love.12 And if Balthasar had questioned...


The advocates of a second probation, on the other hand, should logically hold that infants in the next world are in a state of sin and that at death they only enter upon a period of probation in which they may, or may not accept Christ. This is a doctrine much less comforting than that propounded above. See Prentiss, in Presb. Rev., July, 1883 548-580 Lyman Beecher and Charles Hodge first made current in this country the doctrine of the salvation of all who die in infancy. If this doctrine is accepted, then it follows that these partakers of original sin must be saved wholly through divine grace and power. In the child unborn there is the promise and potency of complete spiritual manhood. Salvation is possible entirely apart from the visible church and the means of grace to a full half of the race this life is not in any way a period of probation. The heathen, who have never even heard of the gospel, may be saved and that the providence of God includes in its scope both infants and...

The Right Question

While typically masculine characteristics are 'pride' and 'will-to-power' , the cultural construction of femininity prizes 'triviality, distractibility, and dif-fuseness lack of an organizing center or focus dependence on others for one's own self-definition . . . sentimentality gossipy sociability, and mistrust of reason - in short, underdevelopment or negation of the self' (Saiving 1979 37). As a result, Christian moral teaching commends sacrifice and service as a corrective to pride but for women, these merely serve to reinforce cultural expectations of self-abnegation and servitude. Sin for women is actually a failure to affirm their own independence and uniqueness and to overcome these barriers requires a degree of self-love and self-assertion - pride, self-esteem, and dignity - which upbringing and culture have previously denied them. Feminist theologians see a fundamental connection, therefore, between systems of patriarchal power in church and society and the deep symbolic...

Queer Orthodoxy

Of course this is not how Balthasar puts the matter. He does not describe the Trinity as queer. But he does say that the revelation of God in Jesus requires us to use sexuate language of God, though analogically. As we have seen already, Balthasar ascribes supram-asculinity and suprafemininity to God, indeed to each of the persons of the Trinity, including the Father. Balthasar understands (supra)masculinity and (supra)femininity in highly patriarchal terms, above all as activity and passivity respectively These are also highly Aristotelian terms. But unlike Aristotle, Balthasar affords them equal value God is both active and passive, giving and receiving - donation and reception. And so God is radically fluid in his her gender, and both men and women can represent the divine life. (Indeed, perhaps transgendered people will most perfectly figure this fluidity for us.) This is a queer God indeed. But then at certain points, which D'Costa discusses in detail, Balthasar goes back on his...

A womans religion

Our final task in exploring Christian success and failure is to investigate the religion's appeal to the different sexes. The most pressing task is to explain why women appear to be more numerous and more active in the churches whenever and wherever we have hard evidence about such matters. Were we looking at something like goddess spirituality, where women are directly empowered through the invocation of a female divine, the issue would not be so puzzling. But Christianity has traditionally excluded women from positions of power, and often places more emphasis on the connections between divinity and masculinity than divinity and femininity. So in fact we must deal with two questions not only 'why so many women ', but also 'why not more men' sacraments, scriptures, and the promise of salvation. But on the ' other hand the egalitarian emphasis is contradicted by a symbolic framework that elevates the male over the female, and by organizational arrangements that make masculine...

Elizabeth Stuart

t he ambiguity and fluidity - even gender bending - of its symbolics. God as the Trinity without reference to persons can, in traditional Christian exegesis, both require masculine pronouns and be our Mother God is Father but not male Jesus is Mother but not female the Spirit is male, female, or neuter depending on language, and also denied to have gender. . . . Analogy is more flexible than to require that one occupy a gender to represent it. Unlike, therefore, most uses of divine marriage, the Trinity resists sharp definitions of gender and denies the image of the fertile union of a private two. (Rogers 1999a 197)

Gods Bottom

One of the first miracles to occur following this theophany, continues Gregory, is the rod's changing into a snake (Life of Moses 2.26 Gregory of Nyssa 1978 61). However, Gregory assures his readers that the change from a rod (PaKT pia) into a snake should not trouble the lovers of Christ (Life of Moses 2.31 Gregory of Nyssa 1978 61). For our sakes the Lord became a serpent that he might devour and consume the Egyptian serpents produced by the sorcerers this done, the serpent changed into a rod (Life of Moses 2.33-4 Gregory of Nyssa 1978 62). Seeming to associate philosophy with the serpent of sorcery, he adds that circumcision is necessary to cut off everything that is hurtful and impure as is the case with philosophy's generative faculty (yovf ) (Life of Moses 2.38-9 Gregory of Nyssa 1978 63). Its fleshly excesses sheered away, the snake is once again refashioned as a sleek rod. Although admitting that we have probably already sufficiently interpreted the rod (papSoQ (Life of Moses...

Gregorys Virginity

Virginity is, then, the bottomless womb of the self-transcending infinitude of Gregory's desire. Isaac models the measured progress of the soul's upward climb, in which each stage prepares the way for the next, youth's passionate rush giving way to a sedate marriage in manhood's full maturity (resulting in a single act of birth), marriage itself giving way to a more divine love and more lasting progeny. Isaac himself is superseded, in Gregory's text, not by Christ but by Mary. What Isaac pursues sequentially, with a fragmented grace, she accomplishes with thrilling integrity, at once virgin and parent, at one in flesh and spirit, salvation's end looping back to creation's beginning. Sometimes inclined to gush, sensitive to the pleasurable touch of a sword's hilt, Gregory reaches for the timbrel's saving aridity dry now, he leads the dance of the virgins, all the more man in that he is more woman. Icon of a teleology of reabsorption of fluid in a solidified form, Gregory's text models...

Serpent Wisdom

In the Greek mythology, the real man, Nim-rod, is named Herakles (Hercules), who desired the wisdom of the serpent . The Greek mythology called Eden by the term Garden of the Hesperides , in which was a tree with a serpent. The serpent's wisdom could only be obtained by eating from the fruit of this tree, which were golden apples . This is where Christians get the apple idea -- really we don't know exactly what fruit Chuwah and Adam ate (it may have been a fig).

Mark D Jordan

Reflect on the vehemence of those rebukes and condemnations. Reflect on it and then push back against it. Our meditations on Jesus are incomplete without his sex. Telling the truth about him, we ought to try to tell it whole. But there is more a vehement refusal to think Jesus' sex while insisting on his masculinity suggests that we have yet to tell an anxious truth about ourselves in relation to Jesus' body. We are not able even to speak about some parts of it. Why is that

Theolgy 3 Notes

6 The literature on the secular feminist movement is voluminous. Suffice it to cite Betty Roszak and Theodore Roszak (eds.), Masculine Feminine Readings in Sexual Mythology and the Liberation of Women (New York, Harper and Row, 1969) Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch (London, McGibbon and Kee, 1970) Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (London, Jonathan Cape, 1970) Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex tr. H. H. Parsley, 1949 (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1972 Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York, Norton, 1963).

Queering Modernity

Not only that woman as symbol has remained mobile in Christian thought - so that men can be womanly in a way that women cannot be manly - but that actual women have been fantasized in differing ways, first as cooler, weaker versions of men, and then as men's opposites and complements. And these changing identities have been biological and social and thus political. But modern men have paid so much attention to what makes for a woman, that what makes for a man has become increasingly doubtful. This is evident in theologians like Balthasar, but also more generally in Western culture. It has led to a so-called crisis of masculinity, or series of such, the retorts to which are ever more absurd displays of hypermasculinity - by both straight and gay men, and some women (see chapter 19 by Mark Jordan for more on the problem of securing Jesus' masculinity). reading, Foucault queers the (male) subject - unsettles its givenness - at the expense of woman, whose subjectivity goes unrecognized,...

Grace M Jantzen

Although Foucault thus demonstrates queer strategy, however, he is not consistent in carrying it through. For example, it is a commonplace of feminist discussion of Foucault that he writes from an untroubled male perspective and rarely takes into consideration how differently things might appear if he were to queer gender rather than take unexamined masculinity as normative (see McNay 1992 and Hekman 1996). I do not mean only that a woman would write differently, though probably she would. I also mean that the issues Foucault presents, especially around sexuality and religion, would be contoured differently if instead of writing as though masculinity were universal or normative he had problema-tized gender in the way that he problematizes sexuality, say, or madness, or illness. In the first section of this chapter I shall take Jeremy Carrette's collection of Foucault's writings on religion and culture and indicate some of the places where taking gender seriously would give insights...

The Alienated Self

Unlike Irigaray, Kristeva does not challenge the necessity of the Oedipus complex for the development of socialized subjectivity, which means that she also accepts the necessary masculinity of the subject of the symbolic order (see Grosz 1989 63-9).6 Through the intervention of the father in the early mother-child relationship, the child achieves the separation required to become an individuated subject, modeled on the paternal example. But for Kristeva, the masculine subject is a less stable and coherent entity than the social order acknowledges, and the cost of sustaining the illusion of a unified, unambiguously masculine self is too high. While Irigaray argues that the move towards a transformed social and sexual ethic will come about through the sexual differentiation of culture and discourse, Kristeva argues instead for the internalization of difference through an acceptance of the idea of the divided and self-alienated subject. She finds in Freudian psychoanalysis a rich...

Promising Ashes

Freedom and new possibility, I suggest that an aesthetic of the self need not be located in oppression. To be a natal is to be one who has come into new life, one who has openings for growth and flourishing. The flourishing of natals depends on care for one another, and on justice in the distribution of material and social goods. As I have argued elsewhere, it is different in its emphasis than is a symbolic of salvation (Jantzen 1998 171-203). Rather than looking to immortality or to a life after death it looks to the conditions of life on this earth. Rather than depending on a heroic savior coming to the rescue, it emerges as gradual growth, as a plant grows and flourishes from within, drawing on its environment for its resources. Thus the flourishing of natals is not solitary, as death is, but is part of a web of life. An aesthetics of the self that looks for new possibilities of freedom and beauty and mutuality is better signified, I suggest, in a symbolic of natality opened out by...

Queer Prayer

In New Elucidations, Balthasar sets quasi-magical prayer techniques, such as he believes to dominate most non-Christian practices of prayer, over against the Marian model of crea-turely femininity in the worship of God. He describes prayer techniques as a kind of religious homosexuality, in which the creature would relate himself to God in a masculine fashion . . . whose perverse encroachment on God himself is depicted in the story of Sodom and its destruction. With God there can be no union of the same sex but only a feminine dependence on God no taking but only a being taken (Balthasar 1986a 188). Part of the problem lies in the unquestioned assumption that God must invariably be masculine vis- -vis humanity. While Balthasar is quite happy, in the discussion of inner-trinitarian relations, to allow supra-femininity as well as supra-masculinity in the Persons of the Trinity - even in God the Father, who receives fatherhood from the Son -the act by which God enters into relation with...

Queering Tradition

But more importantly for queer theology, Gregory makes desire central to his theology, so that when our desires are rightly ordered they come to participate in the desire of the Trinity, the longing of God for God. This is not desire as want, but as active pursuit of the good. It is desire as donation. Burrus pursues this and other themes through a consideration of virginity in Gregory, which for him is a practice for the weak, for those who are not strong enough to order their marital relations in pursuit of God, but fear the waywardness of bodily desires. Moreover, the virginal life seeks a return to the original - and final - sameness of a life without sexual difference, which is the life of the angels in heaven. At the same time this virginal life is marital, since the soul desires the embrace of the bridegroom, and yet this eschatological embrace passes beyond sexual difference, so that as the feminine disappears, homosexuality is established in heaven. But what is masculinity...

Male Bodies

Beyond an accident of language, the male slave endured the permanent status of a boy, excluded from maturing into the category of manhood. Indeed, later slave systems, such as those of the American South and the Caribbean, have also characterized male slaves as boys and thereby refused to acknowledge their manhood.83 In the context of the Roman thought world, the slave remained forever under the potestas (power) of the owner-patriarch.84 An incident from the ministry of Jesus illustrates the ambivalent position of the pais (child or slave) in the master's household.85 One context in which rural provincials would come in contact with large slaveholding households would have been encounters with military personnel, many of whom amassed large numbers of slaves as they moved around the Empire. According to Matthew, as Jesus entered Capernaum a centurion approached him to ask Jesus to heal his ailing pais. Whether Matthew's pais is a child or slave is unclear. Luke's version is unambiguous...

The Shape of Desire

In the most memorable of his poems, The Dark Night, St John transforms his own painful experience of isolation into the quivering anticipation of a secret embrace, moved by desire for a divine lover whose masculine beauty calls out, disturbing his sleep, inviting his caress and promising an unparalleled fulfillment. John here takes on the role of the female soul, a standard trope within Christian mystical writing but one which seems particularly significant within John's treatment of desire. In English, the effect is more straightforwardly homoerotic as the gender of John's narrator remains provocatively ambiguous except for the fifth stanza (which introduces this section). In Spanish, however, the female gender is established immediately though suggestively with a string of adjectives and participles inflamada (fired or inflamed), sin notada (unseen or concealed), segura (secure), and disfrazada (disguised). It is by desire and in secrecy that St John takes on this female role,...

Jesus Corpses

There are many connected questions to be posed about Western iconography of Jesus on the cross. For example, is it surprising or predictable that an officially homophobic doctrine would take as its central image an almost naked man being tortured Do we understand that choice as the eruption of the repressed or the cultivation of erotic indifference towards male beauty - as a continual revenge on the threat of male attraction Again, if the most important male body is standardly represented almost naked under torture, suffering apparently the threat or the effects of castration, how does that alter a culture's general conventions for picturing violence, desire, and masculinity These are important questions, but I set them aside to say again the most basic thing. For the most traditional Christian theology, it would be a sign of full redemption to represent Jesus naked on the cross.10 His nakedness would be a sign of a redeemed - that is, a humanly mature - community of believers. But we...

Female Bodies

The English word slave is unisex it can refer either to a male or a female slave. The English word slaveholder can similarly refer to a male or a female owner of slaves. Reliance on such unisex terms tends to obscure the gendered dimensions of slavery. Even in situations where the Greek word doulos clearly refers to a male slave, translators are likely to translate this grammatically masculine term as slave and not as male slave. However, the grammatically feminine term doule is typically translated as female slave or maidservant rather than slave. (The translation maidservant not only highlights gender but also downplays servile status.) The plural form douloi is grammatically masculine. Although douloi can properly refer to mixed groups of male and female slaves, it can also refer to groups entirely composed of male slaves. The gender of the term is suppressed in English, however, except in rare situations, for example, in apposition to a plural feminine form. In Acts of the...


To begin with the gratingly obvious, there are in Foucault's writings on religion, as indeed in all his writings, the tell-tale slips and turns of phrase that make it obvious that only a man could have written them, and a man who had not problematized gender or thought much about the power at work in the assumption of masculinity as normative. He writes, for example, of humanism as the little whore of all thought (Carrette 1999 99). He writes of the development of the subject in relation to the government of households, wives, and children obviously subject here is male (Carrette 1999 154). Could there be a woman subject How would she develop Foucault assumes (as has much of Western theology) the connection of the demonic and witchcraft with women, whom we who were to subject to exclusion (Carrette 1999 55). When he contrasts Japanese with Western society he says Western man . . . always thought that the essential thing in his life was sexuality In the West, men, people, individualize...

Woman at the Cross

What are the consequences of this for Balthasar's understanding of sexual difference If Mary can be seen to survive the death of Christ intact, the ordering of male and female, masculine and feminine, also survives. The analogies it grounds remain free from the critique implied by the infinite diastasis of Father and Son completed in the crucifixion. This is, it would seem, why Balthasar can make his gendered analogies face both ways, secured by Mary's uninterrupted mediation as the pivot between innerworldly and innertrinitarian relations.