« Class questions, comments, discoveries | Main | Week #3 Discussion Café »

Week #3 Reading Reflection Assignment

After reading the reading assignment (use the discussion questions to help you read with critical attention), write on this reading reflection question. Due date: noon on January 29. Post below as a comment. Note: the rubrics for doing a good job on reading reflections are now Course Information and Requirements.

WRITE ON THESE QUESTIONS

Reading Reflection: These articles make the general point that women need to actively engage with reinterpreting history, finding resources for future change from reinterpreting the past. In particular, women need to do Biblical study and reinterpret the roles that women played in Biblical times and in early Christian history. What was surprising to you in these articles? What assumptions that you had about the past were challenged by these articles? What positive changes do these perspectives offer for men and women, and for society?

Comments

I think that Sheila Collins was trying to show what traditions has ignored because it is important to remember traditions when thinking of Religion since both may have similar things in common. I want to know what kind of changes she had to go through in more detail. I also agree when they were saying that not all herstory is antitraditional. I think not all of it needs to have some kind of tradition added towards it. I was more curious to find out more when they were talking about how the Trible which is the universal of the biblical message of salvation. I found it interesting when they were saying the Bible has to be possible to read and translate in nonsexist terms. I can see them always wanting proof for everything, for almost every religion. It makes sense that it has to be nor towards a different gender, because that really shouldn’t matter. It does matter for certain things, but I think personally that God doesn’t care as long as everyone is the same in His eyes.
I founds it rather interesting when they were telling us who and what scholars read the Bible. It said the scholars were mostly men. They had many different translations making it easier for all different kinds of people to read and understand the Bible. It doesn’t say much about women in the perspective in the Bible by which we would know that male existence is a normal factor in human existence. I have studied Christianity and I think it is a little odd that some believers would write against other Christian groups. I mean, I can see that there must be a different type of Christianity and that is why they are doing this. I also agree we cant reasonably find papers on women during early Christianity, because that would be hard stuff to come up on to find. It does say in the New Testament how women during the past were though.
I found these few chapters really interesting, and can’t wait to read everyone else’s responses to the reading.

In reading this week’s assignment, the thing that surprised me the most was Pagel addressing the idea that the Holy Spirit is a woman. Personally, I have always thought of God as neither male nor female, but I have never really thought of the Holy Spirit as any gender at all. The way that Pagel explained the view of the trinity as the father, mother and son relationship (p.110) was the most surprising to me. I have never thought about that option at all. However, after completing her article it did seem like a much more viable option compared to what I have been taught to believe. This idea also seems to explain some of the dynamics of the world, in my mind at least. Relationships, marriage and family would all seem to stem from this idea of a father, mother and child relationship within the trinity.

I didn’t really have any assumptions about the past that were challenged by these articles. I am more on the other side of the coin, where a lot of my assumptions were affirmed by these articles. I have always believed that history was written by man and therefore biased in many ways. Since the loser of a fight almost never writes the story of what happened, history was bound to be biased in many aspects, so these articles really solidified in my mind that gender was one of those biases and man made a point to paint himself as the dominant sex. Almost every one of these articles seemed to focus on this and prove my assumption to be true. I have taken art history courses where I learned a lot about the “fertility goddess? and so I was vaguely familiar with the impact that women used to have on history. These articles affirmed for me that there has not been a lot of focus in history on accurately documenting these eras.

I think that the most positive change for both men and women would be a return to a matriarchal society. The eras that these articles talked about (and the ones addressed in last week’s video) seemed a lot more peaceful than anything that I have seen in my day. Maybe with a return to a matriarchal society we could have a return of that same peace that these societies had.

Several years ago I kept hearing about a certain book through friends and in the media, a book that would supposedly blow away all my preconceptions of Christanity. The way people were describing it, I thought it was a missing section of the Bible. You might have heard of it…The Da Vinci Code. Well, it certainly was a very enjoyable book – and movie- about a secret society protecting the truth about Jesus and Mary Magdelene’s supposed relationship (husband-wife) and their lineage. From what I understand, the author drew on factual evidence but much of it was fictionalized, or distorted for dramatic purposes. The debate over Mary Magdelene’s and women’s role in the birth of Christianity is a well-researched topic and I credit The Da Vinci Code with introducing me to the complexities of religion as it pertains to gender.
So, when I began to read these passages in WomanSpirit, it may not have been the first time I was exposed to these ideas that much of women’s contribution to religious history had been discarded, hidden, suppressed or reinterpreted, but the essays by authors Collins, Fiorenza, Pagels and Stone brought depth to this understanding and the details surprised me. I especially enjoyed Pagels’s essay examining the “mythical explanations? (p.113) of conflicting images of God and the examination of texts describing God as a “dyadic being who consists of both masculine and feminine elements.? For example, the suggestion of certain biblical passages actually being symbolic of the birthing process (p. 111) was interesting, although the idea of the Red Sea symbolizing blood from the womb felt to me a bit of a stretch. The more fact-based discussion of secret texts such as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene describing women’s leadership in early Christianity was surprising to me since I was unaware that women were not only active followers of Christ but also in positions of authority as “teachers, traveling evangelists, healers, priests and even bishops? (p. 115) during this early period.
Also surprising to me was Stone’s essay on the “discovery of numerous accounts of the female Creators of all existence? (p. 121). While I was aware that there had been Goddess worship in early civilizations, it’s amazing to consider how far-reaching and advanced the religious culture of Goddess worship and “matrilineal societies? (p. 125) was. The earth-worshipping culture of these societies provoked thoughts of the impact our “attitudes towards the natural world? (p. 71) have had on our abused planet. It’s interesting, if somewhat naïve, to speculate whether, if we had maintained the attitude of the pagan “reverence? of the natural world (p.71) versus the attitude “expressed in Genesis 1 [that] ‘man is to ‘subdue’ the earth,? would we be struggling with issues of pollution, deforestation, and climate change today?
The fact that in the past 30 years suppressed texts such as The Gospel of Mary Magdelene have not only come to light in the mainstream but have also become topics of popular –and not so popular- books and movies points to much of Western society’s acceptance that perhaps the Holy Bible as we know it isn’t the full story, perhaps something was lost in translation – intentionally, by men asserting a patriarchal authority, or unintentionally since interpretation of language is subject to the translator’s prejudices. Not only that, but there is more acceptance of the idea that this doesn’t have to mean loss of faith or that we have been on the wrong path. Instead, using Collin’s paradigm, we are simply incorporating what we already know into “ever larger meanings.? (p.72) A greater understanding of our universe and satisfaction of our human hunger for the meaning of life can only benefit all people, regardless of gender.

As I mentioned in the Discussion Café, the thing that really surprised me was the role of Mary Magdalene. I was taught that she was the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet, and her role in the story of the bible was to remind us that Jesus is able to love and forgive the lowest of the low, even Mary Magdalene. It surprised me that she may not have been such a degenerate after all, but a respected leader. As Jessica mentioned in her reading response, I also had the feeling that the Bible had been altered by those who translated and interpreted the scriptures. Due to this bias and patriarchal tendency, it makes sense that so many things were left out or altered to a point that (for women) it is telling a different story all together. Fiorenza (p.88) points out that the scriptures indicate that women were not only followers of Jesus but were “the most courageous of all his disciples.? The words courageous, apostle, teacher, leader are not often (if at all) applied to women in the Christian Bible as I know it. It is encouraging and surprising to me to see it as a possibility, as part of our history.

This reminds me of our American history lessons in grade school. We were taught that the American Indians were savages, and the good Christians conquered the land and made it safe for all of us. They told us what they wanted us to believe, but the truth behind it was not so difficult to uncover. Another situational similarity that I see is that native Indians and Goddess worshipers seemed to have a respect for the earth, and lived in a harmonious manner with nature. Both of these lifestyles were conquered and suppressed. Now we live in a society that has damaged the environment in which we reside to the point where it may not be able to sustain us.

My assumptions about past civilizations were probably formed from television and childhood cartoons. I always pictured the caveman in the Stone Age as a dominating beastly man. If he observed a female specimen that the found appealing, he would render her unconscious with a club and have his way with her. According to Stone (p.124), the people living in the Paleolithic period were likely Goddess worshipers. She explains the matrilineal societies that possibly did not understand how women came to have babies, but the process was revered (p. 125-126). Hence, females may have had a respected role in the society, which is quite opposite of my past assumptions.

I feel that this information is a useful tool for positive change in our society. We can look at our past and find the things that worked for previous societies. Rather than blazing ahead with the goal of dominating the world, we can learn how to live in harmony by giving respect to the earth and all who live in it. I feel that finding “herstory (p. 64)? in religion can help to heal the damage that has been done to the image of women throughout history, and can bring us closer to equality within the church and within our society.

There are few things that are surprising to me, one of them is when Phyllis Trible stated that deity is speaking to both the man and women......one creature incorporating two sexes? (Pg. 74). I agree with her point and I think there is no such a thing that God created man first and woman comes last. God created everyone same and I also agree with Fiorenza’s idea of preachers and writers who want to keep the power or do not like women maintained that the suppression of women was revealed in the Bible. I do admit that I don’t know what is written the bible but sexism in religion is a history but it is happening at the present and in every religion. When I was reading these articles, many questions rise in my mind regarding my own religion that I see less female religious leaders and high rank lamas and many scriptures and pray books are written on male abbots or God.

I have heard many challenges that women experienced regarding status, power, relationship, and etc. I never assumed that there is sexism in religion and they worked hard to change the view of women in religion. People forget about the good things that women have done in religion as McLaughlin mentioned that Christianity in America, Protestant and Roman Catholic, ignore the existence of the women’s movement in their discussions of the churches in the 1970s and the important role played by nuns in the religious life ( Pg. 94).

The positive changes offer for men and women, and for society by these perspective are acknowledging the truth hidden in religion. Society should not follow the wrong paths in religion and offer same opportunity regardless of gender. People started to move forwards matriarchal and believe in existence of mother goodness. This book was written 30 years ago and they might have more positive changes in this current society based on ideas of truth in this book as well as from other references.

As for the surprises in the articles there is not much. For as a whole I hear these things from both sides such as sexist, stubbornness, and that was the for the time it was written not now. As for who wrote the book of the Lord I will not comment on. But the thing I will say is that as for the Bible or writing of the text from earlier times there is much to be said of that. One of the issues is taking things from one language to another at times it cannot be done. For at times some things of another language can not be said in another language. As for the Bible there maybe flaws in the writings that you see in like the King James. There is a possibility that when the Bible was written it may have been changed to a sexist kind of talk from what it had previously meant.
As for assumptions I have had none of the past. The only thing I have put into question is the actions of man. As for the European and US I know more of than that of the Middle East. For the people of the time before the Hebrews came all I know is of what I have read. Things that I have read is of sacrifices and the way of life of people in the older times. People can assume of the way of life by their pictures they made and stories pasted on. As for how a person or group of people were living I don’t know. There is one thing I will agree on is of the fact of women in key positions of ruling the country or being able to be a person of reference.
As for the possible changes for men, women, and society I am not sure of that. The thing I will say is that there is a lot of things in here to think about. One of the things to think of is how women contributed to the place or community that they were a part of. In articles or other references they have been documented in the area of both men and women contributing to the role of history. For one to accuse one of being sexist or stubborn things need to be thought out.

I had never put much thought into it before but I found it very interesting that not only could the reason that the bible and many other religious texts be portrayed (or are) as very patriarchal writings be because of the time period that they were written in but also because of how we as a society are brought up to read and study them. It seems so simple but I didn’t think how simply someone can read between the lines and interpret a story to fit into their world ideas. For example on page 74 Phyllis Trible says in regards to Genesis 2-3 “many feminists interpret this story as legitimating male supremacy and female subordination.? I didn’t study the bible but after reading this excerpt I could see how both sides could use this story to “prove? their own points.

On the other hand Collins made a good point showing how reading between the lines provides the substance for herstory. Much of the past was probably not accurately documented or documented at all because many of the people in authority or who could write down our history were men. I think that was stated fairly well in Florenza’s piece where many of the women’s names were nicknames or partial names. There was documentation that women were involved and important but much of it was discouraged or missing.

When I read these pieces and think of positive change I think of herstory. Although I still think that society is patriarchal and we have a long we to go women are writing their story. We are getting a voice. Maybe there won’t be as much of a need to read between the lines.

I think the biggest surprise I had while reading these articles was how the authors challenged the foundation of our societal view of gender and its role in religion. Tribles re read of the biblical account of the creation of Adam and Eve was refreshing. She didn’t come off angry but came off as one who was honestly searching for truth. Her telling of genesis shows how in the creation men and women are in harmony (pg 80). Man is truly incomplete without women, and she without him, this speaks volumes about who we are as individuals and how we should look at and treat the opposite sex. To me it shows that we are weak our that we truly need to try and understand each other in a fundamental way I believe thru this we will find harmony. The other idea she brings up about how sin brings alienation and discord (pg 80). I’ve seen this in my own relationship with my wife, as I sin or make choices that go contrary to what see and feel is Gods will, it is hard to truly love my wife. On the other hand as I try to do what I see as Gods will there is a sense of peace and harmony between my wife and me. Her point about grace making possible a new beginning (pg 80) reinforced my belief in the need for a Savior.
Fiorenza article about women in the early Christian movement rally help to reinforce the things have been coming out of my scripture study as of late. I read the New Testament and see the role women played in bringing forth the Gospel of Christ. Her ideas about women as leaders, and missionaries show the encompassing ideas that were taught by the Savior.
I really enjoined the first two articles; they really helped me see a different take on the scriptures.

When I read the six assigned articles for this week I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of them, but the other ones seemed to go with a safe message of equality. (Well, Stone decided to write about pre-Abraham Goddess worshipping. It was the only article to not look for a sense of female purpose from the Bible.) Pegels writes about the Holy Spirit originally meaning the Mother. It would only make sense that you would pray to the Father, Son, and Mother. It also makes sense that the Mother (Holy Spirit) would be shown by touching your fingers to your left, then right part of your chest (Breast if you want, I am a male and feel uncomfortable using that word.)
The real fun for me was reading Trible. My opinion of the message Trible was trying to convey to the reader was that the creation story has been taught to us from a bias point of view. I know that isn’t shocking, but I really liked the idea that Adam came after the animals and he was placed over them, Eve came after Adam, so she should be placed over Adam by the same reasoning. As most of us know though, the commonly taught theory is that because Adam came before Eve, he is her master. (Hypocrites, by that logic, the animals should take charge over man.) True, Trible was using this form of logic to prove a point; the real insight was that Adam really was a non sexual entity until he awoke after God took out Adam’s rib. Now you have man and woman, two entities that are equal but different. Two entities made for each other. Life together is full of God’s Grace until the Fall.
The serpent is cast down below all others for eternity, and man and woman Fall from Grace. My interpretation of what Trible is saying at this point might not be any of yours, but that is all right by me. Trible implies that to be in God’s Grace, you have to be equal to your spouse. That God put an unwilling Adam in charge over Eve. Thus, taking away Eve’s freedom. The old saying “the grace of David? might actually mean that he found Grace with Bathsheba? Anyway, when a man sets his woman free, she is then that, free. So, he to becomes free. When I say free, I mean free from bondage, not free to go out and live a life of sin. (If you think that sin is just away to keep women in bondage and really doesn’t exist except as a form of control on women, then I am a little old fashioned for your tastes.) The woman is free to be herself, not the slave to her husband. The husband is free from controlling his wife, having his equal partner back again. The two find Grace with each other. (Doesn’t it sound wonderful, remember, I was just expressing what I thought Trible was trying to say)

In my opinion, the other articles said about the same thing. Through Jesus, all humans are equal. It seems to be a common theme, though Jesus we find salvation, Jesus wants us to treat each other as equals. Treating humans as equals and believing that their life is just as important as your own might be the way back to the Garden of Eden? Yeah!
If people started treating each other the way they should be treated, then Capitalism would collapse. People wouldn’t be commodities anymore; a youth dying of starvation in the Sudan would have the same intrinsic value as Rush LimBlah. It might be the great world that Stone has uncovered with her studies? As some died song writer asked, can you imagine?
Back to Stone, I don’t doubt that the world worshipped the Goddess, but I doubt that the reason for worshipping the Goddess is because human beings didn’t know that sex made babies. I have to believe that women were smart enough to realize why their bellies would swell up and why they would end up pushing out a child nine months later. On second thoughts, with the morality rate that it was, why would a woman have sex if it could have been the death of her? I guess we will never know?

By the way, what is with the name Merlin Stone? Did she change it from Mary or Elizabeth? I think of the Druid wizard who helped King Arthur pull the sword Excalibur out of the Stone when I hear her name.

What surprised me most of all in the articles was how big of a part women played in religion in Europe thousands of years ago, as was mentioned in the article “Women and Culture in Goddess-Oriented Old Europe?. I knew that women had a bigger role than they do now, but I was not aware that their role was that big. I had assumed that the woman’s role was equal to that of the man’s role. However, the way I interpreted the readings, at least in this article, shows that a woman’s role was greater than a man’s role. This article and the article “The Myth of Demeter and Persephone? bring up the subject matter of women as givers of life, which explains why women were given a bigger role than men in religion and society. That thought process could bring about a change in society, potentially offering women a stronger role in modern religion.

Another idea from the articles I found surprising was from the article “God Is Inside You and Inside Everybody Else?. The idea that God is something that is everywhere has been a belief of mine for awhile now, but I had never thought of that in reference to the Christian God, as is implied in this article. This could prove to be a positive change in Christian society, if others began to believe God to be an it, a thing that is everywhere. If enough people saw God this way, women could be given the opportunity to have religious roles equal to men.

I can not help but remember some of the readings and discussions from Your Spiritual Journey class. Some of this weeks readings are a continuation of the themes and concepts. That said I see many positive changes for men and women and have seen some in the comments from some of the men taking this course. I feel that the Christian church has oppressed women big time. Still does by keeping labels on what is seen as traditionally male more prominent and female suppressed/silenced. By trying to continue to do this, keep men and women in traditional roles in the church, men without realizing it have denied a part of themselves. This was part of the message that I got from the readings of Sheila Collins on especially pg 69, including Elaine Pagels. Thank God that there were women and men who didn't destroy all the writings. After reading Elaine I felt glad to have been made in the image of Grace and Wisdom. I also appreciate men more. I was surprised to learn that some Gnostic's believe that the Mother God is the protector. Mother God is a new concept to me. I do believe that the Holy Spirit is the feminine side of God the more nurturing, compassionate, healing, loving side. I was taught and believed till now that God was the more protective, authoritative, warrior, type. I'm being challenged by those beliefs. I feel those beliefs have limited God. I don't want to do that so I'm glad I’m learning more about the feminine side of God. I still do not know if God is both male and female. I do know God has created everything, is creating and will continue to create.

My beliefs regarding the virgin birth have been challenged. I know it's always been challenged. I was brought up Catholic were you believe Mary is the literal Mother God, virgin and never had sex with Joseph. My step mom and childhood best friend being Lutherans didn't believe that it was literal but couldn't explain just what the virgin birth meant. Evangelicals believe Mary liberally was a virgin and its likely Mary and Joseph had relations. I think the virgin birth is one topic that most Christians, even Theologians have a hard time understanding and explaining. To me, right now the virgin birth was the birth of two powers (pg 111).

As to assumptions that I was taught in the past I always assumed when the bible said "You will worship no other Gods but me." that meant pagan Gods. I never really looked at that statement. To me it's possible there is another God. Why else say it?

I'm still chewing on Phyllis Tribbles' essay (cannot comment until I reread it a few more times. I really need to take the Hebrew Bible class taught here. She left me with more questions, questions that have nothing to do with this class.). I still feel uncomfortable with Eve getting the blame for the fall. Even by other women. This reminded me, as did parts of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza’s essay, that for the Christian church to be whole and to heal we as women have to stop fighting with each other, putting labels on each other that limit us, that keep us in boxes or roles we no longer need or have outgrown. A woman, who stays at home, raises the children and home schools them (or stays at home and doesn’t have children. I know plenty of women that have done or have done this.) or works out side the home, loves their children just as much as the other and both work hard and love their families. We have to stop allowing these divisions to happen

This week’s reading had some very interesting pieces of food for thought…

Trible’s discussion of the Yahwist’s (J) account of creation and its particular literary composition was fascinating. Although I’m somewhat familiar with the Yahwist —the idea that the position of characters in the story are purposefully positioned to form a “ring composition? or in other words, where the beginning and ending are parallel is absolutely intriguing to me. This type of critical scholarship brings a very different perspective when reading the bible—it’s not just (for me) the inspired word of God it’s also a well studied and well documented literary piece. Again, for me, when viewed this way the words and teachings really come to life and provide yet another understanding of the multi-layered text.

In Pagel’s essay, she speaks of the Secret Book of John, the secret Gospel of the Hebrews, and the Gospel of Thomas (p. 110) all relating Mother as the Holy Spirit—the assertion that the Trinity consisted of the Father, the Mother (Holy Spirit) and the Son. This was new and surprising to me as I have not heard this before, but the implications of such could/would have a profound affect on Christianity if embraced.

I found Stone’s essay fascinating as she traced the image of the Goddess as far back as 25,000 BC. It was also compelling in that it explored how vast an area such images were found, and the longevity of such challenged my previous assumptions about Goddess veneration. This type of worship seems to have been deeply rooted in many different areas of the world and to think of how relatively quickly it vanished is astonishing.

All of the essays present compelling evidence and intriguing theories that most people are largely unaware of. I think this poses a real challenge to the sweeping change that these authors are seeking. This information is not taught in Sunday school nor in most learning institutions and so my questions is, how do we bring about “radical change? without a mass dissemination of such knowledge and understanding? I guess that is why it has literally taken centuries to see the sort of change we have seen of late. So do these authors and their perspectives offer the possibility of positive change? I’m not entirely sure, but another question that I think is important to ask is, has the change we’ve seen thus far in women’s rights and equality been the direct result of rethinking religion and its bias, or has it been the result, in full or part, of secular forces?

A lot of things surprised me about these articles. The two articles that stuck out the most to me were the ones by Pagels and Stone. When I first started reading Stone’s article, I thought that it would be very much a waste of time. How could she ever prove that there were ever goddesses? I have grown up with the belief that there is only one God who was of course male and that there was no such thing as different goddesses for different things. For example, Stone describes a goddess of writing and a goddess of law. I do not fully understand the concept of having a goddess of writing and such. I have always believed that there is a God who created heaven and earth, man and woman and that people created things like writing and the law. How can a God create those things?

After reading more into Stone’s article and Pagel’s article, it interested me the most that they were able to uncover all of this evidence to suggest that woman was powerful, created the Earth, and as they suggest, probably God. For example, on page 121, Stone talks about her interpretation of heaven and earth: “I had somewhere assimilated the idea that the earth was invariably identified as female, Mother Earth, the one who passively accepts the seed, while heaven was naturally and inherently male, its intangibility symbolic of the supposedly exclusive male ability to think in abstract concepts. This too I had accepted without question – until I learned that nearly all the female deities of the Near and Middle East were title Queen of Heaven, and in Egypt not only was the ancient Goddess Nut known as the heavens but her brother-husband Geb symbolized the earth.? I, as well, have always thought of Heaven as being run by the male God and Earth as being “Mother Earth?, so this passage really surprised me.

The parts about Pagel’s article that surprised me were that the importance of women in the Bible was rejected. The opinions of the religious leaders about how women are supposed to be inferior to men because of the teachings of the Bible were extremely surprising to me. I always thought that the church leaders saw women and men as equal, or at least not as women being inferior to men. I had no idea about the secret “gospels? from the New Testament. Learning about these ideas sheds light to the treatment of women. It should show society that women should be treated as equals and should be honored and hold the same value as men do in society. However, I highly doubt there will be a day when women and men are totally treated as equals in this society.

This weeks reading assignment was very interesting. It had me thinking about how the stories in the Bible have a larger impact on how society functions. I also saw how the women that were writing these articles were very persuasive in showing how different readings can be interpreted in so many ways. Either they can have a positive point making story for the reader, or other groups can distort the information and use it against another gender. “The Bible cannot be accepted or rejected as a whole; its teachings are varied and its lessons differ widely from each other (pg 85).


I was very interested in what Phyllis Trible had to say about how women need to re-read the story of Adam and Eve, because many Priests use the words in the Scripture to back up their claims that man should rule over women. Instead that is not what she got from the re-reading of that story. I was blown away by the different ways that in that one story men feel superior to women. When I first read the Scripture I never felt that way I just felt it was a story of right and wrong about man’s ultimate sin. I never looked at the story and thought that Eve or woman was inferior because she choose to eat the apple. I liked the point that Trible made about how each of them made their own decisions. His one act is belly oriented, and it is an act of quiescence, not of initiative (pg 79). She argues that at least Eve made her own decision. She also says that they both sinned so why is it that one should be inferior to the other. She gives me the feel in her writings that women need to do more research so that we can have a better standpoint in arguments. Also to prove that women were just as important in the Biblical world as men. Women are often left out or forgotten because the people writing the Scriptures were men and people that write history tend to be biased to what is important to them. Or search for what is important because that is what they searched for.


What I found very interesting was that since women felt that the Bible was so critical of women and so harsh that some were choosing to shy away from religion. Since do only these few readings I am very interested in looking into other stories in the Bible and try to gather my own interpretations.

About the herstory and how is shows a totally different way to interpret the bible, and by showing the different ways you begin a new story. Thus allows people to look outside of the box and form their own interpretation. I think that if we refuse to see the world correctly and we lose the people who lived during them times, we lose more greatly then just the history.

About how the spirit of the mother and how everything other than God and Jesus was a woman. In Austria women were considered higher then men. Like when someone married it was the man who moved into the women house or family pg 130. Also when the suppression of women didn’t happen until Christian emperors of Rome, and that Zantiw was the one who closed the last Goddess temple around 500AD.

I think that a positive change is that Tribble stated that Eve and Adam both sinned and Adam made his own choice, I never looked at it that way. So we really do think we need to reread the bible with an open mind so we can see what was really written and not what other people want us to believe.

What was surprising for me in the articles from week #3 reading assignment? What assumptions that you had about the past were challenged by these articles? What positive changes do these perspectives offer for men and women, and for society?
I would never assume that in the Catholic religion and traditions maleness is the essence of faith and theology. I always thought that Catholic religion is the least ‘gender abusive’. Nevertheless, I learnt that a lot of Catholics consider marriage and having children their only female vocation. Otherwise, their only choice is to renounce their nature and sexuality in virginity. I can just assume, looking at the success of women nowadays, that most of the Catholic Americans are not strictly religious. It doesn’t seem that way when you see hundreds of churches driving around the cities.
It was new for me to know that a lot of feminists as well as feminist Christian keep their anger and hurt for the violence done to their sisters in past. It seems to be contradicting with the Bible commandment to ‘forget and forgive’.
It was an interesting thought that after the invention of birth control more younger women get pregnant; a lot of women on Indian reservations being sterilized. Everyone knows about these facts, but I never thought in deep about them. Why is that happening nowadays?
I never thought before that women’s pregnancy, which were attributed to the wind or to ancestral spirits, many centuries ago gave the women a great power. An idea of women as a life creator gave her a big credit in her position in the society. I totally agreed on the point of view that “what men are often afraid of is that the change in role and position will not mean a mere shift in the relationship between men and women but a complete destruction of any relationship or a fatal reversal of the patriarchal relationship.” I thought about that before, but was surprised how easily one sentence could explain, express this idea. (page 145)
I knew that in past women often were treated like servants, but I didn’t know that even in churches they were given the same treatment. However, article of Sheila Collins illustrated women’s exploitation in completely different colors: “women in churches have served as a form of cheap domestic labor for the larger political economy…They have been used to mop up the wounds created by the cruelties of industrial capitalism – for example, in making bandages during wartime, sending mittens and canned goods to Peru…giving Thanksgiving baskets to the local poor… ” I was surprised to see that kind of interpretation. I always thought that women are the most given gender, and their good deeds come naturally, from heart; nevertheless I found a different interpretation of it – they did it as an act of slavery. I would disagree with this point of view.
It was knew to know that women are trying to substitute the “male words” to “female words” in order to feel closer to G-d or to other important aspects in their lives. It was an interesting thought, but I personally, would never do that, would never address to the G-d as to her.
I really liked the concept that was discussed on page 142, that says “the more contemporary theological aspects of the “two natures” concept of humanity are the assertion that women and men are equal but different… Only women and men together achieve human wholeness.”
Another interesting idea that can change the role of women in today’s society was to remind people that “women were the first to tell the world of the events of the resurrection. They were preaches and teaches of the new message, who refused to play the tradition-bound roles of breeder and domestic.”
I think that discussion about the mother Earth, about the gender of the words, about the connection of nature and women’s bodies, the importance of birth can attract more attention, importance and sometimes respect to the role of women nowadays.