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Week #6 Reading Reflection Assignment

Week #6 Reading Reflection

Write your Reading Reflection to these prompts:

Respond to the myths and images in Paula Gunn Allen’s article, “Grandmother of the Sun." What do these images and myths make imaginable in our society?

Respond to Fiorenza and Plaskow in terms of reclaiming women’s lost history and reinterpreting texts of the Bible. Why do they feel it is important to do this work? What do you think about this work? What new insights, if any, did you gain from these articles about scriptural texts?

Comments

Honestly, I had to read Allen’s article a couple of times in attempt to absorb what she was trying to convey. There were so many Goddesses mentioned, I had to look closely at the significance of each, finally concluding that they are all faucets of one Goddess (I think). Allen points out that assigning their God the title “fertility goddess” is insulting because “it trivializes the tribes and…the power of woman (p 22). I think that the image of the Goddess, and the respect for the earth and fruits of the earth are valuable because it points us in a direction of harmony with our environment. Sustainability of humankind becomes a priority in a way that works in union with sustaining our earth rather than destroying it.

Similarly to Jungian practice, dreams are significant to the Native Americans. They feel that it is a power that can connect humans to the spiritual world (p 25). It is interesting to me that so many of the things that we take for granted, the Native Americans hold in reverence. As mentioned on page 27, the “water of life” is held as sacred, and “what is made sacred is empowering.” Which brings me back to last weeks discussion about menstruation and the way our society treats it as a taboo, as something negative, a curse. My impression on Allen’s article is that all of these things hold power and magic to these people. I think that kind of imagery would be hard to sell to people in today’s society. I actually feel that a person could end up committed into a psych ward if they started professing their power from their connections to the fore mentioned.

In response to reclaiming women’s lost history, Fiorenza feels that it is necessary to “restore women’s stories…and to reclaim this history…of women and men (p. 30).” It is also a necessary measure as it will otherwise “remain oppressive to women (p. 30).” Plascow states that the Jewish community needs to recreate and re-remember history because it is key to their present religious lives (p. 40-41).

I admire Fiorenza’s ability to confront the bias/sexism apparent in historiography, and her willingness to work with this material to “read between the lines” in search of women’s history. I think it would be tempting to discontinue her quest in frustration from criticism (not only from traditional religious groups but feminists as well), and constant resistance from the community of the Church. I have to assume she surrounds herself with people who support her mission, but even so, it is an uphill battle.

I don’t know a lot about the Jewish religion. It seems that Plascow has opportunity within her religion to integrate some changes. Using midrash as a vehicle, women in the Jewish religion can incorporate their history into current practice.

The articles gave me new insight as to just how complicated and trying any amount of change can be when it comes to actually applying and incorporating anything remotely feminist into established religions.


Respond to Fiorenza and Plaskow in terms of reclaiming women’s lost history and reinterpreting texts of the Bible.
Why do they feel it is important to do this work?
The reason that I feel this is important is that at times people will forget certain things. One of them we tend to focus on things and not enough attention on the other things of importance. The work that is done here is to put a focus of attention on the female part of the Lord’s Word. I is true that when it comes to telling of the word that some of the facts are left out or ignored. This work is important enough to bring attention to things that need to be getting attention.
What do you think about this work?
In some ways I think that both of the writers are focusing on the issues in either the wrong way or not understanding of the actions needed to take place. One of them is where Judith Plaskow is focusing on the time where Moses tells the men not to go near a woman. Thing that come out of a body whether man or woman is considered unclean. The idea is to go to the presence of the Lord clean. This is to give the Lord His proper due respect. To say that the women were being disrespected is not a correct approach. As for the area of Fiorenza she brings up a topic that is good. The one I am talking about is where she talks of how Jesus had His feet washed and anointed by a woman with the name not mentioned. There is a couple of things here that caught my attention. One of the things is that yes there is more remembrance on Peter and Judas than on the woman. Although her name is mentioned in several places in the Bible she is not talked about much. The other thing that caught my attention is about the name situation. What I have ask others on the issue similar is skin. Are these issues really that important? It is a great thing that the woman did that needs to be remembered.
What new insights, if any, did you gain from these articles about scriptural texts?
The main insight I see needed is a more focus on the issues of the roles that women played in history. I do know of several women in the Bible very little of them are mentioned. I see a need for the focus that we give men in the Bible is more than the women. Mostly when going to sermons the ones that hear most is Eve, Delila, Esther, and Marry mother of Jesus. A very little to none is spent on the rest.

The myths and images given by Allen article show the great reverence that some of the Native American cultures had for women and how the spirit or God could be feminine. They believed in interconnectedness between the material and spirirtual worlds. Through this connection magic was possible. In contrast to our society which doesn’t seem to see any connection between faith and the natural world. Well maybe it recognizes a small connection, but we still seem to want to rape the environment removing any element of magic or mystery from it.
Allen talked about the importance and power of blood specifically menstrual and postpartum blood. If I understand what she is saying is that through the sacrifice of birth. Blood is made sacred and there by empowering the one who is bleeding. The pain that comes from child birth makes the blood holy and the blood empowers the woman. I take this as embracing the whole birthing process with all it gore. Not muting out the pain that comes with it. But I’m just a guy I don’t fully understand how giving birth could be a sanctifying experience.
Fiorenza and Plaskow both talk the importance of having a history that includes women in a positive light not merely as whores and sinners. I think what they are saying is that in order to have a healthy present we need to have a healthy past. This is why they are seeking to reinterpret scripture and re tell history to include women’s experience.
Fiorenza says that Biblical scholars do not see the questions of women’s biblical experience as serious questions and look at it as “women’s issues”. She goes on to say that anyone identified with the feminist cause is suspect and discredited. But those who tell history from the predominate perspective are praised and find no opposition in their work. I think the important issue here is telling of the whole story of history not just those who won or had the ability to oppresses those whose views they disagreed with.
Plaskow talks about how the Jewish women are not included in history, and if the are it seems to be in a negative light. But rather then being held down by the past she explains how to experience the sacred now through ritual and with using madras to complete or give the other side of some of the biblical stories. She gives a beautiful image of the Torah and its pre existence before the creation of the world. I think this idea of the torah existing before creation speaks of its transcendent quality and how it speaks to both man and woman. It wasn’t created by man for man but existed before man or women existed.

I had to read “Grandmother of the Sun” multiple times before I could really process the information. During my first reading, it felt as if I was looking at a painting or reading a poem. One sentence melted into the next, one image melted into another, it became difficult to distinguish one myth and ritual from the next. This is probably because Native American theology views everything as sacred, connected, created and pervaded by a prismatic Creatrix. Reading this was a resonating experience, it reminded me of myself as a child when everything was magical, interwoven, and the most common object held special powers. Which isn’t to say it’s a childish viewpoint - not at all - but the closest some of us in the Western world come to being able to see the everyday things that sustain us as being miraculous and connected is when we are viewing them with new eyes. Constant acknowledgement of the connection between all things and actions would certainly make it difficult to forge a self-centered path through life with the sole goal of acquisition by any means necessary, be it rape of the earth, abuse or neglect of people or the collection of lovely to behold but non-life-sustaining objects.

Fiorenza and Plaskow agree reclaiming women’s lost history is not only of benefit to women but to all people, since the history written by the winner is only, at best, half of the true story. They both argue the value in retrieving the history of the “defeated,” rather than declaring it pointless in the face of a hopelessly patriarchal structure, and disregarding “the memory of [our foresisters‘] sufferings, struggles and powers.” This is a beautiful stance, since there is much to be learned from those who not only maintain piety even when oppressed, but also create a space within to thrive and create. Beyond empowering women by remembering their history, Plaskow stresses any new information or reinterpretation is only truly transformative when “it becomes part of the community’s collective memory” (p.44).

Allen’s essay gave me greater understanding of the complexity of a Goddess-worship type culture, and how the religious references to the power of the biological act of fertility and birth is actually representative of the power of Woman “to make, to create, to transform“ (p.27). Fiorenza and Plaskow helped me understand why the staunchest of feminists would remain loyal to the most historically patriarchal religions, and strive to find ways to work within the structure. They also clarified for me how feminist theologists have concluded there is much to be found in between the lines of written text, such as in the story of the woman anointing Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed these readings, and the greater diversity represented throughout the first section. I appreciated the discussion in the introduction of the ever-growing, ever-more-widely-recognized diversity of concerns and viewpoints, as well as the tensions, within the feminist movement, and how that colors the discussion of religion. I imagine if a collection of essays was published today, there would be even more faces reflected in the writings, for example, perhaps a chapter devoted to the concerns of the Islamic feminist.


Allen’s article on the power of women within the Native American tradition was interesting in that it broke down and expanded on many of the intricacies of their faith; the reverence for women and their innate ability to “empower” and “transform”. The idea that because women can reproduce they are somehow equipped with an extraordinary power which “no other power can gainstay” (pg. 26) is beautiful, but I’m not sure it should fully eclipse men and their innate “powers”.

Again, although this faith does offer many pieces which could be quite useful to our current society and its problems I’m not sure that what we need is to fully adopt the idea that women are supreme and the sole creators of life. This would seem to be tipping the scale radically in the other direction. I think we need to find balance…a balance between women and their [God] given attributes and men and their [God] given attributes—one is not exclusive of the other—each is in need of the other in order to create life and harmony.

I apologize for not directly answering the question(s), but this is just too unnerving to avoid comment. I just can’t get caught up in the symbolism and its magical prospects without discussing the real implications of such. I’m finding the whole “feminist” stance a little difficult to fully embrace. Where I agree to a certain degree, I certainly disagree to another degree. So when I read Fiorenza’s article on historiography and its bias, it raised many thoughts…

She speaks about how we have to put history in its context—and I couldn’t agree more. She also talks about how we have to read history with an understanding that the writer approaches the subject with certain personal biases—and I couldn’t agree more. Where I diverge is the leap she takes on the issue of intent. She discusses Mark’s Gospel and how Judas and Peter are named, but the woman who anoints Jesus is unnamed—she draws the conclusion that this was in essence a malicious act simply because the “faithful disciple...was a women”. I would like to propose another way of reading or interpreting the text. What if, by naming Peter and Judas (who both betray Jesus), the intent was to magnify their wrong-doing??

She goes on further to discuss the need for a paradigm shift within the scholarly field—“a shift from the androcentric to a feminist paradigm” (pg 36). This is a little confusing for me because in other areas of her article she states that both women and men were the initiators of the Christian movement (pg. 33) and she further recognizes that a feminist paradigm is in “competition” with the androcentric model and in fact, the two “are exclusive of each other” (pg. 36). So my question is how do we create a new feminist paradigm along side the androcentric paradigm and think that the two will somehow elevate women’s historical theological standing? It’s difficult for two competing paradigms to bring about change because by their very nature they are in competition—which she recognizes and clearly states as indicated above. So I find her rationale for creating a new feminist paradigm perplexing and may be even contradictory. Wouldn’t we as women be better served by teaming up with other men in the scholarly arena (those that share in our plight) to create a third paradigm that integrates/modifies/expands etc. the current androcentric paradigm and feminist paradigm rather than alienating and creating an aura of “competition”? And wouldn’t we as women be better served by redefining our “oppressive paradigm” with something else more constructive? It all just leaves a taste of victimization in my mouth, and at some point, we are going to have to abandon this stance and create a new meaning of the past (without arbitrarily elevating ourselves above men).

This new meaning I propose also applies to Plaskow’s argument. She states that Jews live out their memories—and this continues to “shape [their] identity and self-understanding” (pg. 40). She also states that “we…cannot redefine Judaism in the present without redefining our past because our present grows out of our history” (pg. 41). So in an effort to do so, in my opinion, wouldn’t it be more constructive for women within the Jewish tradition (and others as well) to go back and look at the text with a different “filter” and seek to create a new meaning or paradigm that was free of judgment and feminine bias? What if we looked beyond the masculine “words” and searched for the principle teaching in the scripture of which, really transcends gender?

I just think we are getting caught up in the semantics. Now, that is certainly not to say that we haven’t been oppressed as a group, or to discount its affect, but really, we must move beyond it.

While reading Allen’s article, I found myself having to go back a paragraph or two and re-read what I just read. That is my first response to her writing. After I finished reading her work, I think that I had an idea what she was conveying. (I am not going to use the names of the Goddesses because I forgot the names and I also don’t want to look them up and write out page numbers. I will describe them though.) The most important God or Goddess is the imaginative Goddess. She creates by thinking up an idea, then creating it. The reason that this is so important is because without visualizing something first, that thing could never come about. Something can not be created without being thought up or imagined. This Goddess then thought up her two sisters. The two then created there older sisters thoughts. I could go on about all of the Goddess’s or Gods, but Allen seemed to be writing in parables and just repeated herself in different ways, besides, the idea if the creating Goddess is the important thing here.
In the culture that we live in, we are taught that creating, imagining, inventing are masculine traits. Allen reverted to the Keres Indians who believed the creator was a Goddess. A Goddess is feminine, so having a Goddess of creating (inventing) or imagining would then make these traits feminine. This goes against what we are taught, via God, Devin chi, Einstein, Edison and most of the inventers and figures we as a culture associate with creating.
I believe Allen is saying that we as a world have to recognize that creating is not a masculine trait, but a trait that any thinking being can achieve. That because creating has been seen as masculine, the human race is heading down the path of killing itself with wars and conflict. Until humanity looks to the Goddess worshipping societies that promote peace, prosperity, and happiness, we are subjected to live a life that is short and brutish. (Allen 28)

You are asking us to respond to Fiorenza and Plaskow as if they are saying the same thing. To me, Fiorenza is pragmatic, she doesn’t want to come of as a super radical feminist, she just wants to look at the Bible and past texts from a different pair of glasses. All the while Plaskow is aloof, wanting to invent history to fill in the gaps and to give meaning to being a woman other then to give birth and serve man.
Fiorenza wants to find the history that is in the texts, look at the works from a female’s point of view. She wants to bring equality to Christianity, because she feels that is what Christianity teaches. She wants to bring light to the women who where there for Jesus and the roles they played, and also to re-introduce that there were female leaders in the early Church. She wants Christianity to incorporate the women of the past into the present, changing the current misconception the Church presently has.
She feels that it is important to bring to life the missing past because it brings with it the idea that everyone is equal regardless of gender, race, or class. She feels that for the feminist movement to achieve their objective, scholars have to reinterpret and rediscover the past. She warns of trying to reinvent the past because it comes off as making women look like irrational feminists who are trying to change history to suit their goals.
Plaskow wants to interpret the Bible from a female’s perspective like Fiorenza, but also wants to invent a past to fill in the gaps. She wants to reinvent female traditions back into the Jewish community. To sum it up, she wants females from the past to be recognized, and that there are women from the past that have a story, a story that has been forgotten and that we should “re-remember” it.

To sum up what these two scholars were trying to point out is that the Bible leaves out the stories of the women in it. They feel that it is important to go back and rediscover these stories and women. They differ on how to capture the past, but both seem to feel that rediscovering women’s stories will lead to a better understanding of God and our past.

I think that what the women are trying to do is great. If this is a way for them to feel better about themselves as women, or away to radically change society, then great. I feel that this world will prosper if women had an equal say in humanity. To address Fiorenza’s point that the only way to be taken seriously is to approach this endeavor from a strictly scholarly manner and to show no biases is forgetting the fact that males will still dispute anything that will lessen their power no matter how sound the proof.

I am starting to really see the rift between the feminist movements at the time by comparing these articles. Plaskow was right with the “yeah, yeah experience”, women should tell there story and listen to the other stories, then they can find commonality with one another. When the women of the world are united, then they can change this world to a more altruistic land.

The myths and images in Paula Gunn Allen states about the oldest layer of myths in some Native American traditions have a female creator or primary deity (pg. 23-25). It is interesting about mother earth that Paula mentioned in Pg 23, female images in our society resemble as passive, supporter, peaceful and sky father shows male images in our society as powerful, masculine, strong, and so on. Masculinity in myths involving gods and heroes describes in many ancient books. Paula also claims that Native American women valued their role as vitalizes (pg 27) because in our society, when girl starts to menstruate, everyone knows that she is capable of becoming a mother. In Indian culture, mother earth resembles women in many ways like reproductive system comparing with existence of earth. Giving birth to human being and earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist. I think there is goddess of earth in their religion in order to protect the earth.

Fiorenza argued for traditions and source of female’s status and information in the past. She also criticizes the biases found in the text that provide male-centered biases history of women. In search of women’s history, she is ready to work with this material to “read between the lines”. Plaskow also applies Fiorenza’s feminist critical approach to the history of Jewish women. (pg.19). I think this is happening in every cultural that either women history is lost or hidden. Or it is based on male’s opinions and historian. Therefore, I think that they feel it is important to reclaiming women’s lost history and reinterpreting texts of the Bible. I think it is good example that Fiorenzia talked about the story of “the apostle who betrayed Jesus and name of the betrayer is remembered but the name of the faithful disciple is forgotten because she was a women” (pg 30). She also mentioned that the Bible is not only a historical collection of writings but also Holy Scripture and gospel for Christian religion where people still believe and worship. In page 33, Fiorenza says that she tried to explore the history of women show became Christians in the beginnings of Christianity.

The main insight I see that women should be recognize what they have done not only in religion but also role played in history in every cultures. Many cultures still consider that women are inferior to man in any circumstances. Girls are mistreated and blamed for things that they never did in some culture.

I was reading the article by Paula Gunn Allen about the myth in some Native Americans’ traditions that have a female creator. It reminded me a lot the history that I studied in school, which said a lot about ancient times when people believed in many Gods: one for harvest, one for rain, one for wind and etc. For me it sounds more like a fairytale (same as a lot of religions do nowadays). Nevertheless, I believe that some parts of that myth can be truth. On one side I am sure that the woman played a much stronger role in the world development that she is actually granted nowadays. Secondarily, I agree there is a possibility for humans to communicate and operate in non-human worlds. Scientists and medicine proved that just a small part of human brains is developed. Who knows what the rest of the brains is capable of. How many times we heard about capacities of people that seem to be impossible: seeing future, have abnormal relationship with animals and etc.
The images that surprised me the most was a spiritual image of an Old Spider Woman, the way how they describe her: “There is a spirit… The colors of this spirit are multitudinous, a glowing, pulsing rainbow…” The second aspect that uplifted me was a saying about the woman’s spirit, that it is “spirit that informs right balance, right harmony…”I like the way how they compare their Goddess to all positive, dominative features of woman’s character.
It was interesting to see how the Goddess of Native Americans has so many different characters inside: she is given, loving; she bears; she destroys; she represents the war and peace; she feeds and makes you starve. She is not limited; she is everything. It was an interesting comparison of woman to the moon.
The thought that made me smile was “upgrade” of the myth to the modern Christian believes. It seems contradicting to fit the believes in to the society, but when you think about it deeper, especially on the example of kids, it makes a lot of sense.
The thoughts about the time period of Goddess existence is very close to the description of the God’s being in most of the modern religions. The God always existed; The God has never been born and never died; The God is always here. We also see that they devoted a lot of attention to another world, to the connection between dead and alive. They even had a Goddess that made the communication possible. It seems weird how should you pray to her?
This chapter also talks about human-nonhuman relations. It says that there is something besides this sphere; not all the connections, communications among people should be seen or touched. It explains about the existence of this spiritual part that let people heal each other; that helps to understand the fish that swim in waters, birds in sky and etc. This spiritual connection is necessary for the harmony and peace in the world.
We see that Goodness cared a lot for people; she seems to feel responsible for humans. She didn’t behave in a selfish manner; she is described as very caring. The text proves us this by given the examples of one of the mothers’ departures.
I found it interesting the attitude of Native Americans to menstrual blood. It seems that every religion has something to say about this part of woman’s life. The connection between the words “sacred” and “sacrifice” seems to be very interesting too.

What I loved about Paula Gunn Allen’s article, “Grandmother of the Sun was the listing and descriptions of Native American Goddesses and Gods. In her article she mentioned that the stories were oral and passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. It reminded me of the both the Jewish and Christian faiths before they were written down. The stories of both the early Jews and early Christians were oral and passed down through the generations before being written down. It’s conceivable that some things were lost or changed. Similarly how when the stories of the Goddesses and Gods, which Paula mentions in her article, were first written down they were changed in favor of the patriarchal white European worldview (I’m paraphrasing. I think it’s on pgs 23 or 24.). So to me, in other words, not only did some things get changed to a male perspective, but got lost in the translation.
It is a good and vital thing that the stories of the Native American Goddesses and Gods are being written down. The stories are important, yes for Native Americans but for all as well. I was reminded of just how important dreams and visions are to their culture. I’ve been thinking and reflecting on this. I’ve been more fortunate than I thought regarding some of the churches I’ve attended. They’ve recognized the importance of dreams and that god speaks to us through our dreams. After reading some the descriptions of the Goddesses I believe I’ve been visited by some of them. This was surprising to me. Maybe Goddesses and Gods of a country visit all the people of country, and people of other countries not just one culture or one faith. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re similar to some of the Catholic saints I grew up with.
I have to agree with Fiorenza and Plasko on reclaiming our lost history. So much of it was lost at various times in our history, including the 1450’s to mid 1700’s and when the Bible was “finalized.” Yes some were left in and some of those were rewritten or misinterpreted, maybe on purpose. To me, it is important to do this to bring about a healing that needs to take place. Men can learn from stories of women. They have been doing it for a long time in some Native American tribes and it hasn’t made them lesser men. I think we need a balance of the two. I’d like to read more about them and the Greek Goddesses. It also has made me want to pick up where I left off in Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene by Bert Ehrman.

I had a tough time fully envisioning the Native American Goddess or spirit mentioned in “Grandmother of the Sun”. The first time I read it through I thought that Allen was describing many different goddesses but after I read it a little bit more closely I think that I understand it as one spirit with many different names who has, like most woman, many different shoes to fill. Like many woman today each goddess may have the power to create life but this is only a piece of the responsibilities she has to take on (pg. 22-23). I understand that as a goddess the tasks that Allen is describing are on a much grander scale but I read into his passage not only on a large scale but also on an everyday woman to woman scale.

Throughout Florenza’s article she mentioned a couple different reasons why she felt that it was important to reinterpret the text of the Bible. On the bottom of page 30 Florenza states: “I attempt to reconstruct early Christian history as women’s history in order not only to restore women’s stories to early Christian history but also to reclaim this history as the history of women and men.” I tried to paraphrase this into my own words but it was so simply and matter of a fact stated that I couldn’t state it as well as her. I thought that it was particularly important how she not only mentioned the importance of restoring the stories of early Christian women but also the history of men and women. This reminds me that it is important not to tip the scale but remain in balance and provide an accurate reflection of history for all parties. Florenza mentions a couple more reasons on page 35: “… the search for roots, for solidarity with our foresisters, and finally for the memory of their sufferings, struggles, and powers as women.”

Plaskow points out on page 41 why it is important to reinterpret the text of the Torah or “redefine Judaism”. Plaskow describes Judaism similar to building blocks. The present is built from the past. Each block is built on top of each other and the whole building cannot be changed without going back to the foundation. Today both men and women stand side by side in the Jewish community. Each having influence leaving Plaskow to believe that this is the way that is has always been. I found this to be a very interesting theory (pg. 41). In Judaism although the time period was patriarchal did women have some say?

I understand that history is based on someone’s perspective. That it is based on memory and many times hearsay or stories warped after being repeated from mouth to ear numerous times before it is ever written down. I also think that there will never be an accurate account of what really happened however I do think that it is important to search for the truth and to reclaim these women’s stories. I’m slowly understanding the role that some woman had during these time periods and it is important not only for equality that these women’s stories are told but also because these woman can be role models for young woman of the future.

I was once again surprised to read about another culture and religion where women played such a dominant role. From the article, “Grandmother of the Sun” by Paula Gunn Allen, the idea of Thought Woman was pretty interesting. The Keres people who believed in Thought Woman believed that prior to being created, everything had to be thought of. Thought Woman was created first and then thought up everything else to create. Then the things she creates have the power to create more things like them. “Thought Woman turns up, so to speak, first as Creatrix and then as a personage who is acting out someone else’s ‘dream’. But there is no time when she did not exist. She has two bundles in her power, and these bundles contain Uretsete and Naotsete, who are not viewed as her daughters but as her sister, her coequals who possess the medicine power to vitalize the creatures that will inhabit the earth” (p24). In our society, this idea of Thought Woman is not very far off. She sounds a lot like God in Christianity. Both depict a supreme being who was created first and then created everything else to continue the creating. An interesting image from “Grandmother of the Sun” is about how menstrual or postpardum blood was held sacred. “The blood of woman was in and of itself infused with the power of Supreme Mind, and so women were held in awe and respect” (p27). In our society, God is viewed as a man, but this idea of Thought Woman who is so similar to the qualities of God, could spark the idea in our imaginations that maybe God is a woman and women should be respected better than we are.
Fiorenza and Plaskow feel it is important to inform people of the parts of history left out of the Bible and the Torah because they want to show how women have been oppressed and people should support women’s liberation. Another reason for the work given by Fiorenza is; “I attempt to reconstruct early Christian history as women’s history in order not only to restore women’s stories to early Christian history but also to reclaim this history as the history of women and men” (p30). I think that it is enjoyable reading about the different parts of history that were left out of books and stories. I am not very familiar with many biblical stories, but the articles gave me insight into how oppressed women have been throughout history.

In response to the myths and images in Paula Gunn Allen "Grandmother of the sun", this is what it makes imaginable in out society. I did feel that in this readings, the woman was given a lot of powers and respected. In page 27, paragraph 3 it states " the status of mother was so high in fact, that in some cultures Mother or its analogue, matron, was the highest office to which a man or woman could aspire" . This tells me that the women were respected, and in a couple of times in the reading, it talks about how the act of carrying a baby and delivery was considered very sacred. It is also mentioned that women were considered sacred but also they were considered very creative. This tells me that our society today does not give half the respect to the women, mostly women are considered weak.
- In responding to Fiorenza, in reclaiming woman's history and reinterpreting bible texts. I think it is very important that she does this, because this will give a new meaning to the postion of women both in the bible and empower women today. This is true because even with the story she gives that is recorded in the bible without a name that is kind of degrading or rather not noticing that woman. Though it states that her story will always be remembered, it is yes remembered but without a name, I do believe that if a name was given to it it will have meant more, or it is also true, when women get married mostly they are referred to by their husband's name, mrs so and so, their first name or their maiden name sometimes disappears, but i truly believe that if this women was given a name it would mean more. It is fishy in a way, it is just like a by the way.
- in the case of Plaskow about Moses instructing the men to stay away from the women, I really do not think this was feminist or a way of degrading women, i do think that it would have meant the same thing if he said stay away from each other. It was just the way he framed his words, this really does not offend or bother me. But again it is important to look at everything and if there is a way to learn from it then the better.
- the new insights that I learnt about scrpture is that it is interpreted diffrently by diffrent people, and if you believe in scripture you have to be careful what and how to believe.

The images defined by Paula Gunn Allen are a bit hard for me to comprehend as any sort of reality. However, as an option for a way to live it seems like a viable option. Everyone coexisting and helping each other out is a great system. The thing that it makes me think of as far as today’s society is casinos run by the Indian tribes. Regardless of whether or not everyone works for the casino if they are a registered member of the tribe they still receive money from that casino in order to live. It seems to be the modern version of what Gunn Allen was talking about when she said “that power inevitably carries with it the requirement that the people live in cooperative harmony with each other and with the beings and powers that surround them.” (p. 26) They may not be living with the understanding “that the primary potency in the inverse was female,”(p. 26) but it seems that they are at least upholding the idea of living in “cooperative harmony” (p.26) with each other.
If everyone could live in such a way then we as people could ensure that everyone on the globe had healthcare available to them, had a home to live in, food to eat and clothes to wear. We could basically wipe out poverty, homelessness and starvation completely across the world. It’s very hard to imagine because I am not used to people being willing to live in such a way, but the opportunities from these ideas are endless.

Fiorenza states “I attempt to reconstruct early Christian history as women’s history in order not only to restore women’s stories to early Christian history but also to reclaim this history as the history of women and men.” (p. 30) Throughout her text, Fiorenza refers to restoring and reclaiming women’s history. She doesn’t want to throw out the history that we know, but she wants women accurately portrayed in the historical stories that we know. By doing this Fiorenza believes that “the new questions raised by feminist scholarship will enhance our understanding of early Christian history.” (p. 31) Fiorenza wants to focus on making history equal is what I understand from the reading. She wants to make sure that both men and women are portrayed equally for their role in our religious history. Reconstructing our religious history to include women “seeks not just to undermine the legitimization of patriarchal religious structures but also to empower women in their struggle against such oppressive structures.” (p. 35) The rewriting of history to include the stories of the women involved would serve to empower women now in the struggles that they face as well.
Plaskow states “in writing women into Jewish history, we ground a contemporary Jewish community that can be a community of women and men.” (p. 45) which mirrors what Fiorenza said in her writing as well. Both authors seem to want a more cohesive representation of religious history by ensuring that both men and women are depicted fairly and truthfully by rewriting our place, as women, in history.

The biggest new insight for me was the authors pointing out specific scriptures where women were very obviously left out of the story. I’ve never read the scriptures looking for this type of thing, so when it was pointed out it really surprised me that women were so overlooked in translating the stories.

Grandmother of the sun seems to be a little far fetched for me. I do like the idea of Creatrix as the women who think rather than she who bears. On pg 27 were they speak of the mother role having nothing to do with being a female seems also a little hard for me to believe.
I agree with Fiorenz about new questions being raised by the feminist scholars pg 31. Fiorenz also takes the positive side on pg 33 about how she has learned to phrase her question more clearly due to questions and misgivings express by women in response to her lectures and publications.
I don’t know much about Jewish religion, but though it seems to be easier to change or to correct the past. Plaskow talks about how the religion is not so much written in stone, but they use the material to answer the questions they have thus starting midrash. Since the Jewish people seem to be some of the first people in the bible maybe they can help us incorporate women back into the history and show that it was both men and women who lived during that time.

It also took me a while to understand Allen’s article. I had to read it a few times, to get what was being said. There was a lot of Gods mentioned and it was hard to keep track of them. It was intresting to read through them all and to know who was who. It is hear to remember all of them. I wrote some of the names down and who and what they did, but it was a little hard and confusing to do at the same time. The myths given by Allen was showing the Native American cultures women had for what they believe in and what they know is true. They were showing ways how God can be in a female standpoint. They believed that magic was true and it was possible. They spoke about power and blood and how important it is. I think they are talking about how one sacrifices for birth through blood. I kind of get this, but I don’t know if I totally do. It was kind of confusing for me, but that is what I had gotten out of it. I really liked this article, since it helped explained to me more about the Native Americans and what they value. I really didn’t know much about this, until this article. I found it rather interesting and valuable to this class at the same time. It showed me about power and transforming at the same time, and how it is possible to the women at that time.

Fiorenza and Plaskow talk about the important of having history. It is made everyday of our lives and will always be there. This means to have women as a positive role, and not only as other negative things, women are called at times. I also agree with Mike that in order to have a positive future, we need a positive past. But I however think that people do make mistakes and God does forgive us for what we have done wrong. Since we are only human and mistake comes natural to us.