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Week #7 Reading Discussion Questions

Weaving the Vision Part 2: Naming the Sacred

Read the articles associated with the questions below. Read Griffin and Falk as time permits. Use these questions to guide your reading and thinking.

1. Introduction: (95+) What are some problems associated with an 'androcentric' (male-centered) way of imagining God?
-- How are some feminist understandings of God different?

2. Walker: What is Shug's God like?
-- What does Shug's God expect of human beings? How do we find God?
-- What is Shug's understanding of the Bible?
-- What can Celie let go of with this new approach to understanding God?

3. Morton: Why is it important to invite an experience of Goddess images for the Divine into our spiritual lives?
-- How did Morton's experiences of Goddess metaphors change her understanding of self and of the Divine?
-- What is involved in experiencing - rather than just conceptualizing - the Divine in feminine metaphors? (Summed up 115+.)
-- How did the Goddess as spider image (an experience that occurred spontaneously in Morton's meditation) allow her to connect meaningfully with indigenous spirituality? (116-117).

4. Downing: For Downing, why do we need to reconnect to myths for our own spiritual development, especially those with feminine images of the Divine?
-- How did Downing come to identify with Artemis? What did this connection open up to her?

5. McFague: For Sallie McFague, why is it important for Christians to include God as mother in our imagery for God (not replacing God as Father, but adding a new dimension)?
-- What theological understandings does this new model for God open up to us?

6. Ruether: What does Ruether claim are the problems with 'male monotheism' (imaging God only in male terms)?
-- How does this imagery support and shape social structures and the wider culture in ways that she finds problematic? (150+)
-- Where in Jewish and Christian Biblical history can we find the hidden legacy of earlier feminine imagery for God? (152+)
-- Is it enough to recover the androgynous (both sexes) nature of God images? If not, why not? (154+)
-- Where in Jewish and Christian tradition can women find liberating images or understandings of God? (155+)
-- Beyond reconstruction, how can feminists open up new ways of talking about or imagining God? (158+)
-- Why are males hostile to this renaming - and how does Ruether respond to their fears? (160+)