« Week #7 Reading Discussion Questions | Main | Week #6 Discussion Café »

Week #7 Reading Reflection Assignment

Instructions: After doing all of the reading for this week (using the discussion questions to help you do critical reading), respond in writing to the prompt below. Write your response in Word (or an equivalent word processing program), do spell-checking and proofreading, and then copy-paste it into a comment (below).

Writing Prompts - Please respond with specific references to articles in responding to these prompts:
-- This section revisits the interest feminist scholars of religion have had in re-imagining the divine, finding new metaphors for the divine, and experimenting with new language to speak of the divine.
-- Reflecting back on articles exploring new images or language for the divine in WomanSpirit Rising, what approaches or arguments in these Weaving the Vision articles seem new to you? What is new?
-- Which of these articles present views that are helpful or compelling for you? Why?
-- Which of these articles present views that you have problems with? Why?
-- To the extent that you are comfortable sharing this, how do gendered (female or male) images or gendered language figure in your own understanding of or connection to the divine?


-- Reflecting back on articles exploring new images or language for the divine in WomanSpirit Rising, what approaches or arguments in these Weaving the Vision articles seem new to you? What is new?
The things that I am reading in Weaving the Vision are not new. The things that I am talking about are the same type of arguments I keep hearing of the God. They say that the wording of the way the Bible or text that whichever you may refer to is worded was by some scholar or someone else. They also state that time has changed and the such. As for anything new all I find is the wording new. The arguments are the same just different wording. One way to explain what I am saying is that when the native Americans where put into camps we called the reservations. When we put the Japanese into camps we called it concentration camps. We are talking of the same kind of camp just different words.
-- Which of these articles present views that are helpful or compelling for you? Why?
The most these articles due for me is that they bring up questions. Some of the questions are about the actions and motives of the people. In the writing assignment I have I am reading about Winona Laduke. In the interview that I am reading about that she had with a reporter she talks of how the women’s movement needs to be reformed. In ways it sounds like these women have a lot of confusion of the issues they are seeking.
-- Which of these articles present views that you have problems with? Why?
In one way or the other these articles seem to be conflicting with each other. In one article they are talking of leaving God and in another they are talking of why leave God. There seems to be a lot of division in the women’s movement.

-- To the extent that you are comfortable sharing this, how do gendered (female or male) images or gendered language figure in your own understanding of or connection to the divine?

As to the extent of the images or gender there is no reason to comfortable or uncomfortable. For the way I understand spiritual background stuff is not in images or gender. The thing of spiritual lifestyle is not of these but of self. You may want to point at someone or something but that is not as good as when one examines their self. For an example you take a sermon on a Biblical verse. If you only point at people you will miss the message that you may need to hear. Most spiritual lifestyles are to better oneself not to condemn others.

Weaving the Visions provides a couple of perspectives that are different and possibly more radical than in WomanSpirit Rising. Downing (p. 121) gets really hung up on Artemis, a Greek Goddess. This article struck me as a more of a personal journal/essay rather than a paper meant for the masses. She takes this Goddess and attempts to incorporate her myth and imagery into personal meaning, applying it to her specific situation. There is also mention that this Goddess is a lesbian (p. 125) which is an avenue that went unexplored in the previous book.

The article by McFague was compelling to me. I thought about her argument about parental love, and I really found it to be an interesting point. The way that I view God in Christianity, there is a disconnect between the love that we are supposed to feel and the love that is actually conveyed through many of the stories in the Bible. There is a tone of disappointment that God has with his people. God tolerates us, and loves us despite our inadequacies. How are we supposed to feel warm and fuzzy with such unflattering undertones to this love? McFague makes a good point: “…this is a sterile and unattractive view of divine love and a view that most of us would not settle for even as a description of human love (p. 143).” To include Mother into our view of God, there is a sense of nurturing and caring in a more interested and personal level. A feeling that, as McFague states: “It is good that you exist (p.144).” To me it helps to take away some of the guilt associated with my humanly imperfections and my desire to be an independent individual. The nice thing about this model is that independence is acceptable and even encouraged.

Walker’s article was interesting. I appreciated the message that God wants us to be happy and to enjoy the good things in life. I may have been taking it too literally, but I think the following statement could be a problem: “God love everything you love.” This statement is too all encompassing. Not all love is good love or healthy love. Some people are so self serving about the things that they love that they don’t care if it hurts other people. What about people who love to abuse substances? I am aware that this is an illness, but ultimately, these people love getting high more than they love themselves or their friends/family/children. I have a hard time believing that God could love everything that humans love.

I have to wonder if I have any understanding or connection to the divine. My image of God is imprinted in my mind as a male that I will never be good enough to please. It is so deeply ingrained that, even if I choose not to believe it, it’s still in the back of my brain, gnawing at me, making me guilty and fearful, though I try to be rational and not succumb to such feelings. When I think of spirituality, and my connection to a greater power in the universe, I feel much more at ease. I don’t view this power as male or female (but if I had to choose, I’d say female). As stated in a previous reflection, I connect with this feeling when I’m appreciating the good things in life: nature, outdoors, connecting with my spouse.

In attempt to edit my posted reflection: Forgot to cite Walker "God love everything you love..." (Page 104)Weaving the Visions

Sorry! Tiff

1. Per Marcia Falk’s article, she claims that there is a female image in Jewish religion for an example, “Shekhinah”, but it is not sufficient. They did not give her power when it becomes clearly associated with the female and abandoned her (Pg 130). Carol Christ stated about the replacing the images of male God and talked about the goddess as affirmation of the female power in womenspirt rising. The article naming the sacred mentioned that “God is pure spirit” (pg. 95). “God is everything, it is not he or she, but a it” (pg. 96). It can be human being, as mentioned about the Yahweh who consider as “God” by the salves for his historic identity. (pg. 154). This is something new from the articles from Womanspirit Rising. Per Morton, Goddess is metaphor image and it more spirituality connects in our body, mind, and spirit. I also think that Goddess is not only the source of all nature and life; it is also the font of spirituality, wisdom, and mercy.

2. The article naming of the scared which talked about God is no one, it is everything and Morton claims that Goddess is metaphor image and it is more spirituality that connect with mind, body, and spirit was most compelling for me because I am a Buddhist and we do not believe that there is no God or priest. Buddhism teaches the individual to take full responsibility for themselves, whether it is sinful or fruitful work that you did. For example, if you want to live in a heaven then always be kind to others. There is no God to ask favors from, or to put it another way, there is no corruption possible in the workings of Kamma (means any kind of intentional action whether mental, verbal, or physical). If you did something bad in this life, you will get your punishment in your next life, if not in this life. There are many good people who always suffer from something whether it is from their health status or socioeconomic status. They knew that the cause of sufferings is the punishment from their previous life, but they knew that they will reincarnate in heaven or less suffer in life.

3. The article naming of the scared is also confusing to me to understand the meaning of goddess. The article says that “God is pure spirit” it seems like there is no images what so ever. I think it can create problem people arguing about the female images existence and the value of the goddess.

4. In my opinion, if someone is sincerely believed in images of either male or female will connect the divine. I don’t think if image as male, there is more power or superior that result in more blessing. Our society is prone to think of the divine as “God” and denial of the feminine aspect of the deity that can connect to divine.

I would like to address what is new and what is new to me. As I read these articles and recollect the articles from the first book, I keep feeling that there seems to be two common themes. There is the theme of the Goddess and the theme of looking at the Bible from a different lens. You can keep saying it in different ways, but it really adds up to the same thing.
Walker does something a little different by suggesting that God is in all of us. This is an idea that I have felt to be true all of my life, along with what one of the other Authors wrote, that God is Love, seem to be my innate beliefs about God.

One article that helped me look at God differently was Morton’s article. She had an experience were the Goddess came to her. She felt relieved that the Goddess was sitting next to her on the plane. This is the feeling I want from God. I am going to start visualizing God as a Goddess and not an old grey beard dude who gets mad. She will be embracing me and comforting me “as I walk through the valley of darkness“(Psalm 23:4) not just expecting me to live off of faith alone. It is going to be nice now that I don’t have to keep asking God “'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 21:1) because the mother will be motherly and altruistic, making sure I don’t feel alone. The only problem with this is that I believe that God is in us as Walker so articulately points out. Also, God is love and compassion, so I guess that I really don’t have an image of God as physical but more metaphysical, like energy. As one of the laws of physics energy can be neither created nor destroyed. I guess I just like picturing God as feminine.

The articles that I had problems with were the ones that wanted to change the Bibles text to make it more women friendly. The last one from The Inclusive Language Lectionary is the one that I have an issue with most. I don’t mind reading it, I don’t mind if they are trying to be inclusive in their rewritings, and I don’t mind them. I do mind reading the same thing over and over every week. I think that it is time to speak out against this repetition. Yes, I agree that the Bible is writing from a masculine point of view, and that women are seen as objects in the texts, but reading the same thing over and over is starting to get mundane. I am starting to lose that “Yeah, Yeah” feeling and starting to get a “no, no” feeling every time I read one of these articles.

I see God similar to how Griffin sees God. (When I use the word God, it is not in a masculine way, but a non-gender sort of way) We are from the Earth, and the Earth is from us. We are God, and God is us. Also Shub, from Walker is right on when she describes God as an it. (Walker 103) Shub also expresses God’s mentality to a tee when she say’s “I think it Pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”. (Walker 104)

Maybe I missed it the last book but there seems to be sexual over tones in a lot of the readings from Weaving the Vision. Some of the authors find a connection with the divine in the expression of their sexuality. There also seems to be more reflection on women’s interconnectedness with the earth. I really thought the connection with the menstrual cycle and the cycle of the moon was interesting, strange but interesting.
I really thought Sallie McFague essay God as Mother was the most compelling, even if a lot of it went over my head, but I really liked her argument about using the language and metaphor of a mothers nurturing of her child in the Christian language. Her argument about the need to also include more of the metaphor of food as Gods love was strong considering how the image of food or of dinning is repeatedly used in the Gospels.
I think the line in Alice Walkers article “People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” strengthens Morton’s impression on how the goddess showed her the rhythms of the air and of the sea and told her to become part of the rhythm. When she let her “mature intelligent self take over” (113) she was able to see the divine hand calming her much like a mother calms a scared child.
I really have to disagree with Morton’s tone that her goddess “doesn’t hang around to receive thanks”. (113) Maybe I’m missing the point but it seems as if she views God the Father as some sort of praise hog who needs to be thanked for his own self esteem and her Goddess is only is concerned “that another women has come to her own”. (113) my personal experiences with giving thanks has been deeply enriching. But like I said I may be missing her point.
I have always thought of God in masculine terms, but I have always looked to Jesus as a perfect example of a human. If being perfect he would have attributes of what I would consider male and female, not that he is transgender but he is a complete perfect being, capable of being both loving and just.

This weeks set of articles on Naming the Sacred do differ (somewhat) from the articles in WomenSpirit Rising in that there is a slight shift from speaking of God in transcendent terms to speaking of God in immanent terms. However slight, and sometimes synonymous, the distinction is important from a theological standpoint. By definition, transcendence is the belief that God is “set apart” from the world, whereas, immanence is the belief that God is “in all things”. So when examining the varied possibilities in naming the Sacred, the position one takes on its (God’s) very nature sets the direction in which one will navigate. Therefore, these authors set out to rename God from the position of connectedness with the divine.

The articles that were most compelling for me were Marcia Falk’s and The Inclusive Language Lectionary. My previous objection of erroneously inserting “female” language and history where ever one thought fitting was remedied with Falk’s position on a “multiplicity of images” (p.129). She goes on to say that “we must seek out a wide range of verbal imagery with which to convey our visions” (p.129) and I couldn’t agree more. The singular insertion of “female” or “she” is too narrow when speaking of the sacred and only temporarily satiates. Again, in my opinion, it really doesn’t fully express or encompass all that God is nor can it fully transform the linguistic essence of any religion whereas the Lectionary readings, and their use of neutral or inclusive language, seems to remedy this problem thereby creating a tangible transformation.

The articles that I found less interesting or relevant (for me) were those by Susan Griffin and Christine Downing. I did not have a “problem” with them per se—I just couldn’t get to a place of “buy-in”.

My perception of God is blurred in the sense that I don’t fully think of God in transcendent terms or immanent terms nor do I feel the need to envision God as female. I believe He is not of this world and yet exists in this world and I am more than content, and actually prefer, to refer to my God in masculine terms. I guess on some level, by doing so, I feel a sense of safety and security with the use of “he” or “father” because their nature (for me) symbolizes such.

The concepts described are all familiar and somewhat similar to the concepts in WomanSpirit Rising, but they all have more dimension or complexity to them. While the discussions of language in WomanSpirit Rising were easy for me to follow, essays like Ruether’s required some studying to understand. Obviously the concepts evolved quite a bit. Falk’s blessings, with their layers of meaning and her method of making them gender-neutral seemed a good fit for even a very traditional setting (even though they had been labeled inauthentic by some).

Reuther’s arguments against verbal and pictorial idolatry shed light on how portraying God as a wise old man was not only offensive and oppressive to women but also went against God’s own decrees. Reuther’s explanation on idolatry probably helped me the most, since that had been mentioned in past essays but I didn’t fully grasp what the authors meant.

McFague’s writing on Agape was fascinating, and I was taken aback by how this concept is applied to decisions about population control. When I think about religion and procreation, I think of “go forth and multiply” not “only multiply as much as the ecological system can support.” I won’t get too far into this discussion as I would risk deeply offending someone but I will say it was a thought-provoking section.

The part I enjoyed the most was Shug’s conversation with Celie from Alice Walker’s novel. I love that book, and the movie, I’ve read and seen it a dozen times, but until that section was cut out and presented to me as feminist theology, I never appreciated how profound it was, or how precisely it described what I myself have felt as someone who had an interest in spirituality but could never find a comfortable spot in a church.

The essay I found most uncomfortable was Downing’s Artemis. I won’t lie, it was annoying for me to read. I guess I have the Greek Gods and Goddesses too heavily imprinted in my mind as child’s fables and would have to work hard to move past that and find transcendence in them.

I also bristled against Morton’s Goddess metaphors for some reason. It seemed too literal an experience and I couldn’t figure out whether she was writing in metaphor or truly felt and saw those images. But then again if God is in everything, then God can present itself as anything the believer needs to see and feel to work through what they‘re struggling with. Her writing reminded me a bit of how some Yogis describe their transcendental experiences or how their masters present themselves to the Yogi as tigers for example.

I cannot bring myself to put a face or assign a gender to the divine, even in the symbolic sense. I understand the need to put a name to it, and create a ritual to honor it, but I don‘t really feel very comfortable with most of the images I‘ve read, even though I know they are just symbols of a greater meaning, it‘s probably a big barrier for me. I’ve found my own morality is intrinsic, I am most content when I find the reason for doing the right thing is because it’s the right thing to do, it’s what maintains the most balance in the world, not because of fear of consequences or because someone is watching me from his throne in the clouds, or her hole in the earth. But I learn so much from reading pretty much any kind of religious text, even if I don’t agree with it, and that in turn shapes my views on life, so I’m very grateful to live in a country and era where I can pick and choose what I want to believe in, regardless of whether that has feminine qualities or masculine or neither.

Some of the concepts are not new. What is new is the voice that is telling them, that my ears are open and I have a better understanding. The ones that I’m going to focus one are The Goddess as Metaphoric Image by Nellie Morton, God as Mother Sallie McFague and Sexism and God Language by Rosemary Radford Reuther.
The two new and compelling ideas presented by Nellie Morton and Sallie McFague. I’m not used to the idea or option of the Goddess as metaphor and imagery. Even though it surrounded me in the Catholic Church and grade schools, it was something that just never crossed my mind. It wasn’t even an option. After reading her introduction I was reminded (I need to keep having this reminder until the surprise wears off.), that we were surrounded by images of the Goddess in our fairy tales. I need this reminder, because fairies aren’t for little kids, and the Goddess is more that a “fairy godmother” if you will. It reminded me the importance Goddess imagery in religion. To me by learning to recognize the Goddess in our fairy tales and stories is too recognize how she’s been kept alive.
As to the second part of what is new/not new but hearing again with a fresher voice is God as Mother by Sallie McFague. She said it best on pg 139 and I’m paraphrasing here, that by solely keeping to a Father Child relationship we are leaving out a whole other side of God. That by keeping God in this “box” we limit the creator and thus ourselves and just who the creator really is. I’ve read a little of Sallie McFague before and I’ve always liked her. I like how she ideas and thoughts in a way that I can understand.
The essay I had some problems with was Rosemary Reuther’s on easy pg 157 in where she talks about Matthew 23: 1-10 and then explains what Christianity means. It means being of service to each other and equals. This is what I have the problem with because it doesn’t matter the denomination or church, predominately women serve men, and there is not much in evidence to support hat we are equals. Changes have been made. I like how she talked about how women have used this verse and the explanation of it, to serve God and not man.
For me after this week’s readings I have to say the Nellie Morton and Sallie McFague essays really touched and spoke to me. Some of what they wrote were some of my experiences. The Goddess in me woke /me up at 36 and has not been quiet since. That is all I’m going to share on that. I will share that Alice Walker’s essay God Is Inside You and Inside Everybody is something I’ve come to believe more firmly. Maybe turning 40 has something to do with it. Maybe being around people who have that belief and who have constantly challenged my old one; “That there is only one way to know God and that is through the son.” Maybe, just maybe I’m realizing that there are many, many paths to the creator. No right way or wrong way.

The articles in Weaving the Vision seem to be more “touchy feely,” for lack of a better term. This book seems to be concentrating more on how the changes in imagery make the women feel about their relationship with God, or the Goddess. These articles seem to be less interested in changing the imagery in the current churches and their structures and more focused on creating their own personal experiences with the Goddess rather than trying to conform their existing churches. These entries seem to be written by a more empowered woman than the earlier articles from WomanSpirit Rising. The earlier articles also seemed to be more ideas of how to change things and these newer articles are stories about how the women changed their own situations to be happier with their choice of deity, whether that be male or female.

Personally I like the article by Marcia Falk. A lot of the articles seem to be not only changing the wording that they are using, but completely changing their beliefs. In Marcia Falk’s article she altered the blessings that are common in her religion, but she didn’t change the core of what she believed. Regardless of the gender of the deity I still hold my beliefs of God and I can’t imagine changing my beliefs completely because my chosen religion does not recognize a female God. Marcia Falk seems to have found a middle ground that works for her and I like that she made a minor change that helped her to feel more grounded within her religion instead of going outside of it.

The article that I had a hard time with was written by Susan Griffin. I understood what she was trying to get at with referencing that earth and God is in everything, but the way that she wrote it just seemed kind of outlandish to me. It was like she actually talked to the earth and the forest and the wind. I understand feeling at one with the earth and being centered in nature, but the ideas that she wrote about like the wind calling us to do something (p. 106) just seemed really odd to me, so I had a hard time comprehending this article.

For a few years now I have basically drifted from the “typical” idea of God. I took an intro to religion class and made friends with a girl in the class who was basically a self proclaimed hippie. We got along great and we talked a lot about the class and of her beliefs. We really talked about God in general terms and in these discussions I discovered that I didn’t really believe in THE God, but that every religion is worshipping the same God, but that each religion has their own way of doing so. She pointed out the idea of a Goddess and not a God, but I believe like the article from the Color Purple that God isn’t a he or a she, but an It. I don’t believe that God can be defined as any particular gender or thing for that matter, but just is.

Looking back on Womanspirit Rising there is an argument in an article from Weaving the Vision that seemed pretty new to me. In Alice Walker’s “God is Inside You and Inside Everybody Else”, the woman who is describing God as an it speaks a lot about sexuality related to God in her conversations with the other woman. For example, in a part where she is describing the feeling she gets from her relationship with the goddesses that she worships, she gets a little sexual in the description: “It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh” (p103). For her to compare the two in my opinion seems wrong. Then she continues on talking about how “God love all them feelings” after the woman she’s talking to gasps from her comment (p103). She says, “Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That’s some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves em you enjoys em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that’s going, and praise God by liking what you like” (p103).

Nelle Morton’s “The Goddess as Metaphoric Image” presents views that can be helpful to me. I like the whole inner power idea behind the stories of the times the author came in contact with goddesses. When she was on the plane the goddess came and soothed her and made her feel like she could handle the situation by making Morton feel relaxed. The Goddess helped the author find her inner peace in a few situations and on page 116 Morton talks about how her confidence has increased; “The Goddess shattered the image of myself as a dependent person and cleared my brain so I could come into the power that was mine, that was me all along, but that could never have been appropriated until the old limiting image was exorcised or shattered”.

I don’t really have problems with any of the views in the articles, but one that stuck out to me a lot was Alice Walker’s “God is Inside You and Inside Everybody Else”. The whole view on how God is an it made me a little curious. Her whole reason for believing that God is an it is based on her view that God is a white man. On page 103 she says, “When I found out I thought God was white, and a man, I lost interest. You mad cause he don’t seem to listen to your prayers. Humph! Do the mayor listen to anything colored say”. At first I did not agree with her opinion, but now I see her point in thinking that God is an it. We are continuously bombarded with this one sided view of God being this powerful man no matter what the religion. The gendered language like father and king has contributed to the oppression of women. It makes sense to want to connect with someone like ourselves. For a woman, that would be another woman.

They are not many things in these articles that seem new to mean. For the most part they all carry the same themes. The one thing that stood out to me was the shift from a God that is apart from the world and a God who is in all things. This was brought to light in Walker’s article. “…God is everything. Everything that is or ever was or will be.” (p.103)

The article that I found not only helpful but also deeply compelling was Walker’s. I love the Color Purple, I’ve read the book and watched the movie countless times, but never has the material been presented to me in this light before. In most of the articles we have read there has been a the constant theme that there should be a move from God to Goddess, and in Celie and Shug’s conversation Shug makes is very clear that God is neither, “God ain’t no he or she, but a It.” (p. 103) While Celie is stuck on visualizing God, Shug believes that it isn’t something you can visualize because God isn’t set apart from anything, rather is in everything and is something that you can feel as opposed to see. This is profound to me. To completely remove God as an object opens the doors wide open for everything. I think what sums it up the most is what Celie says at the end, “I been busy thinking bout him I never truly notice what God make.” (p.104)

The article that I had a hard time with was Susan Griffin’s. It was very hard for me to connect to her writing.

I can’t say that I have ever had a gender defined God. For me God has always been everything. God is in and is everything, and he is different to everyone.

Somethings in the article was harder for me to understand, but most of them did make sense to me. I did find a lot of it similar to the readings in the book though.
I do also believe that God is in all of us, which Walker had said in the reading. I agree with him 100% because I grew up believing that God is in me and He is always there. I grew up praying and talking to Him as if he was a part of me I couldn’t see. I think people who are separate God maybe a little lost. I don’t want to affend anyone, but I have studied this so much and don’t think it is right to subtract God from the picture. That is probably the only part of the reading that I would disagree with anyone on nay part of this.
I love the Color Purple was really good and a good article to read about. I have read it a few times and have seen it once a long time ago. The reading was just put it in a totally different perspective for me. I really like all the details he had put into this making it more intresting for me to read.
The article that was the most compelling for me was Marcia Falk’s. I really enjoyed reading what she had to say and I think about how she said “we must seek out a wide range of verbal imagery with which to convey our visions.” I agree with her so it made a lot of sense to me as I was reading this on page 129.
Susan Griffen’s article was very hard for me to understand. I tried reading it out loud a few times, but it was still very hard for me to understand. I don’t really know why. It took me a while to read and understand it, but of what I got I think it was an okay atricle to read. I wish I would have understood it more than I did.

I found some new approaches and arguments in this portion of reading from “Weaving the Vision”: the image of the G-d, the ideas about finding the Goddess in ourselves, the ideas about the process that is going in woman’s body and its possible impact on the foundation of woman’s personality. I have never thought that Bible can have a color, that “white folks’ white bible” can offend someone. This idea was totally new to me. I found the dialog in the article of Alice Walker about the existence of the G-d, and the G-d’s image amusing; she described them very well in a new, unusual form. I was impressed from the example of Nelle Morton’s article how fear, self-confidence and complex of a woman can be fixed as soon as she realizes Goddess in herself. She gave vivid examples of that building the connection between the fear to fly and realization of Goddess’s love and security, between the importance of all processes that are going on in women’s bodies ( no matter if they are painful, problematic or private) and the awareness of being a woman. Also she illustrated how the misinterpretation can hurt woman’s self-realization.
I also found that some views from the articles are helpful and compelling to me. The idea of women’s love and interrelationship, the wisdom of older women, the breakthroughs in Jewish feminist communities are exciting subjects to read about. I strongly agree on the concept, which is described on page 154 in the article of Rosemary Radford Ruether, that the G-d has both “mothering or feminine as well as masculine characteristics.” Also, in her article I found the discussion about the Hebrew world “Abba” which was interesting and absolutely new to me. I agree with saying on page 120 that each woman seeks “images that affirm that the love women receive from women, from mother, sister, daughter, lover, friend.” I think that is why, no matter how many male friends you have, any woman needs a friendship, love and support from the female side, needs the “truly nurture” friendship. (page 125)
I also found an article that presents and discusses some view that I am strongly disagreeing with. On page 152 the expression that tells us about the positions of male and female in the society as “above” and “below.” Telling the truth, I want to see a man as a dominator in my relationship, but he has to be able to prove the point. He has to be a protector, supporter, but at the same time we have to be equal in rights and respect each other. He has to represent a “safety wall” for me; but he could never ever treat me as a “below” human being.
I have to admit, that I have never questioned gender views of the G-d in my own understanding. May be it is connected with the idea of Judaism that you have four mothers and three fathers. So, I have never felt a lack of women’s impact in the religion. A lot of stories in the Old Testimony tell us about the great deeds and contribution of women into the history and religion of the world. I have to admit, that even though in Judaism you are not supposed to picture the G-d, not even pronounce the G-d’s name, because the G-d is everywhere and the G-d is everything, I would probably describe the G-d in the same way (if someone would tell me to put him into the human being image) as Alice Walker does on the page 102. And I would refer to the G-d as a male.

I thought these readings were easier to read or maybe follow. I could connect with each writer about their views of God, but always had an objection to one or more parts. I would consider I am closely in view with Alice Walker that God is inside all of us if we allow it. Susan Griffin is my next choice because I think we do need to value the other blessing around us i.e. sun, trees grass. If we can’t see the beauty around us we can not see ourselves the way God wants us to.
I never thought of what Rosemary Radford Ruether stated “The proscription of idolatry must also be extended to verbal pictures. When the word Father is taken literally to mean that God is male and not female represents by males and not females, then this word becomes idolatrous” (pg158). In my religion we are not to take idols so I learned two fold here I also liked the prayer that Sallie McFague started with “Father-Mother God, loving me, guard me while I sleep, guide my little feet up to thee” (pg139).
In closing I would like to say I thought this was less attacking on other people and their beliefs and more trying to explain how people got to where they are. I might be really wrong but I didn’t see this so tied to the previous book we read.