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Week #9 Reading Discussion Questions

Weaving the Visions Part 4 - Transforming the World

This is the last section of this text, and it may challenge you in ways earlier sections haven't - with a call to personal transformation, a challenge to the status quo, and a vision of political engagement for social justice and environmental preservation. Read the chapters by Christ and Welch for interest as time permits.

1. Introduction: What will it take for non-Native folks to be transformed enough to embrace a 'give-away spirit'? (269-270)
-- Why has Christianity traditionally insisted on a heterosexual norm? (270-271)
-- How can 'liberation hermeneutics' (feminist study of the Bible) be healing for women who have experienced violence? (271)
-- How can ritual contribute to strengthening political action? (272)
-- How can non-Indians establish connections to the land as sacred? (273)

2. Ywahoo: What is the first step in becoming connected to the earth? (275)
-- How are women more connected to 'caretaker mind'? (276)
-- What are the three principles that lead to action, and how do they work? (277+)
-- Why is regular meditation important? (279)

3. Cannon: in what ways did Cannon experience a disconnect between the deep ethics of her community and the ethics of the dominant culture? (281-282)
-- What are some examples of Black women's 'moral wisdom'? (284+)
Why is Black women's literary tradition a valuable source of moral wisdom? (286-287)

4. Heyward: How are gay and lesbian people well situated to understand themselves as people who love, rather than finding identity in conventional gender terms? (294-295)
-- What is the connection between love and justice? (295+)
-- What does Heyward mean by 'rage and compassion . . . belong together'? (296)
-- What can happen when a person goes public with identity as gay or lesbian, in her experience? (298+)

5. Thistlethwaite: In seeking social change that eliminates violence against women, why is it important for women to do their own work of scriptural interpretation? (302+)
-- How has Christianity traditionally been part of the system perpetuating violence against women? (303)
-- How does Thistlethwaite answer the question, 'Why deal with the Bible at all'? (303+)
-- How can a new interpretation of the Bible aid women's healing? (304+)
-- What are some especially helpful Biblical themes? (306+)
-- How is it helpful for women to recognize the presence of women apostles in Jesus's community? (308+)

6. After reading Starhawk's description of rituals, especially the one she and her affinity group did as part of a protest against building a nuclear reactor, how can you imagine using rituals to energize, focus, and empower groups of people in service to social change that you would like to see? Be creative!

7. Sanchez: Why have many European and American people lost spiritual grounding? (343)
-- How was reconnecting to her tribal roots healing for Sanchez? (345+)
-- How can familiarity with the tribal traditions of the Americas be helpful to non-native folks? (346+) What can these traditions offer? (348+)
-- What values have become imprinted on tribal folks? (348+)
-- What is involved in creating 'non-Indian tribal communities'? What are some of the things groups of people can do to come together in this way? (350+)
-- What can individuals do on their own to awaken some spiritual connection to nature? (353)
-- Do you think these spiritual practices are helpful and appealing? Could they co-exist with other religious practices and affiliations? Are there concerns that this approach raises in your mind?