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The Gospel according to the Greenham Women?

After Mike and Justin's presentation, I have begun to look at the Gospels in a new light. They are at once dependent on the context that they are written (a la Kennedy) but also that it doesn't necessarily matter who or why that particular story was written (since it might not be accurate of any time period that the Christians were living). Yet, in both cases we get some meaning or some text to help us discover our movement through. I was thinking that the same thing could apply to the narratives in my movement as well. Different versions of the same story essentially and I can make links to why and to what audience the different versions were written for. At the same time, as narratives and circulating discourse in their own right, they live beyond the "speaker" "audience" boundaries and carry the movement without us caring about who wrote them or how accurate--just that they reflect values, traditons, and "actual" heroes (women Jesuses) of a movement. Long story short, thinking about "gospels" in my movement gives me a different direction for moving forward. Does this seem to work or make sense for anyone else's movements?


Amy, I think this is an interesting point. This view of gospels seems to allow for a new approach to texts within a social movement. To what extent can we view the texts of non-religious movments, as gospels? While the context is an essential aspect of the text, and the exact author is not necessarily important, there is a level of authority to texts of the Jesus movement that stems from its association with God. Regardless of the "true author," believers see the words as influenced by a higher power. How would this trnaslate to other movements not based solely on religious/spiritual issues. In the women's suffrage movement, Stanton's attempt to reappropriate the Bible was seen as heresy. That said, there were speeches, letters, ect. that circulated among the women involved that, with a new view of gospels, could allow them to be classified differently. So, Amy, I'm not sure this was a very cohgerent response to your comment, but it may complicate the matter in a certain sense. Do you have any ideas on the higher authority issue?

I would like to say that we can look at this "higher authority" issue pretty broadly. I am not saying that the Greenham women think that they are speaking for a divine being (unless as women, they see themselves in that role to get the men to come to their senses about nuclear arms), but there is some "authority" in terms of those who are writing have been at the camp, experienced the camp and are committed to representing the women there. So if this is "leadership" then I would say that is what gives them authority. And leadership is all in how followers perceive them, so...perhaps this "divine authority" issue is just more a question on whether the text is seen as coming from a legitimate leader or voice in the movement. At the same time, I guess the larger point was that if the Jesus movement can be sustained on these gospels that everyone seems to get "wrong" what about other movements--do they have texts that can similarly sustain and continue to give values for the movement or issue?