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4.20.2007

Voices Found: The Body of God

With some relief, we completed our study of Sallie McFague's The Body of God: An Ecological Theology last night at the women's theology book group "Voices Found." I say "with some relief" because it was a challenging read. On the other hand, it prompted some excellent discussion. For example, last night we considered the image(s) of God with which we grew up and compared those to the five (5) categories that McFague described: deistic, dialogic, monarchical, agential, organic (see Chap.8, Sec. I.3 at this link for a discussion of the first 4 and continue to sec. I.4 for a discussion of the fifth - also called "process").

All of us were struck by the plethora of monarchical language used in our worship which, as McFague points out, is at odds with our cultural context firstly because in the United States we do not operate in a monarchical government structure (don't get me started!) and secondly because in those countries that do, rarely is it a monarchy like the ancient ones upon which the analogies were originally based. McFague challenges us to come up with more relevant language for God to use in our worship (notably she quotes the version of the "Lord's Prayer" which appears in the New Zealand Prayer Book).

The rest of our discussion focused on the issue of global warming which were raised by McFague in this book - as early as 1993 (and, as one member noted by Rachel Carson even longer ago than that) and puzzled over why it has taken until 2007 for the world to take notice. What does that say about voices that are heard? Is this about gender bias? Or is it simply that Sallie McFague and Rachel Carson were just too ahead of the times -- i.e., if Al Gore (or his equivalent in 1993) raised the issues of global warming in 1993, would he have been heard then?

We are all looking forward to next month's meeting when we will be discussing Marilynne Robinson's novel Gilead (available for purchase - on CD or in paperback or hardcover at Borders and elsewhere). While the subject matter is deep, it promises to be a bit easier reading! I hope all women will feel free to join us for that on Thursday, May 24th** at 7:30p.m. at the Borders Bookstore and Cafe in Orland Park.

**This is a one-time departure from our typical 3rd Thursday meeting because of Ascension Day services which will be held at Church of the Holy Family in Park Forest on May 17th.

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