Monday, 21 August 2017

FEMINIST THEOLOGY

An Introduction To Feminist Theology

By Nicola Slee
 Nicola Slee
Feminist theology, or more properly, theologies, has emerged in modern times as a challenge to the male bias in religion and society as a whole. Although feminist theology has many significant roots in pre-modern history, it has only emerged as a fully conscious movement with its own literature, spokespersons, principles and methods in the past three or four decades. Influenced and empowered by the secular women's movement of the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement in the United States and liberation theology from Latin America, the first critical feminist theological work emerged from the States at the beginning of the sixties and from there spread to Europe and the rest of the globe. We should not assume that the foundations of feminist theology are exclusively white and western. As Kwok Pui-Lan points out, ‘the emergence of white feminist theology in the contemporary period… was embedded in the larger political, cultural, and social configurations of its time’ (Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology, 2002, p. 26). At any rate, within a few decades, feminist theology has become a global movement situated in many settings, and drawing on many different political, philosophical and religious roots to express its concerns and convictions.
Key concepts and principles of feminist theology
There is no one feminism or feminist theology. Feminist theologians come from many different faith traditions, cultures, backgrounds and academic persuasions. Nevertheless, there are certain fundamental principles: broad, underlying convictions which most, if not all, feminists hold, and which underpin and shape feminist theology in its many different guises. All of these are the focus of much critical debate, but it is essential to have some grasp of them if you are to understand what feminism and feminist theology is about. 
The structural injustice of sexism
According to feminism, human community is characterised by a basic structural injustice, a distorted relationality between the sexes, such that men as a group have power over women as a group. This basic inequality has characterised all known history, is universal and is enshrined in language, culture, social relations, mythology and religion. The most fundamental feature of this distorted relationality is a pervasive dualism which makes a sharp distinction between perceived male and female roles, characteristics and areas of responsibility, valuing those identified with the male as inherently superior to those identified with the female.  For example, masculinity is identified with rationality, power and initiative, whereas femininity is identified with emotion and intuition, weakness and passivity. This dualism is established in the social relations assigned to men and women – men dominate in the public sphere, women in the private, for example – but is ratified at the level of mythology, ritual and theology. The patriarchal God upholds and is at the apex of this dualistic system. God is associated with the male and identified with masculine characteristics such as those already mentioned, and is cast over and against the female.  
A key consequence of sexism is androcentrism - the bias of society and culture towards the male, the assumption that the male is norm. Androcentrism functions at every level of human culture and society: in its history, traditions, language, arts, professions, and so on, all of which have been controlled and monopolised by men. A consequence of androcentrism is that women are systematically excluded and obliterated from historical traditions and contemporary thought-forms, and thus rendered invisible to themselves and others.
Sexism and androcentrism are twin features of patriarchy, a much-used concept in feminism which refers to the system of oppression, injustice and exploitation that operates between the sexes. Patriarchy (literally, the power of the fathers) refers to the social system in which sexism operates, a system which is organised entirely on the basis of male domination of women.
The grounding of theology in women's experience
All theology is done on the basis of experience, whether this is acknowledged or not. Most theology in the past has been done almost exclusively from the perspective of male experience; men have been those who have written, taught and preached about the meaning of faith, and women have been excluded from such offices and opportunities that would have allowed them to study the faith. Nevertheless, theology has been ‘gender-blind’: it did not recognise the partiality and bias of its pronouncements, but offered them as universally valid and applicable to all humanity. By insisting on doing theology from the perspective of women's experience, feminists are both calling attention to the androcentrism of previous theology and seeking to redress the imbalance of a religious tradition in which the dominant forms of thought and expression have been owned and controlled by men.  
In a much-quoted passage, Rosemary Radford Ruether expresses this principle as follows:
The critical principle of feminist theology is the promotion of the full humanity of women…. Theologically speaking, whatever diminishes or denies the full humanity of women must be presumed not to reflect the divine or an authentic relation to the divine, or to reflect the authentic nature of things, or to be the message or work of an authentic redeemer or a community of redemption. (Ruether, Sexism and God-Talk, 1983, pp. 18-19)
Listening and looking for difference
The need to extend the notion of 'women's experience' beyond simplistic assumptions of an undifferentiated unity of all women everywhere leads to the formulation of this principle. This has become a prominent commitment within recent feminist theory, rooted in the assumption that no matter how much like another human being one person may be, there is always difference present and there is always potential for these differences to change over time. What this means for feminist theology is well expressed by Linda Hogan:
 A theology based on women's experience and praxis must of necessity acknowledge and learn to value difference…. A theology based on an understanding of women's experience and praxis, which is sensitive to racial, class and sexual differences among women, must recognise women's 'different primary emergencies' (From Women’s Experience to Feminist Theology, 1995, p. 167).
In other words, feminist theology must beware of making any generalised statements about the meaning of God, the church or Bible for women, since any one woman will be speaking from one particular situation and vantage point, and cannot speak on behalf of all women.
Commitment to liberating and empowering women
Theology must not be isolated in the ivory tower of academia but must take root in the streets and the homes of ordinary women and men, and must be orientated to the transformation of society; and particularly to the liberation and empowerment of women.   Theology which has, in the past, fuelled and legitimised women's oppression must now become a tool and resource for women's empowerment. What makes theology feminist according to this principle is not merely the subject matter or content (i.e., theology about women) or the gender of the theologian (i.e., theology by women) but the commitment to doing theology with the specific goal of empowering and liberating women (i.e., theology for women).    

This is an edited extract of chapter 1 of Faith and Feminism: An Introduction to Christian Feminist Theology by Nicola Slee (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2003).  The book serves as a fuller introduction to feminist theology. This text is designed as a basic but reasonably thorough introduction.  See also Nicola’s reading list on the WATCH website: https://womenandthechurch.org/resources/recommended-reading/
Dr Nicola Slee is Director of Research at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham.  She is the author of numerous texts, including Praying Like a Woman (SPCK, 2004), Women’s Faith Development: Patterns and Processes (Ashgate, 2004), The Book of Mary (SPCK, 2009) and Seeking the Risen Christa (SPCK, 2011).  She is an honorary Vice-President of WATCH (Women and the Church), and an Anglican laywoman.

THE IRISH TIMES - 21.8.2017




Catholic Church shows signs of listening to growing calls for greater gender equality

Woman who feels calling to priesthood says daughter asks: ‘How can you follow such an institution?’

Dr Ann-Marie Desmond, from Timoleague, Co Cork: “I can’t see anything wrong with women celebrating the Eucharist.”

As the clamour demanding full equality for women in the Catholic Church grows ever louder indications are that it is beginning to make an impact at the very highest level.
Just this summer Sweden’s first Cardinal Anders Arborelius proposed that Pope Francis create a special advisory body of women similar to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Arborelius was himself admitted to the college in Rome last June.
“It’s very important to find a broader way of involving women at various levels in the church. The role of women is very, very important in society, in economics, but in the church sometimes we are a bit behind,” he told media in Rome.
Similarly German cardinal Reinhard Marx, a member of the council of nine cardinals which advise Pope Francis, has called on the church to admit a greater percentage of women to its upper echelons.
“We would be mad not to use women’s talents. In fact, it would be downright foolish,” he said. The fact that only men can be ordained Catholic priests was “certainly not helping the church come across as a pioneer of equal rights”.
The church’s message must be inclusive, he continued, and “that is why I want to emphasise that positions of responsibility and executive positions in the church that are open to lay people must be shared by both men and women”.
Whereas admission toe quality in church administrationmight be welcomed by some women, their glaring absence from clergy, whether as deacons, priests, or bishops, remains for most the true indicator of their second-class status as members.
Last year Pope Francis set up a commission to look at the possibility of admitting women to the diaconate, which is now also reserved for men only. The commission is a welcome step where women are concerned, but just that.
Papal decision
In Ireland, the Association of Catholic Priests has called on all dioceses to hold off on the introduction of the permanent diaconate until this commission reports and Pope Francis makes a decision based on its findings.
“We believe that proceeding with the introduction of a male permanent diaconate at this time, and thereby adding another male clerical layer to ministry, is insensitive, disrespectful of women, and counterproductive at this present critical time,” it said last week in a statement.
It was commenting after Fr Roy Donovan objected to a decision by Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly in his archdiocese of Cashel and Emly to set up a body to look at introducing the male-only diaconate there.
“What are the implications of this when already there are so many women involved on the ground, in all kinds of ministries, without been given much status and power? Have they not also earned their place at the top table?” he asked.
Fr Donovan told The Irish Times the response to his stance had been “all very positive, including men as well”. In his own experience no parish in which he had served could have functioned without the work of women.
“It’s very difficult to get men involved, even in pastoral councils,” he said.
He recalled a recent US study that indicated that as many as 66 per cent of parish roles there were filled by women. “The church is only going to lose if women are excluded from the top table, especially when it comes to younger women.”
One woman who believes she has a vocation to the Catholic priesthood is Dr Ann-Marie Desmond (54) of Timoleague, Co Cork. A teacher of religion and history, with a PhD in education and degrees in theology and history, she is married with two grown-up daughters.
Devout family
Hers was a traditional Catholic upbringing in a devout family and with an aunt a nun. Even when her brother was an altar server she did not question why, then, she could not become one too. Girls are now allowed be altar servers, and in most parishes these days the altar servers are girls.
It was at third level education that Ms Desmond began to question things and later when, preparing for Masses, women like her “would organise everything, pick the readings etc., and a man [priest] would come in, take over, and celebrate it”. She has herself been a minister of the word and of the Eucharist.
Hers has remained “a very committed faith” but she had become “very anti the institution”, she said. This was not just because of its exclusion of women but also “of gay people, and people such as the divorced and remarried, from Communion. I would want a much more inclusive church,” she continued.
A lot of women like her retained “a deep faith but would no longer be followers of the Catholic Church”. She had explored other churches and admired in particular the inclusivity of Anglicanism in the form of the Church of Ireland, but “had stayed within [the Catholic Church] to speak out”.
The church needed priests, “a value-driven leadership”, she said but this should also include women. “I can’t see anything wrong with women celebrating the Eucharist,” she said. The reason Jesus did not include women among the apostles was because of the culture of his time when women remained in the home, she said.
“Many of the apostles were also married,” she pointed out, as an indicator of the inconsistency of the church’s position on priesthood which now demands its priests be celibate.
She welcomed, “very, very cautiously”, the Pope’s commission on women deacons as, possibly, “a gradual evolution towards priesthood”. It was “a step in the right direction”.
But she wonders about the church’s future where younger women are concerned. “How can you be a follower of such an institution?” one of her daughter’s asked recently, reflecting on its exclusion of women.

PAT SAYS:

A good definition of theology would be:


the study of religious faith, practice, and experiencethe study of God and God's relation to the world


Feminist theology, therefore could be described as the study of religious faith, practice and experience of God in the context of the feminine and women.




God is neither male or female. He / She is male, female and a lot more - infinitely more.

In Jesus God became present in the world through a male.

In lesser ways - but ways that are also vital, God has become present to the world in men, women, animals, plants, trees, nature etc.

All that exists is a revelation of God who has created all that exists.


However, theology is the study of God by men and women.

Men and women, even and especially in the Bible, are often limited in their studies by various factors including cultural factors.

In the past Society - and the Church - was very male and patriarchal. 

To study God from a male-only perspective is to end up with a limited understanding of God.

I see Feminist Theology as an effort to rebalance the study of God taking on board the enormous importance and vital perspective of woman and the feminine.

Like in all theologies people can get it wrong and go to extremes. 

Balance, rational, openminded balance is so important.

Feminist Theology is a challenge to all of us to rebalance and recalibrate our study of God taking the feminine perspective full on board.

Theology is multi-faceted.

There is Dogmatic Theology, Moral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Liberation Theology, etc.

We need Feminist Theology to be allowed to take its properly deserved place in the Theology Pantheon. 

75 comments:

  1. A most interesting and much needed piece on Feminist Theology. I trust this topic will elicit a good, positive and calm exchange of views, some which will be controversial others irrational and irrelevant to the topic. In all my years in ministry it is obvious to me that the Church community is primarily kept together by women who are imaginative, faithful, Spirit filled and have a greater sense of caring. When and where possible, I encourage the role of women and allow meaningful roles be given to them. The women I have encounterrd are the quiet prophets whose witness is evident. In a sense, the women I work with alongside men are natural givers , carers and visionaries. Feminism per se tends all too frequently to divide and tear apart the constructive, life giving relationship between men and women. There is a very aggressive feminism that hurts both men and women, a feminism that often places men in a lower capacity. Feminist theology, if truly guided by the Holy Spirit will and should be different. It will see the mutuality of men and women. It will empower women to live out Bsptismal callings, not competitively agsinst men but in a shsred vision of what is best for all God's people. Some of the grestest wisdom I've been given has come from women. Parishes sre enhanced and enriched by women. Women are ddeeply instinctive about knowing the right response to give in particilar situations. Feminist theology, guided by the Holy Spirit will give a balanced, calmer, psprayer filled envisioning of what God is asking of us all at this time! Let's welcome in a conciliatory way a new debate, much needed, on the role of women who deserve more than tokenism. Let feminist theology bring respect to this reflection. The topic does not need ranting and nonsensical blogging or abuse, insult or prejudice.

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    1. MourneManMichael22 August 2017 at 11:20

      Excellent comment. Your distinction between rampant homophobic feminism (which I saw regularly in former work setting), and true feminism of equality and mutuality, is timely and apt. But I fear the distinction may be lost on some who feel threatened by the concept of equality, or perhaps have only experienced the homophobic aspect.
      MMM

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    2. That was a perceptive and thoughtful response with a lot of insight coming from personal experience. Thank you.

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    3. MourneManMichael22 August 2017 at 16:13

      Not clear whether you (Anon @ 11:24) are referring to Anon @ 07:47's comment or my reply to it.
      This is an example of the comment I've repeatedly made about the difficulty of following anonymous comments and those not making it clear what is being replied or referred to. It's not pedantic: just seeking clarity and avoidance of error!
      MMM

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    4. To poster MMM
      I am poster 11.24
      I was replying to 7.47 but happy enough to apply "perceptive and thoughtful" to your comment at 11.20 without difficulty!

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    5. MournemanMichael23 August 2017 at 22:40

      Thanks both for the clarification and the compliment.
      MMM

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  2. Jesus was a Man, He is a Man, He is also God. He also called God Father. I am sensing a trend here. Man, Father. Let's take it from the horses mouth.

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    1. I think God will surprise you when you meet Her.

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    2. God did not become man... Jesus did .Pat
      So u or I do not know if God is sexed to any orientation
      He cd be gay or bisexual

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    3. 09:35, there is no sexual (in the physical sense) in God, because... I needn't finish my sentence, need I?

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  3. So called Femenist Theology is one of the most divisive developments in theology since the reformation. The language employed by feminist theologians seeks tho present the natural sexual differentiation between man and woman as though there was some gigantic invisible wall to be destroyed. It ignores the noble rule and function that women have and are playing in the life of the church. It is clear that an anti-man or more correctly homo phobic (in its proper meaning( agenda is ast work. Yet another device to show division and conflict, and one we can do without.

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    1. Not all Feminist Theology is as you say.

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    2. People always fear the new... They are fearful of anything that threatens their traditional position of supremacy.... yes?

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    3. @8.46
      I'm afraid you are not correct on a variety of fronts. I'll confine my remarks to just two.

      There is no 'proper sense' in which 'homo phobic' means anti-man.

      Homo is the Latin word for a human being, whether male or female. If you want to translate the substantive/noun male into Latin the word is vir.

      Differentiation does not necessarily imply division. Maritain speaks about deeper differentiation for higher unity.

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  4. Why are u differentiating between the sexes pat
    Get a grip
    Theology is theology is theology
    It never was sexual
    I'm so disappointed with your recent blogs

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    1. Don't be disappointed.

      We are on a journey towards better understanding.

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  5. Common Sense is the best denominator. We use words like he and she because that is how we think. There is more beyond this and humanity is more than the sum of it's parts. Favouring one gender over another misses the point. Everyone is a person and that is how we should see and value them. Gender is part of who we are.

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  6. Arlene's on fire22 August 2017 at 10:46

    Revealing that Fr Ray Donovan talks about power, status and the top table.

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    1. What does it reveal (to you)?

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    2. Arlene's on fire23 August 2017 at 08:25

      That he sees ordination in such terms.

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  7. There is no gender-neutral pronoun in Hebrew, (such as, in English, 'one' in place of 'he' or 'she') though ancient Jewish writings did try to express such neutrality in relation to God through an unofficial linguistic confection.

    Ancient Jewish society was monotheistic AND patriarchal. Unfortunately, the latter made inevitable the expression of God's nature as masculine rather than feminine.

    Others, down the centuries, have tried to restore balance to our understanding of God's nature; one such was Julian of Norwich, who referred to God also as 'Mother'.

    The continued and deliberate skewing of God's gender (which, not being human, God doesn't possess anyhow) represents a patriarchal politics which has no place in our time.

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  8. I AM REFUSING TO PUBLISH COMMENTS CALLING MC NAMES AND GOADING HIM INTO RESPONDING IN KIND.

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    1. Pat, why are you protecting Magna from deserved opprobrium? He is insufferable. The abuse he hurls at priests is appalling and he believes he has every right to incite hatred of priests and bishops.Come on, get real about this nasty piece of humanity. As has been said so often here, Magna is perniciously crass and "mood swings" so dangerously that he plays loose with the truth. You should dissallow him from further damaging your integrity by tolerating his vile and bitterness. He does no service to the issue being discussed today: the essential and necessary role of women in Church and society. He debases serious issues with a pretentious learning.

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    2. 12.42 Spot on Pat. Stirring the pot only clouds the issue

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    3. I'm giving up on this blog. You have your tongue way too far up MC's arsehole for my liking Buckley.

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    4. I'm hoping that by not publishing comments insulting MC that he will not submit insulti either, which I'm sure he will.

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    5. I assure you, 14:51, my learning is not pretentious, but here, on this blog, sometimes purposely understated.

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    6. @ 17.31
      Ha ha, Pat! Loved your Freudian slip... ding ding.... dead on!!

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  9. Pat Jesus stood to piss. That's enoughfor me.

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    1. What a vulgar comment, but spot On!!

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    2. Lol, dont offend Pats delicate theology!

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    3. Hate to put a spoke in your sexist wheel, but German men customarily sit to 'pee'.

      Gender custom (sociologically received roles for males and females) and gender genetics are two entirely, and inorganically related, fields.

      You may wish to look again at your glib and silly comment.

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    4. Excellent reprimand for 12:43's ignorance.

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    5. Nonsense. I lived in Munich for 7 years and such a statement is without foundation. Don't imagine be than an authoritative tone adds to a false assertion. Auf Deutschland Männer pissen beim Stehen.

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    6. Are you referring to my post, 14:12? If so, you should have made that clear.

      As for what I said, I merely repeated what I read somewhere or other. How do you know it's nonsense? Are you privvy to every German male's toilet habit?

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  10. I've never met a cheerful, light-hearted feminist theologian.

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    1. It's hard to be cheerful when you're oppressed.

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    2. How sad. You are not a theologian though magna.

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    3. The Lord loves a cheerful giver 2 Corinthian 9:7. Last time I looked membership of the Catholic Church is voluntary. There are plenty of other religious bodies to choose from instead of staying miserabley in the Catholic Church and gurning all the time, as the ACP guys do.

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    4. You've never "met a cheerful lighthearted feminist theologian"
      Clearly, you need to get out more..!

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    5. 13:43 and 13:47, I'm not sharing a thread with the biblically literate, am I? You wouldn't know Ecclesiastes, then. Chapter 3 vs 1 and 4:

      'For everything there is a season...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance...' .

      Even Jesus wept, at the sight of those weeping for the dead Lazarus. (Note he did not weep
      because Lazarus was dead, but at the sight of those weeping for him. A highly significant distinction this.)

      The Lord loves honesty. If one needs to weep, then one needs to weep. Christianity isn't slowly about giving...in the sense you clearly mean. Weeping when one needs to weep is a form of giving, too: it's called 'honesty'.

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    6. The feminist theologians I've met are such wisecrackers as Debra Snoddy, Sr Joan Chittister, various Mercy sisters who haven't been troubled by a novice in decades, and in the political sphere Mary Robinson (such a hoot)and Mary McAleese (what a japester).

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    7. Ye gods! From whence was this "feminist" list dug up? You are cracking us up.. �� LOL

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    8. Magna, I was interested in your interpretation of John 11:35 ("Jesus wept"). I think, though, that it is also arguable that the passage in question can be interpreted in other ways. For instance, in the passage, Jesus is moved to anger by the weeping of the crowd - ἐνεβριμήσατο τῷ πνεύματι. Embrimomai, the root of enebrimesato (ἐνεβριμήσατο), is a word associated with the expression of anger (cf. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd ed). His reaction to the weeping of the crowd was anger. His reaction to seeing the tomb of Lazarus causes him to weep - εἶπεν· Ποῦ τεθείκατε αὐτόν; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· Κύριε, ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε. ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς. His weeping, it would seem, is brought about by the sight of the tomb more so that the weeping of the crowd. It's also, I think, interesting that the weeping of Jesus is described using a different word (ἐδάκρυσεν) than that used to describe the weeping of Mary and the crowd (κλαίουσαν, κλαίοντας). Klaio (κλαίω) is usually specific to mourning (cf. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd ed), whereas dakruo (δακρύω) is not specific to mourning and denotes the welling up of tears, and evocative more of sadness than mourning. I think, for me, Brodie* (regardless of his later issues) had a strong interpretation by seeing these two emotional reactions - anger and sadness - as being tied together: anger at the continued lack of faith of the people, sadness at the consequences of the lack of faith, i.e. death, repesented by the tomb of Lazarus.

      I think, more broadly speaking, that your point about the expression of emotions is well made.

      *The Gospel According to John: A Literary and Theological Commentary, by Thomas L. Brodie

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    9. Thank you, Fred, for your wonderfully literate reply. I'm in seventh heaven!

      Here's the 'but': interpretation of this gospel scene should not be solely reliant upon Greek text, but upon the scriptural round (and indeed upon one's experience and understanding of the risen Christ).

      For any one to claim definitive understanding of Jesus' reaction here is an arrogance beyond words. And I make no such claim. So you were right to suggest an alternative point of view. Thank you so much.

      I believe the Greek indicates that Jesus wept not from anger (though the Greek does express anger), but from the pain that cones from ontological ignorance: human limitation.

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    10. Thank you Fred for illuminating the meaning of the Greek, which of course is always the best way to understand it. You also show your academic worth by citing your sources.
      No doubt as a scholar with several doctorates, Magna will easily be able to produce a source for his own interpretation beyond 'I think'.

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    11. Arlene's on fire22 August 2017 at 23:26

      20:09 I agree that it would make an unappetising dish. But isn't it funny that the modern Sisters, who adopted the spirit of Vatican II strenuously and arguably in full don't have any novices. LOL. But the traditional sisters do. Not sure that the great experiment worked.

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    12. The ACP 'lads' as you call them (and lassies) have made a far greater contribution than most groups (I imagine your good self included) to enabling theology engage with modern culture. Long may the likes of Brendan Hoban and Seamus Ahearne continue to do so.

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    13. 22:05, I don't know which texts you have been reading (or think you have been reading), but I never used the words, 'I think...'

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    14. @ 00:07
      Thought not.
      22:05

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  11. Did u see Jesus
    piss ???
    Most older males sit to pee
    Some actually can't stand
    And some little boys sit to pee.
    Sorry to burst yourbubble

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    1. Ha ha! Shall I tell you about Saudi Arabian meň?..how they cope in those long white gowns!!

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    2. Lol. Very high-powered theological debate I have just stumbled upon here today.. no?

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    3. If beater of masking comments on how little boys pre. You could be misconstrued add having an unhealthy interest.

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    4. @14.41.
      I think we need a translation to get the best from your 'profound' (LOL)comments!!

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  12. Sorry Magna to see a poster call you,especially as he typed he was a priest
    Also sorry that Pat didn't print my posts berating him about not having a Sunday mass..he really did disappoint.
    Also pat you looked tired in that photo
    Women must tire u out with their constant chatter and energy
    Btw I'm a woman

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  13. Fr Pat Sheehan being moved to Glengormley. Diocese changes on the way

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  14. I enjoyed this discussion on feminist theology. I believe it is much needed in the Roman Catholic Church. I also believe we have much to learn from our Anglican brothers and sisters.

    Maybe Pat we could also hear of your understanding of Eucharistic theology? There has been much confusion over the past number of days for what is the most central part of our faith.

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  15. Why did you enjoy a blog about feminist theology
    Aren't you being sexist ?
    Isn't theology just that...theology

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    1. Indeed, imagine the reaction if masculinist theology was proposed? The farce is that implying that all women think alike or have common interests on the basis of being women is itself sexist, in the way that Womens's Studies can be.

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    2. I was thinking about this earlier.

      I can see nothing wrong with a Masculinist Theology.

      In fact the whole notion of what constitutes masculinity, manhood etc, could do with rethinking and reevaluation - in general and in the context of God.

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    3. Pat, you hop seamlessly from one topic to another. It's very annoying as you fail to intelligently answer genuine questions and comments. You leave so much hanging in the air, incomplete, confusing and misleading. It appears to me that you have an agenda. When you present blogs re: Catholic Priests, Bishops and the Catholic Church (from your interpretation only) you unleash joyfully a tsunami of vitriol and abuse. But when serious topics are raised, you allow them to be taken over by bloggers who turn them to their own agenda - uttering irrelevant and inane comments. I think you should exercise greater discernment.

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    4. I didn't notice any discussion..

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  16. Even Nicola Slee said that more properly it was...theologies
    So go figure

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  17. True the Rc church is limited in its thinking
    I'm all for a broad spectrum of Christianity
    But to make a song and dance about a woman preacher and actually believe yous were having a Eucharist on Sunday
    The mind boggles.

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    1. My mind isn't boggling; it has better things to do.

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  18. Magna at 13.26. You are so right. It's hard to be cheerful when you're oppressed! Explains much about yourself. What causes you to be oppressed because you are so "cheerless" and full of anger as evidenced in your comments so frequently? Tell us - we may may be able to help you. When we exercise charity, compassion and reasonableness in our dealings with others, when we give them due respect, when we show tolerance in our differences, when we acknowledge our genuine searching for truth, when we choose to do good for others in imitation of Christ (as Christians), when we see our common humanity, when we look kindly on each other (not condescendingly), generally we find our way to inner peace and joy, content in the truth of God's redeeming and merciful love.

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    1. Despite your (sometimes obscure) verbosity, I think well of you.

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  19. Se do leim
    I don't think that feeling oppressed has any relation to non cheerfulness
    Anyways u must be a walking saint.


    My mind boggled Magna
    Just couldn't take in all that goings on at the oratory on Sunday...sorry

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  20. When you read through all today's comments in quick succession it's unintentionally like a comedy script. Great craic altogether! Try it if you don't believe me.

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  21. I'm sure you didn't mean to omit it and that you intended implicitly to include it, but I'd like to add that God has become present in the world in children also.

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  22. 22.11
    No intention of reading this blog though the comments
    If that's the best u have o offer......goodnight

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