Sunday, November 27, 2005

Alastair Roberts on Male and Female and the Image of God

Wow! These are ideas that are foriegn to me, but they are exciting and make biblical, rational and emotional sense:

"As James Jordan has observed, in the symbolic pattern of Scripture, the male initiates and the woman perfects, glorifies and completes. It is important that we do not understand this merely as an extrapolation from human biology. The fundamental differences between men and women are symbolic and liturgical, not biological. Our biological differences are an expression of these deeper differences. Whilst feminists and many others seem to believe that symbolism is something arbitrary that we project onto God, I believe that we must regard sexual differentiation as a necessary dimension of the manner in which we image God.

Although there is a tendency in some circles to regard the imago Dei as something that is primarily individual, having to do with the possession of a rational soul, or something else of that kind, I believe that our imaging of God must be regarded as far broader in character. Humanity was created to image God, not primarily as a collection of individuals, but as a body of people in relationships. Our relationships serve to image God and not merely our selves abstracted from relationships. A god who is only imaged by selves detached from relationships is not the Trinitarian God of Scripture, but a unitarian Monad. I believe that we must go even further and say that we image God in our bodies, and not merely in our rational capacities. In some way or other, the fact that I have arms, ears, eyes and a mouth is not unrelated to my being made in the image of God. We need to understand ‘anthropomorphisms’ on God'’s part in the light of the more basic fact that man is ‘theomorphic’.

Nor do all human beings image God in the same way. The imago Dei is expressed in a differentiated manner within humanity. Men image God one way; women in another. Infants image God in a very different way from elderly people. Single people image God in ways that differ from the ways in which married people image God. The bishop or pastor images God in a way that differs from that 0f the lay person.

In a society that has been shaped by individualistic ways of looking at the world, it is very hard to understand the imago Dei in the way that I have sketched above, but it is essential that we do so."

Read the rest here:

Also, I just discovered
a website that lets you enter an artist or song, and then generates a radio station of similar music. Right now I'm listening to a bunch of choral christmas carols found by entering "Coventry Carol" and selecting the Hereford Cathedral Choir version. I love carols!


Blogger Alan said...

Perhaps I'll comment on the actual ideas at some future time when I'm less busy, but for now, I'll just allow my inner perfectionist to point out that you've twice inserted an apostrophe before an "s" that didn't need one ("Robert's" and "idea's"—the first would be a possessive, and the second would be a contraction of "idea [is/was/has]"). And that the gist of what you quoted is pretty close to my understanding of Catholic teaching on the subject.

11/30/2005 10:57 PM  
Blogger Stejahen said...

Heh, thanks Alan. I knew that somewhere in my head.

12/01/2005 12:33 PM  

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