Exploring the feminine and masculine impulses of Godde
review of Elizabeth Johnson's 'SHE WHO IS'
She Who Is: 2 Mediating the Mystery of Godde
The unfathomable mystery of Godde is mediated through history by faith communities, who use words about Godde that are entwined with their culture.
Today, patterns of speaking about the mystery of Godde are emerging from the perspective of women's experiences. It is not necessary to restrict speech about Godde to the exact names that scripture uses, so long as the words signify something that does characterise the living Godde.
And indeed, the urgent prompting to confute sexism, which can be so dangerous to women's lives, makes it imperative to find more adequate ways of expressing the identity of Godde and the good news of Godde.
Far from erring from scripture by exploring new language, we may discern in this emerging language Godde's creative, compassionate, and liberating care.
The present discussions about naming, imaging and conceptualising Godde from perspectives of women's experience repristinate the truth that the idea of Godde, incomprehensible mystery, is not something limited and totally revealed, but an evolution, a continuing revelation, an open-ended history of understanding that is not yet finished.
And I find that exciting!
This open-endedness of talk about Godde is not due only to its location in time, place and culture - but to the reality that Godde is so transcendant, so mysterious beyond all imagining, that we can never wrap our minds completely around this mystery or exhaust divine reality in words or concepts. No language about Godde is exhaustive.
Given the inexhaustible mystery inherent in what the word Godde points to, new attempts through history at articulation are to be expected and welcomed.
We witness, among other witnesses, a dynamism - the livingness of Godde - at work among women, among others, who are newly contemplating and studying things they have treasured, things they have experienced, things they have suffered, to explore intimate understanding of spiritual encounter.
In faith and struggle, women - among others - are growing the church into a new moment of the living tradition. The women's movement comes as a transforming grace for the whole church... although, of course and terrifyingly, grace may always be refused.
Links to my summary pages on 'She Who Is':