Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Divine Feminine and Christian Thought

I watched the Da Vinci Code this past Sunday. I have also read the book and found both to be satisfying. I was quite pleased the film, for the most part, stayed with the book. I’ll leave the debate about casting and such to another blog, I want to focus on the concept of the Divine Feminine and how it relates to Christian thought.
I don’t think I’m letting the cat out of the bag by saying much of The Da Vinci Code focuses on the notion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and Jesus fathered a child before dying on the cross.
This storyline is quite scandalous for much of the Christian church. Some church leaders have encouraged Christians to protest the movie while others devote entire Sunday sermons to the subject and others encourage their congregations to watch the film so they can have an intelligent conversation. Unfortunately, our Pastor falls into the second category. Fortunately, he also falls into the latter category. Um, not that I wouldn’t watch a movie because my Pastor said not to but I wouldn’t have a Pastor who would dictate my movie habits.
My faith rests upon the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Nothing else. I am not particularly obsessed with virginity or the notion that sex is inherently sinful. If Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, it isn’t going to rock my world. If He had sex with his wife, He wouldn’t be sinning. If He wanted Mary M. to lead His church, I am not getting my panties in a big wad. I *would*, however, have some trouble with the concept of a group of people who were directly related to Jesus. Jesus was both human and divine, He, as a man, would have been *able* to father children (unless he was sterile for some reason but, likely, He was as Data would say in Star Trek, “Fully Functional.”
The notion of having direct descendants of Jesus walking around creates an Aryianesque sort of master race somewhere. I would have difficulty with the notion that there would be some more equally created in G-d’s image (so to speak.)
This would mess with my theology in the sense that we are all equal in His sight.
Finally, the notion of the Divine Feminine is enough to send conservative Christian thinkers into spasms. I think there is an innate drive for people to make G-d enough like them to be able to relate to Him in some way. This has created a need within the human heart that is filled with the divine feminine.
The problem isn’t as much the Divine Feminine as the over *masculinization* of G-d in the first place. G-d is not a literal man with some gigantic cosmic penis up in heaven somewhere. Jesus came to this earth as a man, but He didn’t need to be a male to do His work on this earth. Likely he was a he instead of a flip of the coin because of the ung-dly sexism rampant within the culture.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, Male nor Female in the Kingdom of Heaven. Angels are called, “he” in the Bible, but they actually are not gendered. God (or the angels, for that matter,) as male is a strict social construct.
There are qualities of G-d mentioned in the scriptures that are very feminine. The Holy Spirit is given the female pronoun in the Greek. Spirit, Pneumos, is feminine.
Therefore, the problem isn’t the Divine Feminine as a separate G-d (although I do not subscribe to that theology,) rather, for the Christian, it is the Divine Masculine, G-d is the balance of that which is good and masculine along with that which is good and feminine. G-d satisfies the need for both the Divine Masculine *and* the Divine Feminine to be acknowledged and honored.

5 Comments:

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

I'm just glad I didn't have any of my drink in my mouth when I read the words, "gigantic cosmic penis." I would have spit my drink out all over my laptop.

I've heard discussions that say that the Catholic emphasis on Mother Mary brings their faith in God into a more balanced view that includes the female image as well. I thought that was an accurate portrayal.

A friend was saying to me today that the word "Allah" is neither male nor female in Arabic but is gender neutral.

I think the male dominated church leadership has stripped the female emphasis of God's nature out of the view of the church. I do enjoy the Psalms that portray God as a nursing mother.

I'm with you on your view of the Da Vinci Code. I haven't seen it yet but it's being discussed everywhere. The premise of the plot doesn't bother me at all. It doesn't make a difference in his divinity anyways.

 
At 6:26 AM, Blogger DebraBaker said...

As I noted, I have some difficulty with a line of superior people (direct decendants of Jesus) living on this earth.

It conjures up an Aryan sort of mentality or, perhaps, would justify a mindset like the Divine Right of Kings that gave a group of Royals the right to subjugate entire nations.

Apparently what is translated as "Holy Spirit" in the bible is, in the Greek, feminine (I'm assuming that you know most other European languages have nouns assigned gender (Le and La Der Die and Das, etc.)

 
At 6:26 AM, Blogger DebraBaker said...

I'm really bummed I haven't attracted Dar.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger DarkHorseMama said...

Ah, loved the book "Dance of the Dissident Daughter" by Sue Monk Kidd. Really, really inspired me to look further into my beliefs in the Feminine Divine.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Mammal_Mama said...

My husband and I listened to the book on audio and found it a good read but -- like you -- didn't learn anything that shook our faith in Christ's finished work on the cross. I'm inclined to believe Jesus didn't marry or have biological descendants, because of his knowledge of His own impending death. Also, at the cross, He had John adopt His mother; I think in that culture if He'd had a wife, He would have been making sure she had a home, too.

But, as you said, if He did marry and have children that doesn't mean He sinned at all; He was still the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Maybe the assumption that the "Code" has information that will "shake" the Christian world is based on a very low view of our intelligence. While Sophie was astounded to learn Mary Magdalene wasn't a prostitute, anyone who reads the Scriptures knows they never said she traded sex for money, only that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her.

Also, however DaVinci chose to portray Jesus and His disciples in his painting of The Last Supper, anyone with a brain knows DaVinci wasn't really there; the painting is in no way a historical account, just one artist's perspective.

 

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