God­dess and God in the World: Con­ver­sa­tions in Em­bod­ied The­ol­ogy

Ju­dith Plaskow Carol P. Christ

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - MICHELLE ANNE SCHINGLER

Fortress Press Soft­cover $29 (330pp) 978-1-5064-0118-8 This is a liv­ing the­o­log­i­cal text that in­vites per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences into the ex­plo­ration of di­vin­ity.

From pi­o­neer­ing fem­i­nist the­olo­gians Carol Christ and Ju­dith Plaskow comes a vi­brant new work of em­bod­ied the­ol­ogy, God­dess and God in the World. Its the­o­log­i­cal pre­sen­ta­tions are both con­ver­sa­tional and ex­pe­ri­en­tial, invit­ing seek­ers into an il­lu­mi­nat­ingly hu­man ex­plo­ration of di­vin­ity.

Above all else, God­dess and God in the World is a liv­ing the­o­log­i­cal text—a work that pries into the schol­ars’ pre­vi­ous pub­li­ca­tions, that in­vites new un­der­stand­ings on top­ics from on­tol­ogy to theod­icy, and that metic­u­lously self-ex­am­ines its own var­ied con­clu­sions. The fi­nal prod­uct is both bril­liant and non­force­ful. It in­vites dis­pute; it is em­pa­thetic and per­sua­sive; and it al­ways in­sists upon the sig­nif­i­cance of in­di­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ences.

Those al­ready fa­mil­iar with Plaskow and Christ’s dis­ci­pline-rock­ing pub­li­ca­tions will be thrilled by the work’s bi­o­graph­i­cal chap­ters, which lo­cate mo­ments of re­birth and re­newal in their in­di­vid­ual jour­neys. Both Stand­ing Again at Si­nai and Div­ing Deep and Sur­fac­ing are given crit­i­cal con­text, with their au­thors mov­ing be­yond those texts to delve into mat­ters not orig­i­nally ex­plored, par­tic­u­larly around their evolv­ing un­der­stand­ings of de­ity, and how those no­tions af­fected their in­ter­ac­tions with re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tions, the academy, and the greater world.

Such con­tex­tu­al­iza­tions are cer­tain to de­light those fa­mil­iar with the schol­ars. But so too will God­dess and God prove to be a crit­i­cal text for all of those who wish to un­der­stand how the teach­ings of pa­tri­ar­chal re­li­gions—and the acad­e­mies that ed­u­cate lead­ers in them— im­pact those at the mar­gins of their sys­tems. Its unique com­po­si­tion and dis­ci­plinary in­sights will ren­der it a cen­tral text in fem­i­nist the­o­log­i­cal canons. Its chap­ters posit truths that tra­di­tional the­o­log­i­cal ap­proaches are ret­i­cent to ac­knowl­edge, most loom­ingly that the­olo­gies can­not be di­vorced from con­crete hu­man ex­pe­ri­ences, par­tic­u­larly if they are to be a pos­i­tive force.

God­dess and God in the World breaks new ground when it comes to un­der­stand­ing not just how hu­man be­ings think of di­vin­ity, par­tic­u­larly be­yond purely philo­soph­i­cal con­cep­tions, but of why such per­sonal un­der­stand­ings mat­ter. Its as­ser­tion-and-re­sponse meth­ods and of­ten in­ti­mate prose make it a text that begs for hu­man in­ter­ac­tion and stands to im­pact jus­tice-minded readers from all spiritual walks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.