Being Scared: Fear and Authenticity by Ivy Helman

meblogMy partner is a lawyer who works with asylum seekers and other immigrants here in the Czech Republic (ČR). She’s amazing at her job and I’m constantly in awe of her passion and commitment along with her righteous anger at systematic injustices. In fact just last week, her workplace, together with a consortium of other immigration organizations in the ČR, helped organize a demonstration in the center of Prague to protest the Czech Republic’s refusal to admit Syrian children and their families into the country. She invited me to attend the event with her. I went.

It was my first time attending a public demonstration in Europe. It was moving to see many of her co-workers there and inspiring to listen to the passionate speeches against xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, the plight of the Roma people as well as the need to come together and welcome diversity. In addition, there were signs in Czech, German and English saying “No One is Illegal,” “End Xenophobia,” “Do Syrian Children Have to Wait for their (Nicholas) Winton?” “I want to have a Syrian Friend!” and “Refugees Welcome!” I wanted to hold each one of those signs! Continue reading “Being Scared: Fear and Authenticity by Ivy Helman”

Be Wild this Holiday and Find the Face of God(dess) by Marie Cartier

MarieCartierforKCETa-thumb-300x448-72405I know that you all will be reading this the day after Christmas…so this is my Christmas and/or winter holiday gift to you. I so love the Feminism and Religion (FAR) community—its discourse, intelligence, and its community of like minds. And I appreciate that so many of us offer lessons to each other on how to live—wild. For in some ways the very juxtaposition of the words “feminism” and “religion” posits an out of bounds existence. What does it mean?

I was recently asked how I would teach a class on “women and religion.” Among my first responses was that I would, among other texts, use the book The Feminine Face of God: the Unfolding of the Sacred in Women by Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins (1992). Although this book was published over two decades ago it still holds, perhaps unfortunately, as true today as then. The text is based on interviews with women regarding the “unfolding of the sacred” in their lives. This book was required as part of my graduate program in the first class I took at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) “Women’s Studies in Religion.” CGU was the first program in the country where you could get your Ph.D. in Religion, with an emphasis in Women’s Studies in Religion, and I believe it is still the only program where you can do so.

My professor for that class, Dr. Karen Torjesen, challenged us to write, if we could, the “theology” in the book—was there one? She challenged us to see if there was a “theo” “logo” word of God in this idea of the “unfolding of the sacred” in women. I took up her challenge—and so one of my first big graduate papers was to unpack this book of interviews and see if I could find a theology in these lives/stories. This is what I found—what is sacred to women—right now (in 1992 and still today)—is the chance to find the sacred. Continue reading “Be Wild this Holiday and Find the Face of God(dess) by Marie Cartier”

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