Monday, October 25, 2004

Male and female created he them

Several weeks ago I read this on the Touchstone blog. I will excert the last paragraph since it is the one I am interested in dealing with.

Christianity is a patriarchal faith which teaches that the Image of God is
perfectly and completely expressed in a male human being--indeed, that maleness
is the very sign of sexual inclusiveness. If one believes that in, by, through,
and for Christ, none of whose characteristics, including his sex, are
superfluous to his being, everything was made, everything subsists, and
everything will be consummated, and understands the implications of this belief,
he will reject egalitarianism and its grammar.

I find this disturbing on several levels. The first is that I object to being told that as a woman I do not have the complete expression of humanity. However, from a larger theological perspective, this can lead to heresy in my opinion. According to Mr. Hutchens, "the male is the iconic principal, the "defining" member of the human race, in a way the woman, who is in this regard secondary and subordinate, cannot be." This makes me question the incarnation. How can Christ possess the fulness of humanity if the Theotokos did not possess this fulness? If this is the case, we arrive quite quickly at the heresy of Docetism.

Let me now express a caveat: apparently there are rumors spreading through the Orthodox world that St. Vlads is in favor of women's ordination. This is blatantly false. I have yet to meet any one of the faculty or staff who have expressed such ideas. I myself am not in favor of women’s ordination. On the other hand, I do think I am worthwhile, fully human, and could choose to do something with my seminary education other than marry someone entering the priesthood and spend the rest of my life baking prosphora. I am unclear why people insist that I must be a feminist for pursuing a theological education. I even had a professor from St. Tikhon's imply as much.

So...there's my rant for the week. Sorry for being so strident.

Imago Dei

Sorry for the lack of posting lately: midterms, papers, and attending the celebration of His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman's 40 anniversary of his ordination was keeping me quite busy. There are photos here. I assume it was a lovely service, but I couldn't see anything from the choir loft. However the choir sounded very nice. We did the Kalinikov Cherubic Hymn. It's amazing!

Tuesday, Fr. John Behr, my professor for Theological Anthropology, assigned us a 5-7 page paper on what it means to be in the image and likeness of God. I should of course mention that he has spent much of the last 5 weeks showing that whatever we previously thought on the topic is quite probably wrong. So, I'm unclear what this means; and further, if I knew I am unsure I could write it in 5-7 pages.

That said, I think what Fr. John has been emphasizing is that Christ is the image of God and we are in His image when we are in Christ. I'm thinking of relating this to baptism as a return to Eden. But my thought are unclear as yet. Anyone with valuable insight should feel free to comment.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Please check out Fr. John Breck's article on the OCA website regarding medically assisted procreation. It is excellent and informative. Amazingly enough, the Europeans have gotten this one right.

Why I study theology

This weekend was Orthodox Education Day here at St. Vladimir's. This is, a huge, exhausting event for the students but I highly recommend for everyone else. Over the course of the day I got to meet a number of new people. Several of them were very interested by the fact that I am a woman and a seminarian. One person asked me if I was studying theology to revolutionize the church. I responded that I study theology so that I will be revolutionized by the church. The question surprised me, but I suppose that I should not be surprised - many feel that they have much to offer the church. All I know is that the church has within her all that I shall need. And yet I must offer to the church my self crucified.