So What? If the Arch Druid is keen to ensure her succession with female headship, why shouldn't femail priests want to demonstrate that God is genderless, unless in the shape and form of Jesus. Who might well have been pictured as a bearded lady.
...rising like a phoenix?
I'm a female priest and I don't want to change the imagery we use of God- does that make me odd?
We've got Mother, Father, protecting hen, Sophia/Wisdom, Logos, Spirit, Breath, Wind, Redeemer. Think that's enough to be going on with...
I read the article - I always enjoy reading about the C of E at play. Unlike my own Church, where the shenanigans on offer are more like a tragedy.But let other folk dwell on guilt and misery, as Jane Austen said (approximately). I gather these dear ladies (God bless 'em) are not concerned with formally altering your liturgy, more with swapping and changing the personal pronouns involved now and again, as they feel like it. I cannot but remember the late Alice Thomas Ellis's take on another, similar, great idea, that the Holy Spirit should be referred to and described as, exclusively female. If I were a child learning this, she said, I would instantly assume that the HS was really Mrs God, sent round by God to keep an eye on things when he was otherwise occupied.Which sums it all up, really. To hell with any mystery, let's anchor this boat securely in the workaday world.
The problem with deciding, on the basis of dodgy etymology that the ruach of God is female exclusively is that, given a typically Arian attitude among the congregation, it would encourage a subordinate view of women even more.
I think it's more likely to be a manifestation of an attitude not at all confined to the C of E, namely, that "ordinary people" can't be expected to experience the subtleties of religion like wot we eminent theologians can, innit?Years ago, there was an (again, C of E-led) earnest attempt to rebrand the Lord's Prayer, immemorial version, into simpler language for adults, on precisely these grounds. I remember seeing a well-meaning bishop on TV expounding this proposal: "ordinary people", he said, couldn't possibly understand such arcane phraseology as "hallowed be thy name." Now, as a very little child I can recall believing that the phrase "hallowed be thy name" meant that one was supposed to say "Hallo!" to the Lord, but I hardly think such innocent misconceptions mean that the entire liturgy should be rewritten in the style of Enid Blyton.IOW, if there's anything absolutely guaranteed to drive people out of the churches, or stop them coming back after just one encounter, it's the sense that they are being so-and-so patronised!
Smacks of (wo)man making Bod in his/her/its own image. People tried golden calves once upon a time. Right load of bull that turned out to be.
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