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Cutting “God” Down to Size

Transcendence and the Feminine
  • Mike King

Abstract

For a proper understanding of the spiritual life and the nature of, and possibilities for, women’s spirituality, we need a broader language of the spiritual than monotheism can provide. The very term “transcendence” illustrates this because in the Christian tradition it tends to have meaning in binary opposition to “immanence” and refers to characteristics of “God,” whereas in Eastern traditions—to the extent that translation can succeed in finding corresponding concepts—it means something closer to the “nondual” or “unitive.” The “God” — language of the West has created a limitation of understanding, both within religious and within secular communities, the latter inheriting the equation “religion = God” and therefore remaining ignorant of nonmonotheistic religions. “God” is a construct peculiar to Abrahamic text-oriented monotheism, and it needs to be cut down to size, allowing other religious frameworks space. This means that questions of spirituality and religion need additional, equally powerful, terms to fill the gap. For women’s spirituality, the issue is partly that “God” is an inevitably gendered term: monotheism constructs a male “God,” served historically by a male priesthood.

Keywords

Spiritual Life Spirit World Yoga Tradition Relational Spirituality Shamanic Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Gillian Howie and J’annine Jobling 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike King

There are no affiliations available

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