November 19th, 2012

bilbo

on St. Paul, feminism, and progressive Christianity

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

Yesterday I stumbled across a really interesting blog post, “Plutarch and Paul on Husbands and Wives,” by Marg Mowczko. (Credit where credit’s due: I discovered it through Rachel Held Evan’s Sunday Superlatives, a nice round-up of the progressive Christian blogosphere).

Marg’s post as its title suggests is about gender relations within marriage, as described by two classical writers: the Roman philosopher/historian Plutarch and the St. Paul who wrote roughly half the Christian New Testament. They worked and wrote within a century of each other, so while they probably weren’t familiar with each others’ work, they were responding to similar cultures. I’m not nearly a good enough classicist to evaluate what she says about Plotinus. As for Paul, I think if you’re inclined to interpret Paul negatively you could probably find some passages to work against what she quotes here. But her basic point is a really interesting one. Specifically: Plutarch wanted to preserve the existing culture, but Paul really was interested in setting up a “new creation” – one that offered women a lot more autonomy and equality than the current society could accommodate.

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bilbo

new ThinkChristian post up

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

I meant to mention this yesterday but forgot somehow. I’ve got another ThinkChristian post up.

http://thinkchristian.net/thanksgiving-on-food-stamps

Officially, it’s about the Food Stamp challenge I do this year, where you only buy food you could afford if you had to rely on food stamps. But it ended up being more about how I, as a middle-class white Protestant, have struggled to relate to and understand people with a much lower income than mine, including the homeless. It’s about the importance of raising your consciousness and realizing the limitations of your experience, and how that affects the ways we view others. At least, as much as I can communicate in 750 words. :-)

No Tolkien, unfortunately, but it is from my heart. Do give it a read if you have the time. I’d love your comments, either there or here.