Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 24, 2006

Femininity in the Bible Focus of New Book

Recognizing and understanding feminine images of God in the Bible may be the first step toward a new understanding of religion, according to a new book by Rev. Lucy Reid, an ecumenical minister at U of G.

The book, titled She Changes Everything: Seeking the Divine on a Feminist Path, will be launched Feb. 26 at the Bookshelf, located at 41 Quebec Street, at 7 p.m.

“It’s not a standard academic book,” says Reid. “In some ways, it’s my spiritual autobiography. When you stop using masculine language for God, the language we mostly use in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and you begin to explore feminine imagery, all our theology changes, everything changes. If people get away from this image of God as a controlling, all-powerful omnipresent figure to an image of God as the divine within and an energizing life-giving presence, it’s a completely different feel.”

Reid’s interest in feminine images in the Bible began in 1980 while she was in training for ordination in England in an all-male seminary at a time when the Church of England didn’t ordain women. She moved to Canada in 1984 and was ordained as a priest in 1985.

“I knew these images were Biblical, but we just didn’t hear much about them,” she said. “There are images of God as a labouring mother, a nursing mother and a midwife.” Examples include a metaphor in the Book of Isaiah that alludes to a woman in labour when describing how much God struggles to reach people spiritually. The image of a midwife is evident in other passages describing God’s support in trying to help people achieve their goals and make the most of their life.

Acknowledgment that Jesus had female disciples has also been largely forgotten, says Reid.

“I feel a bit like an archeologist clearing away the buildup of centuries of ways of seeing things through a masculine lens and of hushing the other side. It’s not a new thing I’ve created as a feminist. It’s part of our history that’s been lost.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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