Contrary Ancestress from Antiquity? More Than One!
Christians often predicate their views on female roles and gender relationships on carefully selected narratives and representations of the ancient mothers of history. Those selections offer a two-category menu of ideally pious or impious women. This is so commonplace that we can scarcely acknowledge our assumptions about female biblical characters, biblical gender relationships, and both the pious and impious women as paradigms for womankind and gender relations. This class offers an exposé of biblical, historical, and mythological women from various ancient cultures who challenge our easy assumptions about these paradigms. Each is an obstreperous ancestress, who affords an opportunity for participants to become critically aware of their own assumptions and linkages to ancient women, pious, impious, and obstreperous. These women and the narratives about them will take us on a rollicking excursion through love, leadership, irrepressibility, and discursive gender bending.
What resources for an earth-friendly ethic and spirituality are offered in the Christian religious tradition? Is environmentalism just about animals and wilderness? Where do justice issues come in? Where does awe and reverence come in? Where do you find the sacred? Where and how do ecological thinking, spirituality and religious thought come together? What can we do, what are others doing, to respond to ecological concerns? These are the kind of questions that we will explore. After giving an introductory overview of the breadth of eco-religious thought and religious action, we will work together to find ways that each of us can move forward on our own journeys of creation care.