Dei Profundis was for many years the primary blog of Maria Gwyn McDowell. For the last few years, she has focused on blogging at Women in Theology where you can read her most current contributions to the theological blogosphere. She may, at some point, come back to Dei Profundis. At the moment, it remains available as an archive of interesting conversation.
On May 20th, 12:56 am, I complete my Oregon Ballot, and cast my vote in the Democratic Primary. I was so conflicted that I left the presidential candidates for last. I actually sealed both the envelopes (in Oregon, we do a mail in ballot, one envelope for ballot secrecy, the other to mail) and was doing dishes when I realized that I had completely forgotten to fill in my little bubble for president. I opened the envelopes carefully, stared once again at my choices, and cast my vote.
This weekend I was up in Seattle for the fabulous NW Folklike festival, which really deserves a post all its own, but probably won't get one this time around. On Sunday I decided to visit St. Spiridon's Orthodox Church (OCA) which I had not been to in decades (literally). And I got to hear bells! Beautiful, ringing, real live bells!
Mother's Day coincided this year with the reading from the conclusion to the gospel of Mark. The Myrrh-bearing women fearfully approach the tomb of Jesus only to find the stone rolled away and an angel telling the women not to be afraid but to go and preach the good news to the disciples that their crucified friend and teacher has been raised from the dead.
I must admit that until this week, I knew nothing of the beginning's of Mother's Day. Like Valentine's day, I wrongly assumed that it was yet another Hallmark Holiday, full of sentimentality and the idealization of motherhood, which is a noble but hardly sentimental or ideal profession (it is a profession, whether paid or unpaid!). How wrong I was! For the first time today, read in church, I heard the words of Julia Ward Howe, who apparently wrote something other than the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
This post is so overdue it is almost pointless, except that I keep returning to this idea of “visual metaphors.” We are used to verbal metaphors which refer things we see, and my current reading companion, Gregory of Nazianzus, uses abundant pictorial language to convey his rhetorically and philosophically rich theology. What I mean here are not metaphors that refer to what we see, but things that we see which serve as metaphors.
Our radical church fathers...
[quote=St. Basil the Great, "I Will Tear Down my Barns..."]
“But whom do I treat unjustly,” you say, ”by keeping what is my own?” Tell me, what is your own? What did you bring into this life? From where did you receive it? It is as if someone were to take the first seat in the theater, then bar everyone else from attending, so that one person alone enjoys what is offered for the benefit of all in common—this is what the rich do. They seize common goods before others have the opportunity, then claim them as their own by right of preemption.
Perhaps it is foolish of me to post the quote below, given that so often pointing out multi-gendered metaphors for God is met with an irate assumption that I am rejecting the language of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." I am not rejecting such language. However, I do maintain that it is not the only way to speak of the Trinity, and by itself, it is an incomplete expression of the God whose nature can NEVER be reduced to a single name, even "Father." One of these days, I will post on metaphorical language and the necessary diversity it represents in our understanding.
I am hardly a biblical scholar and so translations issues are not my area of expertise. I have often been somewhat disturbed however, at the Orthodox Study Bible. The New Testament and Psalms is based on the New King James which, while appealing to my love of Shakespeare, does not aid in either my understanding of scripture nor my trust in the faithful rendition of the Greek text. Worse, I find the notes to be, well, not helpful and not particularly thoughtful.