Presently, I am reading But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretation by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza. For those unfamiliar with feminist theology, Schussler Fiorenza is a brilliant and prolific New Testament scholar and Christian theologian. Although I do not (and cannot) agree with everything she has to say, I find her writing both challenging and refreshing.
What follows is a poem she uses to introduce a chapter on "Feminist Historical Reconstruction." It is originally titled "A Wandering Aramean Was My Mother," from a book called Women's Prayer Services, edited by Iben Gjerding and Katherine Kinnanon (Twenty-Third Publications, 1987). I found it thoughtful, beautiful, and quite provocative (some of my favorite things). I would appreciate any thoughts my readers have to offer.
A wandering tribeswoman was my mother.
In Egypt, she bore slaves.
Then she called to the God of our mothers
Sarah, Hagar, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah.
Praise God Who Hears, Forever.
A warrior, judge, and harlot was my mother
God called her from time to time
to save and liberate [God's] people
Miriam, Jael, Deborah, Judith, Tamar
Praise God Who Saves, Forever.
A Galilean Jew was my mother.
She bore a wonderful child
to be persecuted, hated, and executed.
Mary, mother of sorrows, mother of us all.
Praise God Who Gives Strength, Forever.
A witness to Christ's resurrection was my mother.
The apostle to the apostles
Rejected, forgotten, proclaimed a whore.
Mary of Magdala, vanguard of women-church
Praise God Who Lives, Forever.
An apostle, prophet, founder, and teacher was my mother
called to the discipleship of equals.
Empowered by the Sophia-God of Jesus
Martha, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, Myrta, Nympha, Thecla
Praise God Who Calls, Forever.
A faithful Christian woman was my mother.
A mystic, witch, martyr, heretic, saint, uppity woman
A native American, a black slave, a poor immigrant,
an old hag, a wise woman
May we, with her, in every generation
Praise God Who Images Us All.