sexta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2015


So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 (read 1:26-27) - NIV

What is the image of God? This verse indicates that the image of God is sexuality. God duplicated the divine image by creating human beings as male and female. To better understand this statement, I must define what I mean by sexuality. Sexuality is much more than sexual activity. It includes the feminine and masculine characteristics of the human personality.

Feminine characteristics weigh more to the side of equality, nutrition, partnership, charity, inclusion, collaboration, insight and acceptance of emotions. In contrast masculine characteristics tend toward hierarchical order, logic, competition, exclusion and logic over emotions.

The narration of the first chapter of Genesis brings out both qualities: - generating life (feminine), and organizing what was done (masculine).

Up until about six thousand years ago human societies were matri-centered and the concept of divinity was female. There were no gods, only goddesses. Life sprang mysteriously from the earth and the feminine. The earth was personified as the Mother Goddess who generated all beings and received them back into her womb. The concept of fatherhood evolved much later and was followed by male dominance in the social structure. The Old Testament reflects male dominance, but the first chapter of Genesis retains the feminine side of divinity.

But in the second chapter of Genesis God's name was changed from Elohim (plural) to Yahweh (masculine singular), and the feminine side was deleted. In pre historical times the feminine side was predominant, but the patriarchal social structure, on which the Jewish religion is based, despised the feminine aspect and reduced it to an almost sub-human level. Christianity continued the marginalization of women and Islam carries the trend even further. Even today in our culture the feminine is discriminated against and women’s activities are less valued than men’s.

For most people in our culture God is He, not She. To compensate for this discrimination Catholics have the wisdom to worship the femininity of God in the person of Mary and think of the Mother of God as being easier to approach than a distant father figure. Protestants reject Mary and are orphans of mother. That leaves them with that old man up there sitting on a distant throne in the heavens.

The first experience for all of us was the female body. Our first nine months of life were spent in the uterus. We were then breast fed and received caring hugs and kisses. Our mothers fed, bathed, dressed and cared for us for the first years of our life. Mothers are much more intimate than fathers. In spite of this, our bias puts up a barrier and makes it difficult to refer to the Divine as "Mother". Could not Divinity be “Mommy” and “Daddy” at the same time? The name "Elohim" leaves this door open.

Any attempt to dogmatize the Divine shrinks it to fit within the limits of our understanding. Therefore, dogma is nothing more than idolatry. By putting our limited and often misleading dogmas aside, I can experience the Divine as Mother. I can pray, “My Mother, who engulfs me in your love…..” Our first experience in life is our mother. We come to know our father later and at a distance..


Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,

    in the image of God he created them;

    male and female he created them.

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