The Feminine Divine

In the era of “Me Too” and all of the abusive and misogynistic rhetoric being tossed around, this could hardly be a more important question.  Sophia is compatible with just about any of the world’s great spiritual traditions, but the story is certainly most closely linked to the account of Christ found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

This might raise some eyebrows.  Mother and Sophia are, after all, both female!  Nearly all of the classical imagery of God coming out of the Judeo-Christian tradition is male and masculine.  Is a Feminine Divine really compatible with the great Western spiritual traditions?

The answer is an emphatic yes!  I won’t bore you with a clinical dissection of the original Biblical languages, but trust me that nearly all cases where God and Christ are referred to as male or masculine are assumptions made by translators that could easily have gone another direction.  In fact, the Hebrew wisdom literature in the Bible consistently refers to the Wisdom of God, who Christians believe took flesh in the form of Jesus Christ, as “She.”  Also, many of the great Western mystics, most prominently Julian of Norwich, recorded experiences of the Divine as Mother and/or Sister.

The implications are huge.  If the Author in whom we live, move, and have our being can be imagined with equal accuracy to be Mother or Father, and if the living Word of God is both Sister and Brother, what does this mean about how women and girls are to be treated in the home, in the public sphere, and in the halls of power?  What does it mean about how parents raise their girls?  Much indeed!

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