Reading and Interpreting Theological Texts
Throughout the time that I have been in this class we talked about reading and interpreting theological texts. It asks if someone says, “The Bible teaches that women are to keep silent in the church.” How would I respond, and I would not agree with what it says because I feel that men and women are equal, so that means that if men do not have to keep silent in the church then women should not have to be silent either. As it says in 1 Corinthians 14:34 “women are to be silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.” Even though I am atheist I believe that even catholic, Lutheran, or anyone would believe that women do not have to stay silent.
This would mean that even people who read and/or believe in the bible do not believe that women have to stay silent in church. Also, through the year we went over other texts that had to do with women staying silent such as sexism and god talk, left to tell, and an American saint: the life of Elizabeth seton. Those books all talked about how women were dominated by males, but everyone in the class believed that these thoughts were outdated, and that men and women are equal just as I believed. In the end even though even the bible says that women should stay silent in the church most people say that men and women are equal which means that women do not have to stay silent in church.
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Over our time in class we have talked about a lot of people who are able to embrace both science and theology. These people include Mayim Bialik, Hiligar of bidgen, Ruther, Dorothy Days, and more. The one I found most interesting is Mayim Bialik who has a role in the big bang theory as Amy Farrah Flower. I found this one most interesting because it is on a show that I watch at home and a person that I know, at least more than I knew the other people that we learned about. Her family were Jewish immigrants and was raised as a reform Jew but is now modern orthodox Jewish.
While being a Jew she has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience, with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies. After that she went on to study for a doctorate in neuroscience. Then after a short break in 2005 she returned to achieve a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007. This shows that she can believe in both science and religion. One of the other people we learned about was Dorothy Day and she used social sciences and went to church. Social science is the scientific study of human society and social relationships which Dorothy Day did when she helped everyone that came by the catholic worker movement. While doing this she also went to church and was catholic, as shown by the worker movement having to do with catholic items. This shows that another person can believe in both science and religion.
In this class we talked about the different Catholic Social Teachings which are life and dignity of the human person, call to family, community, and participation, rights and responsibilities, option for the poor and vulnerable, the dignity of work and the rights of workers, solidarity, and finally care for god’s creation. One person who we talked about in the class that goes along with the catholic social teachings is Dorothy Day, and she respects every life. For example, when she was younger and was in charge of the catholic worker movement, she never turned away any person such as drunk, overfill, hungry, etc. This goes along with the life and dignity of the human person, call to family, community, and participation, etc.
Another person we talked about in class that goes along with the catholic social teachings is Saint Macrina the younger lived a chaste and humble life, devoting her time to prayer, religion and became nun. She also inspired a community of monks organized by Basil which goes along with the call to family, community, and participation. Finally, there is Pema Chodron who is a Buddhist teacher, author, nun and mother. She has also inspired millions of people from around the world by sharing her messages of practicing peace. In addition to that she supports at-risk communities by assisting organizations that serve the at-risk communities in order to help promote growth and healing by way of mindfulness practices. All of that goes into multiple categories of the catholic social teachings such as option for the poor and vulnerable, call to family, community, and participation, etc.
Throughout my upbringing, my parents never really went over religion or had us go to church, so I’ve never really believed in a god(s). This class has helped me have a better understanding of different religions. This was done by talking about how women had a harder time in religion since in the past women had less rights and ability to go forward with it like males did. I also gained more knowledge in female movements, feminism, and religious views. We talked about different movements such as the one Dorothy day made while attempting to try her best to help everyone in need. I also learned about feminism and its definition which is the Ideology that focuses on women having advocacy with men and eliminating gender inequality.
We also talked about the three waves of feminism which started with the right to vote in 1920, reforms, temperance, and ecofeminism. It then went to the second wave of feminism which began because women began to find home life to be unfulfilling such as women taking care of kids and wanting to do more. It also focused on giving women opportunities to have jobs outside of the home, oral birth control pill, abortion being made legal, title 9 being passed and more jobs for women of color. The third wave was in the 1990’s and dealt with race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, etc. It also went on to deal with lesbian issues, sexual harassment, and the green bell moment. All in all, I have taken many things from this class, but the main thing is that things were horrible and still are bad, but it is getting a lot better than it was in the past.
Throughout the year we talked about many themes and concepts some of which are eschatology, women leadership roles in the church, hermanumics, anchorus, etc. Eschatology is theology that is concerned with the end of times or with death judgment and final destination of human kind and the soul. Hermanumics is the study of interpretations and deals with mainly biblical or literary texts. Anchorus which is to devote to god and look back and other review. In this class we have had to interpret the way people wrote in the past such as in Sexism and god talk. We had to translate the chapters as we read such as one of discussions, we had to summarize chapter two of sexism and god talk which said “In this chapter Ruther talks about many items, but the main take away from the chapter is about the roots of an oppressive patriarchal male monotheism and suggests direction in which it may be transcended by a feminist understanding of god. One point that I found interesting is that Ruther found other biblical items that contradict and point past a patriarchal view of god. Another point that I found interesting is that pictures of god are not supposed to be taken literally which I never really thought of before. A third point that I found interesting is that since god is father and king, no human can claim absolute status.”
We also talked about anchoresses such as Julian of Norwich and how she was a mystic, anchoress, and had the first literary work by women in English. Along with that we talked about eschatology and how it’s the end of times and how in catholic teachings it says how it will end and Jesus will return for the second time.