Friday, October 23, 2009

the humanity of woman and man

RJS over at Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed has had an interesting series on whether or not women are human, taking off from writings on this by Dorothy Sayers. It is nuanced and in no way am I critiquing what RJS has written, or Dorothy Sayers, for that matter.

Why would women in our culture be seen as less than human today? We know that Jesus treated them as equals in the sense that they are fully human. Is there something about a woman's femininity, or femaleness which fills out a full humanity? And is there something about a man's masculinity, or maleness which fills out a full humanity? This is not to say that either a man or a woman is not fully human. It begins to question what being human is or involves.

Part of being human is being in relationship. This seems to be one part of what it means to be made in the image of God. God as Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit, is inherently relational. We are made to be relational beings, relating to persons: to God and other humans. So to be fully human means we need to have relationships. Indeed it is not good for the man to be alone or apart from other humans, as Genesis 2 tells us, because something about being human is missing. Although Adam's need of another human was not gender neutral. Therefore God created the woman in the narrative. This was for marriage and procreation, but also for much more.

Read the above mentioned posts and the threads from the series on Jesus Creed for what others see and think about this.

Are women seen as less than human? This is obviously so in the past, but probably more subtly so now. And in what ways?


preacherman said...

I believe women are seen less than human in many of the denominations in our culture today. It is my prayer as believers in every denomination that we will allow women to use the God given gifts and make a true Kingdom difference everywhere. I am apart of Restoration Movement church that has limited the abilities and functions of women within congregations. I do see some changes taking place that is hopeful for them in the 21st century. We need to remember that their is, "Neither Male or Female...For we are all ONE in Christ Jesus!" Thank you for your thoughts today brother. God bless!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Full humanity means full participation as I understand it, so I'm with you there. Of course we believe it's verified in, or better- comes from Scripture, God's word, and the bottom line for us.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Of course I don't want to be saying by this that a man or woman is less than human in and of themselves. What I am suggesting is that at least an inherent part of how that humanity is worked out is through relationships with other human beings. An inherent part of being human is to be in relationships, and without that something vital to our humanity is lost.