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Women And Spirituality Essay Research Paper Try

Women And Spirituality Essay, Research Paper

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Women and Spirituality

What we find as an original response to existences meaning is the belief in a

greater being or higher power, eg. God, that we serve and obey in the trade

for a fruitful, everlasting life. This can be connected to the theory of the

Earth-Mother. The female in nature was intended to represent reoccurring

life. Ancient people held the belief that they would return to the body of the

womb of mother earth and then be given a new life. This ancient belief is

similar to our own when compared. The view of the religious world can give

meaning and purpose to the lives of the people as it gives them hope. Hope

that if they live their lives as God had intended for them, they will be granted

entrance into heaven, an everlasting, peaceful place. It gives people meaning

as to what they should do with their lives. The religious view also brings order

in people?s lives. Purpose in someone?s life is also introduced in the world

view; they can go to church and have the holy rituals which every religion

practices. This may offer people a sense of purpose in their life. Religion

cannot be contained by a certain definition because religion is, simplistically

enough, what you want it to be. No one can write a definition of religion as it

is really just personal opinion. Religion can be the way you live your life, but

for someone else it may just be another word in their vocabulary. With the

advent of the feminist movement, the role of women in all parts of society has

come under increasing scrutiny. One area of recent controversy is the role of

women in the Christian Church. Some churches whose traditions and

practices are less rigidly tied to Biblical doctrines have begun placing women

in leadership positions such as pastor or teacher. Other churches which

interpret the Bible more literally have been slow to adopt such changes. Most

Commentators agree that man and woman are both equally a reflection of

God’s image; the word “man” here is used as a synonym for humanity. Adam

and Eve were also given joint dominion over creation. The role of the man is

leadership, while the role of woman is as a source of strength and support. If

a person wants to understand the Christian authority of a man over his wife,

he must consider how Christ demonstrated his leadership as head over the

Church. Primarily, he gave his life for his church, not using force or coercion

for her submission. Many people would dispute the Bible’s relevance to

contemporary thought in general, and in particular to the role of women in

worship. If the Bible were not written under divine inspiration, a person or

practice is not bound by its teachings. He or she can therefore pick and

choose whatever corresponds to his/her point of view. However, if the Bible

is of divine inspiration, then a cautious consideration of passages relevant to a

particular issue must be undertaken. Traditions and customs, that have arisen

after the Bible was written, may thus be carefully scrutinized. Such practices

may or may not prove sound after comparison with scripture. If women are

not allowed to have a voice or some kind of input, the church could be

loosing a valuable resource of wisdom. If a husband does not consider his

wives thoughts and ideas as being important or valid, his family is surely

incomplete, dysfunctional and doomed to failure. Therefore, as the church

strives to realize Gods purpose for women, we must remember the truths of

the scripture and apply them to our present day culture. This will allow men

and women to present the Christian message to our world in the most

powerful way. Feminist ethics has much to offer Catholicism. For one, the

main issues that concern feminist ethics are basically the same ones that make

up Catholic identity. That is, how women and men define themselves in

society, what means are available to them for attaining their ends- in short

inter personal and social relations. Second, the founding principles that guide

feminist ethics are rooted in the tradition of natural law, a tradition well known

to Catholicism. So, while the approach of feminist ethics has been to

scrutinize traditions which seek to oppress women by supporting unequal

social structures, the guiding principles behind feminist ethics still remain well

lodge in natural law. It is in the founding principles of natural law where

feminist ethics and Catholicism meet. And it is also here where lies the main

contribution of feminist ethics for the future of Catholicism. Feminists, argue

for freedom, but only in so far as the common good avoids considering social

dynamics and inter-personal relations. Apart from rejecting unequal relations

that arise from not taking into consideration what makes up human existence,

feminists, like the natural law tradition, believe that a common good is worth

pursuing. So, while on the outset feminists may look like as if they are

breaking away from Catholicism, they are in fact much closer to Catholicism

than one may think. As new challenges bring the Church to question its ethics

and as women and men seek new identities, feminist ethics can help

Catholicism make the transition so that the challenges of modern society can

be met. I believe that Johnson makes an important contribution to Christianity

by showing us that it is possible to remain within tradition while progressing.

Often I find myself thinking if Christianity will ever be able to survive

considering its rigid ethics. The renewal interest in natural law is showing us

that we can continue to press forward while remaining in touch with our

Christian background.

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