Original Research

Women, monotheism and the gender of God

F. Klopper
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 36, No 3 | a516 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v36i3.516 | © 2002 F. Klopper | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2002 | Published: 06 August 2002

About the author(s)

F. Klopper, Department of Old Testament, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

God is experienced in heightened awareness that can only be represented in images and symbols. According to the Old Testament there was one male God, Yahweh, imaged as a father, king, judge, shepherd and more. Since God-images are cultural creations related to the time and place in which they were conceived, the male character of God is a natural reflection of the patriarchal culture of the ancient Near East. Twenty-first century women have difficulty relating to the male God-image and patriarchal church language, both of which justify the subordinate position of women in church and society. Investigation into Old Testament religion reveals that the way Israelite women dealt with the single male God opens the way for contemporary women to do likewise and create images of God with which they can identify.

Keywords

Family Religion In The Old Testament; Feminist Hermeneutics; God-Images In The Old Testament; Goddess Worship; Male God-Language

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