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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in gender identity

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

For some Christians, apparently “God”'s pronouns are now They, Them, and Theirs.

“God Loves You As They Made You,” says the signboard in front of one neighborhood church that I drove past recently.

(Of course, eagerness to embrace the latest cultural trends has long been a strong signifier of the conceptual hollowness of so much contemporary American religion—pagan as well as Christian. Somehow, I can't help but suspect that God/They isn't going to age well.)

Divine gender has, of course, long been an issue for those poor impoverished souls who worship only one god. (Let those of us blessed with more feel no sense of smugness here, though: the question of divine “gender” is as active a theological category for thinking polytheists as it is for the thoughtful monotheist.)

In some ways, God/They could be construed as faithful to certain streams of Biblical tradition. The most common by-name for Yahwéh in the Hebrew Bible is Elohím, an undeniably plural noun (it's the anomalous plural of eloáh) usually (although not always) paired with a singular verb. The mental disconnect between the two—similar to the feeling that you get when someone says “a scissors”—is nicely paralleled by the (let's just admit it, stylistically inelegant) singular “they.”

I do wonder how God/They Christians deal with their traditional liturgical and scriptural texts. Is “God” a “They” there, too? How about Jesus? Is he also a they?

Still, it's hard to deny that God/They can't help but smack of polytheism which, while it warms the cockles of my pagan heart, must surely set the teeth of an awful lot of conservative One-God folk on edge.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I received an update from drivethrurpg about a supplement for the Runequest about a new book called "The Six Paths" about the six
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Yeah, hard pass on one scissor or one pant leg. Good point. We know that Christian conservatives get triggered by the

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
“Our Gods Do Not Have Genitals!”

Reading what one can only call a Hellenismos salvation pamphlet a while back, I came across one of the more jar (sic)-dropping claims that I've seen in my 50 years in the pagan community:

Our gods do not have genitals!” Sic: italics, exclamation point, and all.

Of course, we can't assume that the writer is speaking for anyone besides him- or herself here. Still, on the face of it, this might seem a strange claim for a Hellene to make. Greece is famous for its naked gods, as a glance at pretty much any ancient art will show. Among the males, at least, virtually all have genitals, or at least did before Time and mobs of marauding monks got to them. So what's with the claim?

I presume that the writer is making a point here about the nature of the gods: that Their reality is spirit, not flesh, or some such philosophical mishegoss.

Well, the Genderedness of gods is surely among the Deeper Mysteries, and I won't go into it here. What does it mean to say “Goddess” or “God”? Is the gendered language that we use when speaking of the gods mere metaphor, or does it point to some richer, deeper reality?

As for me, I'm a witch of the Tribe of Witches, and as to whether or not gods have genitals, our response would be clear:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

I ran across a fascinating word while copyediting a book a few years ago. Naditum is one of the five genders in Sumerian paganism. It's a gender, a biological sex-- meaning those born female appearing who turn out after adolescence to be infertile-- and a social class, the priestess caste. The idea really resonated with me, even though that’s not my tradition. The various heathen traditions don’t have a specific gender word for those identified female at birth who cannot have children and instead become priestesses. In heathenry, that’s still a woman.

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, June 15

Our writer Laura Tempest Zakroff discuses the magic of genderbending. Australian Pagans meet for a conference this autumn. And the Poetic Edda, one of the most commonly cited sources for knowledge on Norse mythology, is examined. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about and commentary from the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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