If God is male then the male is God - PULP FICTIONS No.3
Edited by Karin van Marle
ISSN: 1992-5174
Pages: 17
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

God sometimes you just don’t come through. God sometimes you just don’t come through. Do you need a woman to look after you. God sometimes you just don’t come through ...
Will you even tell her if you decide to make the sky fall.
Will you even tell her if you decide to make the sky.
(Tori Amos, ‘God’ Under the pink (1994))

In this edition of Pulp fiction(s) the contentious issues of ‘Women and the gender of God’ and ‘Women and religion’ are discussed by two prominent theologians, Frances Klopper (Unisa) and Dirk Human (UP). Klopper and Human presented their views earlier this year at a Gender Forum of the University of Pretoria Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies.

Klopper exposes the pervasive maleness of Christianity resulting from fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible and from male imagery and symbols. Feminist biblical/theological scholars, like herself, aim to deconstruct biblical texts and images to disclose multiple possibilities of meaning and representation. Human describes the ‘broken reality’ reflected by many religions in which women are invisible, inferior and subordinate. Focusing primarily on the Jewish and Christian traditions as portrayed by the two creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 he argues for ‘a balanced gender interpretation.’

In light of the continuing sexual violence and discrimination against women these perspectives urges us to reconsider women’s position in society. In the face of constitutional protection of equality, women’s rights and other laws protecting women, women still live in what Human calls

‘broken realities’. Patriarchy as a system of oppression is as forceful in private and public lives as ever. Pulp fiction(s) as a series interested in all issues regarding the tensions and transformations of societies, particularly postapartheid society, gladly creates space for the discourse on women, religion and the gender of God to continue.

About the Author:

Karin van Marle is a Professor at the Department of Legal History, Comparitive Law and Jurisprudence, at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.

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