Carne Levare

Know Other People


Posted by Remy on April 11, 2009

In the Pagan epics women are possessions, they are distractions from the mission, and they are irrational sorts driven by fury. The Greeks battle the Trojans because of the wife-stealing Paris, but they themselves steal wives and give them as rewards. Odysseus on his way home from the war dallies with serveral women before continuing his mission. And had his wife, Penelope, been as unfaithful to her marriage vows as he was to his she would’ve ended up in a bloody pool like all her suitors. Aeneas too, delays his mission by shacking up with Dido, who later kills herself when she is cast off.

But in Christianity women are neither possessions nor distractions from the mission. Christ comes adventuring for a bride and once He wins her she is incorporated into His mission. Like Christ, men are given a mission and part of that mission is winning a bride. Once united the man and woman combine their missions, his mission becomes hers, and her mission becomes his.

In Christianity we deny the rational/emotional dichotomy. Certainly men and women are different, but it is impossible to divide reason from emotion, for reason would be worthless had it no emotion to care about following reason, or loving a standard, or fearing consequences.

When we minimize the role of women we are minimizing the role of the church in the world, which in turn reduces our responsibilities to Jesus. But in Him we are co-adventurers in building the kingdom.

9 Responses to “Co-Adventurers”

  1. I don’t have any idea if you get emails for comments, but I think I agree with this post.

    Only you should change the last line: When we minimize the role of the Theotokos we are minimizing the role of the Church in the world, which in turn reduces our responsibilities to Jesus. But in Him we are co-adventurers in building the kingdom.

  2. Remy said

    But in saying that you minimize the role of women.

  3. But similarly when you worship Christ, you are minimizing the role of men. And we wouldn’t want to have women exalted over men, as would happen were we to venerate Christ and not the Theotokos.

  4. Remy said

    I don’t follow.

    I’m happy for women to be exalted, they are the glorification of man.

  5. I didn’t follow your point at all. I’m happy for women to be exalted too. And men. But our veneration of Christ doesn’t minimize the role of men, at least not as men, so it seems that venerating the Virgin wouldn’t minimize the role of women, at least not as women. In fact, I think a relatively cogent argument could be made that unless we venerate the feminine, we won’t be able to venerate the feminine.

    I suppose you could reply that if we venerate the Theotokos at the exclusion of other women we minimize the role of women. But then it is also true that if we venerate Christ to the exclusion of His Father we are Marcionites.

    Maybe you thought I meant that the role of women should be changed to the role of the Theotokos–that is it isn’t women who are exalted, but the Theotokos. But I think that just as by venerating Christ we acknowledge liturgically the exaltation of men so too when we venerate the Theotokos we acknowledge liturgically the exaltation of women. Our exaltation of the abstract “women” should be grounded in the exaltation of a concrete woman. And just as we don’t acknowledge the glorification of men by merely venerating a man near us, but by venerating Christ, so too we should acknowledge the glorification of women by venerating the Theotokos.

  6. Remy said

    I don’t think men are exalted because of their role in the liturgy. Liturgically men are the slaves, the house servants, they are emptied out in their role.

  7. I think we’re talking past each other. I don’t mean that the Pastor is exalted liturgically, but that a man is liturgically exalted, namely Christ. In our veneration of Christ we venerate the perfect man. But we venerate nothing feminine in Church. It is impossible (and would be nonsense) to venerate “femininity” in Church, and the Church is not yet visibly One Body. So, it seems to me, the only feminine left to venerate liturgically is the Theotokos.

  8. Remy said

    We do tend to talk past each other quite a bit. We’ll abide.

    I think you divide things I would keep together. As the church we worship Christ Jesus the man, who in turn exalts His bride, the church.

  9. lol

    I think I would have you are dividing things that should be kept together.

    I’m thinking of the fact that Christ is an Icon. We have an Icon of the exaltation of the husband, but not of the wife. When a woman sees Christ, she sees how exalted her husband is. When a man sees Christ, he sees how he should treat his wife. But the man has no icon to look to that shows him how exalted his wife is, nor does she have an icon to look to that shows her how to treat her husband. Thus Protestants (and I suppose all Christians) can say nonsense things about how men are lords and women aren’t. We say this, because we see it. Christ is a lord, but He is, liturgically, alone, and thus, not good.

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