Interpretations of Feminist Theology Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Catherine Keller's On the mystery: Discerning divinity in progress envisions the creation as a living, dynamic thing rather than something that is static and unchanging. The central metaphor which governs Chapter 3 of her book is that of the fish: a fish is constantly moving with the ebbs and flows of the waters around him and instead of drowning or being swallowed up by the waters of change like a human being, the fish is able to move forward. The fish also supports Keller's ecological view of the universe. Keller stresses the need for human beings to see themselves as part of the universe, rather than dominators of it. Keller finds particular inspiration in the ambiguous "bi-gendered" vision of the divine in the first creation myth of Genesis, versus the second myth which portrays a more anthropocentric God and a more rigid gender hierarchy.[footnoteRef:1] [1: Catherine Keller, On the mystery: Discerning divinity in progress, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008), p.46.]

Keller's work also attempts to reclaim the myth of Genesis in general for progressive theologians. In the present day, it has too long been viewed in a literalist fashion, as a manifestation of pseudo-scientific "intelligent design."[footnoteRef:2] Rather than seeing it as evidence of the creation emerging from nothing, Keller instead sees it as the formation of the world from the watery depths. This chaos Keller sees as more commensurate with evolution than might be assumed; more importantly, it is a powerful metaphor. "Flow in nature is a natural function not of a smooth, continuous motion but of pulsation, as the in-and-out-take of breath keeping your oxygen steady ... as in the ebb and flow of the waves keeping the water moving."[footnoteRef:3] Keller urges the reader to break out of current dichotomies of solely seeing the debate about Genesis and creation as one between fundamentalists and scientists and to make more creative space in the narrative for current theological wisdom in the feminist and ecological tradition. [2: Keller, p.47] [3: Keller, p.49]

Specifically, Keller is fascinated by the narrative's postmodern possibilities outside of the realm of either forms of reductionism. She holds postmodernism to be uniquely life-affirming because of the ability to engage in multiple rather than singular forms of interpretation. Keller even sees the possibilities of pantheist interpretations in the narrative. Everything is God, God is the universe itself. Keller's point-of-view reflects the idea that the reader is always in an internal dialogue with scripture, versus being dictated to by an outside authority in the form of a formal church or creed. The full realm of the interpreter's religious experiences, including experiences with other faiths, are relevant.

Keller also finds resonances with modern astrophysics in scripture. "When we hear in recent astrophysics of a mysterious new 'dark energy' pervading, indeed pushing outward, we…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Keller, Catherine. On the mystery: Discerning divinity in progress. Minneapolis: Fortress Press,

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