Abstract This article lifts up the Woman with the Alabaster Jar of Luke’s Gospel, chapter 7. The Pharisee saw her as a sinner because according to Pharisaic laws she was. Jesus, the Teacher at the Pharisee’s house agrees. He says the Woman has sinned much and is forgiven much. This paper explores the importance of forgiveness and the importance of showing hospitality, love, and justice to one’s neighbour. Roman Catholic tradition used to conflate this woman with Mary Magdalene claiming that Mary Magdalene was the sinner forgiven for her great love for the Teacher. In recent years, many people have opposed Roman Catholic tradition because too many Christians were exploiting the image of Mary Magdalene in a negative way to gain power over women and people of other races and faiths.  Thus this article opposes both the modern and the old exploited views. It maintains that the Woman of Luke 7 is the bitterly treated woman of the Gospel who overcame and rose with the Teacher as the Christ. She earned the title “Mary” because of the way people bitterly treated her for “breaking” God’s ancient Patriarchal law that scholars and priests were using to chastise and exclude women and their Gentile and Samaritan neighbours from the great banquet of life where God’s Love and eco-justice is for all. She earned the title the “Magdalene” because she is a tower of strength and a great light, a burning torch that the Teacher speaks face to face with in the garden.
Keywords Patriarchal Laws, Forgiveness, God’s Love, Eco-justice
Abstract:David Suzuki, a leading Canadian environmentalist, asserts that the Earth and its biodiversity is a priceless treasure that should be protected (2002; 1997). Despite the gathering evidence of impending ecological crisis, the path to a sustainable ecological future is unclear. Both Christian and non-Christian ecofeminists claim that the domination of the Earth and the domination of women are connected. Western religions, philosophies, and cultural media identify masculine traits and values as cultural ideals, making it seem natural for men to rule as the experts. Yet when ecological problems arise, women often suffer more hardship than men (Lorentzen and Eaton 2006). Thus, women’s experience of suffering differently qualifies women as experts in finding sustainable solutions (Lorentzen and Eaton 2006; Merchant 1980; McFague 2001). With this insight, those seeking guidance from Christian teachings can turn to the Gospel Lesson of the Rich Person to see how the ideals of perfection, subordination, and lust for heavenly treasure have contributed to the domination of nature and women. The primary objective of this paper is to develop the connection between this Gospel Lesson and the related stories of Mary Magdalene, affirming that she is the Woman who anointed Jesus with her rich perfume, and the Rich Person who refused to sell her earthly treasure (Schaberg 2002; Starbird 1993). This paper concludes that the Magdalene Stories exemplify how the Spirit’s Story has been demonized and divided into parts, promoting colonialism and the domination of all indigenous spirits.
Keywords: David Suzuki, Ecological theology, Hegemony, Mary Magdalene
Abstract. Ecological Justice and Poverty are sustainability issues. Shockingly, water, oil and wealth are used and controlled by a small powerful elite. But without access to water and fuel, the poorest persons in the world suffer horrific deaths and as more and more water and fuel is consumed by a dwindling elite few, a growing number of poor people in obscure villages or garbage strewn ghettos will suffer and die without any hope or power of sustaining their populations beyond the present age.
This paper examines the Gospel story of the Woman with the Alabaster Jar to ask. Has the lust after heavenly treasure contributed to the ecological crisis today? Have Christian theologians and disciples forgotten the choice given to the Woman with the Alabaster Jar: She could sell her treasure and give all the money she received to the poor and gain “more” treasure in heaven. Or she could anoint the Teacher she believed was her Messianic partner with her priceless treasure. Choosing to anoint the Teacher led to the Cross and caused her to be separated from him without any certainty as to the likelihood of her being reunited with him and accepted as his equal partner in both their communities. This Crucifixion was extremely painful and hard to understand for both the Woman and the Teacher. Yet they both accepted this Crucifixion—as did their beloved Martha—believing it and the Resurrection would put an end to policies that exploit people and their resources to serve the elite.
Who Mary Magdalene was matters especially in the context of how Jesus related to her. Many people want to know: Who was she? Was she merely one of many female disciples accompanying Jesus? Have traditional roles and sexual morality defined her and kept her from being recognized as Jesus’s counterpart, his equal? What is the historical reality within the stories told about her? Can that even be determined? What evidence is there?
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Abstract.It sometimes seems as if we see energy options in stark terms of good and evil. For decades, environmentally aware people have portrayed nuclear power and fossil fuels as bad options that need to be replaced by the good option of renewable energy. But now, as humanity finally develops renewable sources of energy, we witness the re-emergence of this good and evil dichotomy as each renewable option is pursued with greater vigour. Thus, one increasingly hears that the development of energy from biomass, called biofuels, is an inherently bad thing to do. This will lead to higher food prices and a greater risk of starvation among the planet’s very poor. It will lead to a loss of natural ecosystems and plant diversity with the development of monoculture biofuel plantations. But is this perception fair? Or is this a product of a desire to see the world in simple terms of good and evil? The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential benefits and risks of biofuels as an energy option for humanity, with a careful nuanced look at the complexity of energy options and their impacts. Part of this involves the development of a richer understanding of energy options and their desirable and undesirable attributes to develop them and minimize the risks associated with them. To serve this end, this paper focuses on second generation biofuels and uses the Parable of Weeds among the Wheat as an analogy to move beyond a dualistic world view analysis.
Keywords: Biofuels, Eco-Theology, Plant Ethics, Renewable Energy, Sustainability.
Beverley Roberta Gaventa suggests that Paul is the Mother of Christianity. I truly like this idea and think she is spot on with the idea that Paul is the Mother of Christianity. Gaventa does not openly suggest that Paul was a female missionary and theologian. Nor does the picture she and her editors chose for the cover of her book Our Mother Saint Paul depict our Mother as a lovely madonna with a baby in her arms. Rather Gaventa chose to depict Paul as a balding male with a beard. In her chapter The Apocalyptic Community, she asserts "he is shaping a new memory" (2007: 139).
In the final semester of my undergraduate studies at Simon Fraser University, I wrote a paper for an Anthropology course. It was the Fall of the year 2000, the year everyone predicted would usher in the Apocalyptic Community, the New Jerusalem. The title of my paper was: St. Paul and the collective memory of Christianity. In this paper I assert, "if Paul was a liberated female the head apostle of a group of Jews and Gentiles who were all one in Christ because of Christ's trust in Paul, the image of Paul as a woman would make a tremendous difference to Christian ritual practices."
As Gaventa also suggested in her chapter on the Apocalyptic Community, Paul reminded the Romans in Romans 16:20 "the God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." Satan was the enemy of Eve! Satan...that "Father" of all lies that keeps our Mother covered up in "HIS" name. Simon what a Devil! He is such a trickster and an old Black Crow. Now don't get fooled. He's one of the T ree...Open your eyes and crush him with LOVE and he'll give you new wine and transform you into a new person worthy of eternal life.
Abstract: “The holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. . . .” is a prophecy from the Book of Revelation. When I was a very young woman with no education beyond high school, I discovered something so incredible contained within the scripture describing this city. I felt like an archeologist who had just discovered a fine alabaster jar still intact and fragrant. Inside this piece of scripture, cleverly and artfully woven into the vision was the exact circumference of the planet earth. I turned to the book of Genesis. There too, encoded into the Creation and Noah’s Ark myths were the mathematics of ancient prophets and storytellers who had never circumnavigated the globe, revealing the exact circumference of our home—the planet Earth. This knowledge fills me with the desire to go and tell that God is with us and has promised to sing and rejoice with us as parents do when a loving couple gets married.
My presentation looks at the mathematics encoded in the Bible with the faith that the ancient people had in God who creates them. The myths and prophecies encoded in the Bible have the power to unite scientists, theologians, mathematicians, musicians, storytellers and artisans all over the world...to go and tell the World, our Creator has faith in us. We are destined to create a New Jerusalem where God’s Love sustains us, our home and creation.
Keywords: The New Jerusalem, God’s Promise, Creation, Mathematics, Faith