Friday, June 26, 2020

Augustine and the dea nutrix

At the roots of monotheism, then, there began a kind of theological dance in the tension between the desire to preserve female imagery for God, including the dea nutrix, and the denial that this is possible for a single deity who was more commonly imagined as male. This would go on through the ages. Even individual theologians were often of two minds. For example, the same Augustine who spoke of “the Lord’s breast” elsewhere declared that, in “the image of God,. . . there is no sex,” and that the woman is not the image of God except when she is joined together with her husband.—Christopher B. Hays in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, 212

<idle musing>
Augustine was wrong! I suspect that the reason he went the route of women not being fully the image of God, aside from his patriarchal frame of reference, was that the church is the bride of Christ, and apart from Christ can't reflect the glory of God. But those two don't have to be, in fact, shouldn't be, tied together.

The problem with Augustine is that he wrote so much that you can find pretty much anything you want in there. Unfortunately, it seems his worst stuff is what the church adopted! But that is just an
</idle musing>

No comments: