Theology for Skeptics (Dorothee Soelle)
- Highlight Loc. 91-96
I am reminded by this way of thinking about God of a cheeky song from Vienna, in which a young man from a wealthy home carries out all possible mischief at the expense of others and then in the refrain sings reassuringly: 'Papa will set things right." Many believers have never gone beyond this childish image of God; they have never learned to assume responsibility themselves. Their relationship to God remains childish; they do not want to be friends of God but want to remain subordinates and dependents. But must we really speak in this way? God is mighty, we are helpless - is that all?
- Highlight Loc. 101-4
This woman (whom Dorothy met at a church meeting in Hamburg) did not look up to heaven in order to be comforted by an Almighty Father. She looked within and around herself. She found "that of God," as the Quakers often say, in herself, the strength for resistance, the courage for a clear no in a world that is drunk on the blood of the innocent. And she found another gift of the Spirit, the help of other brothers and sisters. She was not alone. She did not submit herself to a God
who was falsely understood as fate.
- Highlight Loc. 112-13 |
I did not rid myself of God like many who had handed over responsibility to God alone; rather I grasped that God needs us in order to realize what was intended in creation.
- Highlight Loc. 185-88
The most important questions about the dominant theology posed by an emerging feminist theology are directed, iconoclastically, against phallocratic fantasies, against the adoration of power. Why do people venerate a God whose most important quality is power, whose interest is subjection, whose fear is equality? Why worship a being who is addressed as "Lord," whose theologians must testify to his omnipotence because power alone is not enough for him? Why should we honor and love a being who does not transcend the moral level of contemporary culture as shaped by men, but instead establishes it?
- Highlight Loc. 208-12 |
When it is understood that we can speak only symbolically about God, every symbol that sets itself up as absolute must be relativized. We cannot live without symbols, but we must relativize them and surpass them iconoclastically. God in fact transcends our speech about God, but only when we do not lock God into prisons of symbols. Feminist theology does not deny that "father" is one mode of speaking about God, but when we are forced to make it the only mode, the symbol becomes God's prison. All the other symbol words which people have used to express their experience of God are thus repressed by means of this obligatory language or else pushed down to a lower level on the hierarchy.
- Highlight Loc. 220-21 |
To be free of images of dominance, theological language can go back to the mystical tradition. "Wellspring of all good things," "living wind," "water of life," "light," are symbols of God without authority or power and without a chauvinistic flavor.