Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by SayWord, Oct 12, 2003.
Why do we refer to God as He?
The Creator of the Universe has been referred to in the masculine gender since time immemorial...in the Holy Bible and all the other holy books of the world.
(See my thread titled, "The One-God Concept of the Ancient Egyptians" for further clarification and edification.)
I believe it is because the Lord is revered and when I talk about "Him" I want to show that same reverence in my speech. Although, some people may actually believe God is a "He" and so that is why they use "He".
What word do you use for God Sayword?
I use "He"...but I'm wondering why people do that. Why not call God "She?"
When God Was A Woman
“Why do we refer to God as He?”
“I use "He"...but I'm wondering why people do that. Why not call God "She?"”
I think that your question is a very good one, for this has always been a very intriguing postulation and quandary. I can’t necessarily refute the fact that, the masculine denotation of God ( conceptionally the highest deity), has been used for eons, but to conclude that the use of such gendering, as it relates to recent theological openness and rationality, is still without fundamental problems, may be disingenuous. Remember, in most cultures and civilizations of the past, all scholarship, historical documentation and scribing was theocratically ordained and directed by the male priesthood or ruler. Even the spread of theology was spurred usually by man’s passions for conquest and egotistical ambitions. All the scribes and priest at this juncture, in man’s expansionistic history, were male. They served the interest of a warrior king, that common sensibly, took his directives from a warrior archetype-“casted” and testosterone driven superior being, like himself, that he could spiritually and politically relate to.
The problem with understanding pre-agrarian female deification, as it relates to the Godhead (i.e., Goddess), is that most of this existed before writing became the so-called hallmark of civilization. But there is overwhelming archeological evidence that the male anthropomorphic representation, of the most supreme deity, was not always a given. Look at the figurines and fetishes found in the earliest proto-dynastic era of Egypt or the Grimaldi Venuses of southern Italy. You will find mostly, if not only, women being deified, and usually African women, at that. Most of these cultures were probably hunter/gatherers, nomadic or small farming enclaves. There is a lot of scholarship on the development and/or edification of the supreme male gendered deity, known usually, in scholarly circles, as the, “warrior sky god” or “thunder god”.
Here are a few books that will give you a lot insight on the female deity:
“When God Was A Woman” by Merlin Stone
“The Language of the Goddess” by Marija Gimbutas
“The Civilization of the Goddess” also Marija Gimbutas
These are just a few, of many books in this field of study, but are very noteworthy.
Also SayWord, There is a book that just came to mind:
God's Phallus and Other Problems for Men and Monotheism
by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz
I haven’t read this book yet but have read several reviews and some articles written by the author, in reference to his book and the research he put forth.
In short, he finds the Judeo-Christian (even though he's really using the rabbinical Jewish religious construct) concept of a male supreme god problematic in relation to the scriptures heterosexual analogies of God (husband) and Israel (bride), especially since the relationship was between a male/paternal ruler and male defined patriarchal ruled nation. He also has problems with the masculine identification of a god that in an anthropomorphic sense has no masculine identifiers, which as we know, the phallus being the main part of our anatomy that identify use as male. When compared to the other African and African-Asiatic cultures of that time, Rabbinical Judaism delivers us, historically, a sexless deity. Because all other deities had sex, sired children and were many times represented with sex organs. Some form of phallicism is found in almost every culture of the world, and is intrinsically a part of fertility rites and religious symbolism.
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