Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Feminist theology with Regula Strobel - what kind of kingdom do you believe in?

Regula Strobel came to speak to our feminist theology group tonight. She's well known as a preacher in German-speaking Switzerland through the Wort zum Sonntag, and is now in charge of equality and family affairs in one of the Swiss cantons (Aargau). As well as being a communicator and preacher she's also an academic who has published widely on feminist perspectives on the theology of the cross, the theology of sacrifice. I rather like the idea of calling a moratorium on sacrificial theology! Most of the links are in German.
This evening Regula spoke in French - Karin Ducret had translated the whole paper - about the kingdom of God, asserting that it was not something special, achievable only by the heroic, but that the kingdom is something normal and within our grasp. I'm going to read her paper before saying much more, but we got into some reflection about how to say kingdom of God differently. Regula's idea is that the kingdom is not about the rule of a monarch but that the kingdom represents community values that are deeply embedded within human beings and which completely go against the dog eat dog culture, by naturally offering models of cooperation, justice and festivity. We came up with some interesting alternatives for kingdom of God - Reich Gottes in German being even more problematic than kingdom in English because of Reich having been the word the Nazis used to describe their empire. Here are a few, many of which are not that new and some of which only work in French, republic of God, commonwealth of God, network of God, web of God and the "Empreinte de Dieu" - which I suppose means showing the footprint or mark of God. Anyway any new ideas readily received, I'll even translate them into French for the group next time!
And now I'm quite excited because this book Found in translation seems to be all about the network of God. Thanks to David Bolton's blog for giving me that link. Note to self, must read more theology.