Tuesday, 4 March 2008

An evening of feminist theology with bare-foot theologian Anne Coidan

I've just come back from a wonderful evening with the feminist theology group. This evening my friend and colleague from the Genevan Protestant Church Anne Coidan led us in the first of two evenings on the parable of the talents (Matthew 25.14-30).
Anne often describes herself as a bare-foot theologian - a theologian without pretensions. She's also a very talented artist in patchwork as the photo of one of her prize-winning quilts shows.
This evening she introduced us to understandings gleaned from the French psychoanalyst Marie Balmary's reading of the parable of the talents in her book "Abel, ou la traversée d'Eden". Although other books by Marie Balmary have been translated into English, this one doesn't seem to have been - perhaps because there is less interest in parts of the anglophone world in Freud rather than in Jung.
So have you buried your treasures and talents in the middle of the field because you have internalised the idea of a mean, tough master? A God who reaps where s/he doesn't sow? What was fascinating this evening was the new way this difficult parable spoke to us as we studied it in terms of projection and transference.
God does not want to endow us with talents or responsibilities that will crush us and that we will want to bury, hide and try to forget about because we are frightened. Somehow it is in appropriating the gifts God freely and fully gives to us in complete trust that we can bear fruit and blossom.
That is a very potted, late night version of a whole evening's work. Over the next few days I'll try to post Anne's reflections to the documents section and maybe translate some of the key parts into English.