Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Reception and annunciation at feminist theology

We were studying and reflecting upon Luke 1.26-38 at feminist theology tonight, the account of the annunciation.
Interesting that a literal translation of the feast of the annunciation from the German Maria Empfängnis would be the feast of reception. Mary receives the announcement, embodies and carries the word into the world - in many ways a Spirit annointed prophet and also the first of Christ's disciples.
One comment on the text came from Jean Luc Godard's Je vous salue Marie in which one reflection on Mary's virginity is "être vierge c'est être disponible" - another way into reception and annunciation.
We read the annunciation this evening as part of our progression into the theme of finding our voice finding our way(voix and voie in French). How do we as women, as women who seek to follow Jesus respond and say "yes", say "so be it" to the call that comes to us from God, from God's messengers? We also asked ourselves "What is the angel saying to you?"
We dwelt for quite a while on the word "servant" (doulos) pondering the meaning of being slaves to the word, talking about service to the word not being the same as servitude.
What came through in many of the responses is how our understanding of Mary is that she is no doormat but that she is "upright and going forwards". The call she receives is a call to trust.
I felt challenged by our communal reading to say that I was hearing something along the lines of "do not be a slave to your work, enslave yourself rather to grace and trust". I'm still not comfortable with the slave langauge but the liberating out of servitude langauge did wokr for me tonight.
Coming home I've also been thinking about speaking and listening as part of the "reception - annunciation" dynamic. Communication, communion, carrying forth the word - the internalising and externalising of the good news. I do also wonder how virginal I am, how "disponible", how available, how open ...
And finally, reading the Bible with others is good for you. It would be fair to say that I was not in a happy state at the beginning of my evening but spending time talking about the Bible, faith and our lives lifted my spirits and granted me, albeit briefly some perspective. So feminist theology is good for the soul - but then I never doubted that any way!


callie said...

What about: Free yourself through grace and trust. Which does speak to liberation, but with a different emphasis, and feels more empowered perhaps?

Deirdre said...

Thank you. Protestant and Catholic readings of Mary as prophet and parent are a (new) good thing!

Jane said...

Thanks Callie and Deirdre for you insights and comments - it so happens that I'll be returning to this theme soon

Prophet, parent in the service of liberation - REally I love reading the Bible!