Jesus the Imagination, Vol 5: The Divine Feminine
—and a Call for Submissions for Volume 6
One of the great maxims of Waldorf education is that the ideal lesson is one in which the students come to both tears and laughter, the idea being that the emotional panorama of human experience is essential for education to be a truly human endeavor. Editing volume five of Jesus the Imagination on the theme of “The Divine Feminine” was precisely such an experience for me.
Alison Milbank’s beautiful essay “Oiling the Wheels of the Heavenly Chariot: Female Priesthood and the Divine Feminine” brought tears to my eyes as I read through it the first time. I was astonished by its grace and how it (and Alison herself) is suffused with a genuine charism of the divine femininity. It brings a center of healing in the middle of a chaotic realm of gendered confusion.
On the polarity of laughter, I laughed often in my interview (“The Lady in the Temple”) with biblical scholar Margaret Barker—and I laughed all over again as I was editing and proofing it! Margaret offers much wisdom and insight in her words (and in her work), but it was an absolute delight to discover her warm and often puckish sense of humor in our conversation.
In addition, the essays by Therese Schroeder-Sheker and Michael J. Sauter straddle the line between rejoicing and correction as they interrogate institutional structures too long buried by the detritus of tradition and habit and seek to return us to wholeness in their invocation to a Sophiology both practical and mystical. Likewise, offerings by Sam Guzman, Andrew Kuiper, and Madonna Sophia Compton ask us to consider the sophiological from the perspectives of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and theology. Add to these Miguel Escobar Torres’s exquisite search into the Sophiology of Hildegard of Bingen and James Wetmore’s translation from Valentine Tomberg on the Fourth Commandment, “Honor thy father and mother,” and we have a rich landscape for meditation.
The poetry of John Milbank, Thomas Whittier, Tyler DeLong, Paul Hunter, William Trusiewicz, and Daniel Nicholas, a stunning work of experimental fiction by Max Leyf, a review by Kent Anhari, Lucinda M. Varney’s gentle prayer, “Divine Feminine Spirit” as coda, complete what may very well be the finest volume of Jesus the Imagination to date. You can get one here.
The theme of Jesus the Imagination, Volume 6 will be “Flesh and Spirit,” and we are now inviting submissions of poetry, essays, photography, and artwork. We are also interested in translations! Send no more than 3-5 poems, one essay, or 2-3 works of art (in a file, of course). The deadline is 1 January 2022.