Feminist "Theologian": Breast Should Replace The Cross
If you attend a Presbyterian PCUSA Church, I would bet that some of your offering money is being funneled into garbage like this.
Breast theology uplifted at Union seminary
By Parker Williamson, The Layman, Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010
Once honored for voicing substantive theology in the Reformed tradition, Union Theological Seminary’s 2010 Sprunt Lectures will feature a feminist speaker who favors replacing the cross with a lactating breast. The event will occur May 3-5 on the seminary’s Richmond, Va., campus. Union is one of 11 seminaries that are officially related to the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Sprunt Lecturer Margaret R. Miles is emerita professor of Historical Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkley, Calif. Employing a title reminiscent of the denominationally sponsored Re-Imagining God Conference in 1993, Miles’ topic is “Revisioning Historical Theology.”
In “God’s love, mother’s milk,” a January 2008 article that appeared in The Christian Century, Miles argued that the use of the cross to symbolize God’s love was a latecomer to church history. An earlier and presumably more persuasive symbol of God’s love, she claims, was the virgin’s breast.
“Although theologians may have claimed that crucifixion scenes exhibited the extremity of God’s love for humans, it was scenes of the child sucking at the breast that spoke to people on the basis of their earliest experience,” she said. This symbol was replaced by the cross, argued Miles, when patriarchal Western Europeans “secularized the breast.”
Miles suggested that the cross is inappropriate as a symbol of God’s love because “it presents a violent act as salvific.”
“The equation of love with heroic violence and suffering is typically a male-centered perspective,” she argued, leading to her conclusion that “the value of the nursing breast as a symbol of God’s provision might need to be reconsidered in our own time … In societies in which violence is rampant on the street and in the media, the nursing virgin can perhaps communicate God’s love to people in a way that a violent image, the image of one more sacrificial victim, cannot.”
Miles received her bachelors and masters degrees from San Francisco State University, and a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union. Her publications include: Desire and Delight: A New Reading of Augustine’s “Confessions,” Carnal Knowing: Female Nakedness and Religious Meaning in the Christian and Postchristian West, Practicing Christianity: Critical Perspectives for an Embodied Spirituality, and Image as Insight: Visual Understanding in Western Christianity and Secular Culture.
Miles is not the first feminist speaker to be granted Sprunt lectureships. In 1997, the seminary invited Rosemary Radford Ruether to its podium, where she proceeded to call the resurrection of Jesus Christ “a myth created by males to assuage their own fear of death.” Ruether’s theology makes room for multiple deities that are encompassed into “the great womb within which all things, Gods and humans, sky and earth, humans and non-humans, are generated.”
Responding to critics of Union’s invitation to Ruether, then president of Union, Louis Weeks, called her “one of the pioneers in feminist theology.” That accolade brought a response from faculty theologian John H. Leith who said he was “dismayed” that Ruether had been invited to Union. “She is a person whose recent writings have denied every basic Christian doctrine from creation to redemption,” he said.
In 2009, the seminary hosted a performance of The Vagina Monologues, a 12-year-old play that is an icon of radical chic among many feminists.
"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
--Hugh Latimer, October 16, 1555