Photo: “Baal, El, Yahweh, and ‘His Asherah.’ Photo from Othmar Keel and Christoph Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel. Minneapolis. Fortress Press. 1998, pp. 225-226.
Day 11 of Lent
I took the night off from blogging last night. I was exhausted, mentally and emotionally, and so I spent the evening in bed intermittently checking my Twitter feed for Oscars commentary (I wasn’t watching). I take solace in the fact that technically, Sundays aren’t part of Lent, so I haven’t broken my vow really. (That is my story and I am sticking to it.)
So much has happened in the past couple of days that I couldn’t possibly hope to comment adequately on it all here. The biggest thing was the pageant of misogyny and racism known as this year’s Oscars, together with The Onion’s vile tweet during the telecast in which they “satirically” referred to nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis as a “c**t.” The Onion’s CEO apologized the morning after on the site’s Facebook page. However, the damage was done, and it became yet another instance over which familiar battle lines were drawn between people who find oppression and privilege objectionable, especially when it results in slurs being directed at nine-year-old girls, and those who think that “Hey it’s just a joke, it’s just comedy” gives them a blank check to assert whatever privileges they want. It was depressing, and disturbing, and by about midday today I was feeling tired and exhausted by the whole affair.
Shortly after that, though, I received a rare bit of unambiguously wonderful news. I am excited to announce that I have been asked to teach a religious studies seminar this fall titled “Topics in Gender and Religion.” I am terribly excited! As long as the class makes enrollment, I will have an opportunity to teach about and discuss things I have been thinking and reading about pretty constantly for the last eighteen months or so.
I would, however, appreciate some feedback from you if you would be so kind as to give me some. If you were taking a course on gender and religion, or teaching one, which topics would you want to discuss, and which books and papers would you want to read? I have my own ideas, of course, but I am curious about the sorts of things you would think worthwhile to include in an upper-level undergraduate seminar on gender and religion. I find it extremely helpful to step away from whatever assumptions I have about what I am inclined to do and hear what others would do.
So, if you have thoughts, please leave me a comment! I would be most excited to hear what you think. In the meantime, expect more substantive posts, on this and other subjects, starting tomorrow.