Tuesday, August 30, 2005

God Is Neither Masculine Nor Feminine

Scholars have made a number of arguments against predicating masculinity of God. Gender may be inextricably associated with a sexed body or it is possibly a creaturely phenomenon vouchsafed to animals and humans for the purpose of procreation. Let one suppose that God is a Father, however, who is ontologically masculine according to the divine essence. Would such data be humanly cognoscible? Since there is a nexus between gender and a sexed body in the phenomenal realm, gender not associated with maleness or femaleness (= sexuality) would appear to constitute noumena (in the Kantian sense) for spatial and temporal bound percipient subjects. Therefore, even if God were ontologically masculine without being a male, it would exceed human experience and palpably remain incognoscible for those existing in the sensible world of appearances. Both the ancient Cappadocians and Miroslav Volf have also issued admonitions regarding projectionist theology. The former argue that the path of circumspection dictates eschewing the introduction of sensible images into the supersensible Godhead, whereas the latter modern-day writer contends that gender is rooted in a sexed body, something God evidently does not possess.[1] In the final analysis, this investigation submits that either God is genderless or one cannot know that he is masculine based on scriptural terminology. At any rate, divine gender certainly does not appear to be a salient preoccupation of the early church writers.

[1] See Orations and Exploration and Otherness.

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