Monday, October 08, 2007

Theotokos

Someday, I'm going to have to write this book. A book on theology and childbirth. A chapter on Christmas and Advent and the important but often ignored fact of birth in the Christian narrative. A point in there somewhere about women's experience and why it's still discounted as theological resource. I'm going to have to look into Mariology and see what that's all about. I'm going to give a shot at figuring out why the hell anyone would write "women will be saved through childbirth."



Any other suggestions? What have I missed in my musing? Or has someone already written this book, and I should just go check it out and read it?

10 comments:

aebh said...

Please write it -- I want to read it!

Jonathan said...

In the months before we had our first kid, I was surprised at how often "pain of a woman in childbirth" was used as a metaphor by the prophets.

Isaiah 26:17
As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O LORD.

Isaiah 26:18
We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world.

Isaiah 42:14
"For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.

Hosea 13:13
Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.

Jeremiah 4:31
I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child— the cry of the Daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, "Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers."

This one also seems interesting...Paul is in the pains of childbirth but it is Christ that is being formed in the Galatians

Galatians 4:19
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,

JTB said...

Oh, this is good. Especially because in my own experience the "pain of childbirth" is very different from what we usually think of as pain.

Travis Stanley said...

Sorry Jen, but it's already been written.

JTB said...

hmmm...somehow I suspect the feminist perspective I'm looking for is lacking there...

Indie said...

I've thought about writing that book, but no doubt you'll beat me to it.

JTB said...

Indie, I'm open for co-authorship...you're way better informed on the childbirth stuff than I!

Tracy said...

Do it!

Jonathan said...

1 Thessalonians 5

1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

JTB said...

an interesting complication: how does the discourse of cyborg as feminist icon fit with the discourse of "natural" childbirth? Not too easily, as technology is unambiguously Enemy in natural childbirth discourses: invasive, unnecessary, masculine. For Haraway, technology is both/and--the cyborg is the result of these sorts of masculine dominant systems, but can be appropriated by women as a source of subversive power. I don't know how this works out with respect to the specific scenario of over-medicalized childbirth; the woman in the bed with the IV and fetal monitor may indeed be cyborg, but this is hardly empowering...