A BIG-ENOUGH GOD by Sara Maitland


A Feminist's Search for a Joyful Theology
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 A novelist, feminist, and amateur theologian provides both food for thought and a more user-friendly deity for disaffected Christians. Based on a series of lectures, this book is a loving paean to a loving and generous God. As an adult, Maitland (Ancestral Truths, 1994, etc.) became a devout feminist before she rediscovered her childhood Christianity, and her feminism informs her religion in many ways. For one thing, Maitland consistently refers to God as ``she''as in ``Of course she is Father. She is Father Almighty.'' Maitland doesn't believe God to be gendered, she explains; God is non-corporeal. She uses the feminine pronoun more to even the score than to suggest otherwise. But Maitland does see God as possessing characteristics that are traditionally associated with women rather than men. She chooses here to emphasize God's role as creator, but not the creator who needed to invent humanity in order to be worshiped or to prove her power. Maitland's creation story is an act of love and giving. Her God embraces science, which ultimately serves to glorify her. Theology shouldn't be fearful of intellectual inquiry, Maitland argues. Our response to scientific discoveries should be: ``Wow! You mean, God is even cleverer than we thought?'' Our worship of God should be joyful, and Maitland suggests ``drawing up a list of things for which it would be insane to give thanks, but which are obviously extraordinary,'' offering an abbreviated list of her own, the first entry on it being ``Once upon a time someone invented mayonnaise.'' Finally, says Maitland, her theology should have transformative potential, politically and socially: ``She is Father so that the little ones of the earththe oppressed, the poor, the widows and the orphansmay be set free from patriarchy and sing their triumph.'' Uplifting, if somewhat unorthodox.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8050-4183-4
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1995


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