Feminism and Christianity

Recently I’ve been studying Christianity from different viewpoints.  In particular, I’ve been considering the role of women in Christianity. While some churches honor women, we cannot deny that others are misogynistic.  Is there a way to separate that misogyny from Christianity? If so, what would remain?

When pondering that question, I thought about the concept of grafting in horticulture.  Typically, the graft is a special hybrid that will not grow true-to-form from seeds. In that case, a cutting of the special hybrid is taken and grafted onto a hardier tree. With  roses, often one rose literally cannot grow in the region without the hardier and stronger rose rootstock. In addition, grafting creates a specific type of fruit such as a hybrid pear that is bigger and juicier.   Although there is a reason that the hybrid fruit cannot be grown as a separate tree, in nearly all cases, the two parts are the same species. When one pear tree is grafted onto a rootstock of another type of pear tree, the plant is still a pear tree. Certainly, it is different than it would have been, but it is not a different species.

The gardener must be careful how she plants and cares for the grafted tree. In the case of rose grafts, if planted too deeply, the plant growing from the original rootstock might choke out the hybridized scion (the graft). With pear trees, the budded section must be sheltered from wind and sun; the grafted tree suffers shock and must be watered and nurtured.  Pruning must be meticulous or the graft will be lost. Yet, if the grafted tree is planted too shallowly, neither will survive.

Could that be the case with Christianity?  Could  a graft of a fancier ritual and more patriarchal dogma have been bonded onto the rootstock of Christianity? In that case, is the root stronger or weaker than the graft?

The University of Minnesota website states: “Young, vigorous fruit trees up to 5 years old are best for topworking. Older apple and pear trees of almost any age can be topworked but the operation is more severe and those over 10 years old must be worked at a higher point.” [1]

Would an incorporation of Feminism into mainstream Christian churches be a “more severe” grafting “worked at a higher point?”  Can it be worked at a higher level? Must any change be forced by the grassroots?  (I think we can assume the pope would be unlikely to accept such drastic change in the pseudo-history of Catholicism.)

On the other hand, the New Testament reports that Jesus interacted with women in radical ways.  Were the concepts of Feminism present in the roots of the religion and do they remain waiting to be watered and fertilized?  In either case, will the grafted pear tree of Christianity be able to allow both the rootstock and the scion to thrive and bloom? As Feminists, do we want both to survive?

[1] Hertz, Leonard B. “Grafting and Budding Fruit Trees”  University of Minnesota Extension (Regents of the University of Minnesota, 2011)  online at http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/DG0532a.html


About Lillith ThreeFeathers

Lillith ThreeFeathers is a shamanic healer, author, medium, and priestess.
This entry was posted in Feminism, Politics, Society and Civilization, Spirituality & Religion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Feminism and Christianity

  1. Joy says:

    That is a compelling question. Personally, I would support the roots first and foremost. Everything after that is an experiment.


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