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Happy International Women's Day
Happy International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day has been observed since the early 1900's. I am so happy to reshare a portion of a post from Fortress Press highlighting some women authors.
We’re privileged to have published a wide range of women from different walks of life across many disciplines. We highlight their work throughout the year, but we celebrate them with a little more fanfare with a selection of recent works this month.
Scapegoats: The Gospel through the Eyes of Victims by Jennifer Garcia Bashaw
Scapegoats are innocent victims who have experienced blame and violence at the hands of society. René Girard proposes that the Gospels present Jesus as a scapegoat whose innocent death exposes how humans have always created scapegoats. This revelation should have cured societal scapegoating, yet those who claim to live by the Gospels have missed that message. They continue to scapegoat and remain blind to the suffering of scapegoats in modern life.
Christians today tend to read the New Testament as victors, not as victims. The teachings and actions of Jesus thus lose much of their subversive significance. The Gospels become one harmonized story about individual salvation rather than distinct representations of Jesus's revolutionary work on behalf of victims. Scapegoats revisits the Gospel narratives with the understanding that they tell scapegoats' stories, and that through those stories the kingdom of God is revealed. Bashaw goes beyond Girard's arguments to show that Jesus's whole public ministry (not only his death) combats the marginalization of victims. These scapegoat stories work together to illuminate an essential truth of the Gospels--that Jesus modeled a reality in which victims become survivors and the marginalized become central to the kingdom.
Invisibility persists throughout the Asian American story. On the one hand, xenophobia has long contributed to racism and discrimination toward Asian Americans. On the other hand, terms such as perpetual foreigner and honorific whites have been thrust upon Asian Americans, minimizing their plight with racism and erasing their experience as racial minorities. Even more indiscernible in America's racial landscape are Asian American women. The compounded effects of a patriarchal Asian culture and a marginalizing American culture are formidable, steadily removing the recognition of these women's lives, voices, and agency.
Invisibility is not only a racial and cultural issue, but also a profound spiritual issue. The Western church—and its theology—has historically obscured the concerns of Asian Americans. The Asian American church relegates women to domestic, supportive roles meant to uplift male leaders.
In Invisible, Grace Ji-Sun Kim examines encounters with racism, sexism, and xenophobia as she works toward ending Asian American women's invisibility. She deploys biblical, sociological, and theological narratives to empower the voices of Asian American women. And she shares the story of her heritage, her family history, her immigration, and her own experience as an Asian American woman. Speaking with the weight of her narrative, she proclaims that the histories, experiences, and voices of Asian American women must be rescued from obscurity. Speaking with the weight of a theologian, she powerfully paves the way for a theology of visibility that honors the voice and identity of these women. As Asian American women work toward a theology of visibility, they uplift the voiceless and empower the invisible, moving beyond experiences of oppression and toward claiming their space in the kin-dom of God.
Spirit Life by Grace Ji-Sun Kim
Spirit Life centers on the Spirit as an avenue for better understanding God and reconciling with our faith. The Spirit is present in the Old Testament as ruach and in the New Testament as pneuma. When the field of theology was prominently German-led, theologians used the word geist to talk about the spirit. As an Asian-American theologian existing in the liminality between multiple cultural spheres, Kim finds it necessary to retrieve and disseminate Asian words and religious symbols into the mainstream discourse to revolutionize the accessibility and global understanding of God today. One important Asian concept is chi, translated as wind, breath, spirit, energy, much like ruach, pneuma, and geist. Chi is a fitting term for coming to know God as the Spirit as it effectively conveys God's presence in the world. As such, we can move toward a nondualistic theology that provides an abundant space for everyone, including the marginalized and the subordinated, paving a path toward liberation and radical demarginalization.
In the My Theology series, the world's leading Christian thinkers explain some of the principal tenets of their theological beliefs in concise, pocket-sized books.
More ways to celebrate women, prioritize equality, and #EmbraceEquity
1) Read a review of Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s new book Invisible by Dr. Sue Kim Park. Park says in appreciation of the book, “Kim speaks to those who are seeking to learn more about the history and complexity of Asian American immigrant women and for those Asian American women who may not be aware of or have been questioning their identity. As an Asian American immigrant woman and a practical theologian, I appreciate this narrative into which I can weave my own stories of oppression, challenges, resistance, and victories.” Get your copy of Invisible today!
News to Share:
Join me at Wild Goose Festival. Use discount code “Madang” to get 50.00 off registration. See you there.
Discover the Black Madonna as a path to self-acceptance & transformation. Join Dr. Christena Cleveland on March 14th for a free online event. You’ll discover how the Black Madonna has always been right there, ready to accompany you, guide you, and empower you as you move toward healing for your life and for our world.
You can RSVP for free here: https://shiftnetwork.isrefer.com/go/bmGJ/a25706/
Please attend PANAAWTM’s opening panel “Eco-Justice Rising” on March 16. Please support this amazing organization by going to www.panaawtm.org and donate.