GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

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How women affect religion — and vice versa

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Women in Judeo-Christian traditions are highlighted in Alabaster Jars, named for the biblical story about a female who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume. The real treasure, suggests creator Jackie Kestner, was the willingness to serve — a gift that modern women still often struggle to give away.

Center stage is an alphabetical list of women in the Bible. Some of the more fun stories are about the femme fatale Delilah, and about Jael, who drove a tent stake through an enemy soldier’s head. And there’s a long, hard look at the horrendously violated concubine of the Levite in Judges.

Also honored are women who lived after Bible times. The fourth-century Macrina the Younger founded one of the first monastic communities. And the 16th-century Chiyome, a Japanese widow, trained street girls as ninjas.

But the site also has puzzling gaps. There’s nothing on the biblical Ruth or Esther — or on that modern saint, the late Mother Teresa.

In the Articles section, Kestner takes on arguments of people who would make women second-class church members. Her rebuttals are precise and spirited, but weighed down with church jargon. She needs to write for the 21st century, not the 19th.

Alabaster Jars does provide a genuine public service in a fact file on domestic violence against women. There’s also a section on persecution of Christians — pointing out that in many countries, women are made special targets.

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Written by Jim Davis

August 3, 2008 at 11:41 pm

One Response

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  1. Trained street girls as ninjas? I’m going to have to look up this Chiyome. What does she have to do with Christianity?

    Like

    The English Clergyman

    August 9, 2008 at 4:01 am


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