Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Know Much About....

...lots of things, to be sure, but I have a particularly large science-shaped hole in my education. I don't have a handle, literally, on many scientific concepts. I might know science on some level, but I have no means to pick it up and wield it. Someday I will be able to identify this part of my brain that doesn't get spatial relationships, that can't picture how a room might look with different decor, and that doesn't grasp discussions of weight, orbits, chemical compounds, what have you. I think it is all related.

Anyway, some months ago I learned of Mary Daly's Ye Hedge School website. I was reading through it tonight, especially her discussion of Galileo. My verbal brain functions well enough that I can follow scientific discussions when they are all written in words, not graphs and equations. This is fascinating to me, and makes me want to read everything she has.

I purchased her book Creator and Creation a couple of months ago. At the time a friend was reading to my son and her daughter from a book designed to instill doubt about dinosaurs and the millions of years ago they presumably existed. What bothered me most about the book was the lack of honest debate and examining theories and evidence. The strong insinuation was that science and revelation were at odds, and revelation had to win, so we need to make science look bad. Daly makes the point strongly on her site that Scripture and science both come from God, and neither Scripture nor science should be nor need be done violence to to reach facts about our world.

All I can say is, I want to educate myself further in science, and reading her stuff seems a great place to do that.

Completely different topic, but I also love what she has to say about various issues regarding the "other" Mary Daly, the feminist. And I quote:

I do have a strong opinion about patriarchy.

Patriarchy is the first major step, historically, in the liberation of women. A woman always knows she is the mother of her child, and at the moment of birth, there's no denying it. Men can always say, "Who, me?" leaving the woman with the task of caring for the child in every way. It is when a man says, "This one's mine; I'm going to see that he's okay," that a woman gets the support she needs and can have a full and rich life. It can happen that patriarchy goes astray and becomes mere chauvinism, leaving the woman under the doormat, but as a first step, it is liberating, and we ditch it at our peril.

I also have a strong opinion about women being kept out of the sacred precincts of the Temple.

Again, a major step in women's liberation was accomplished when temple prostitution was rejected by a major world religion, and the cunning idea that sex, particularly sex outside family, is actually "religious" was flatly rejected.

Many women now seek to "enter the temple precincts" as ordained ministers. Well, part of the reason for this is that women do have religious leadership charisms which are not well able to function in a culture of divorce and Protestantism. The founding of religious orders and the family vocation are both rendered impractical in these cultural vacuums, and the only visible road for women's religious leadership is the men's. But I do not see the great religious women of our time in history seeking ordination; they seem to keep busy without it. Catholicism offers women certain opportunities that are hard to come by elsewhere.

There is a solution of course: cross the Tiber.

Love it!

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