Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
As a historical account of the ministry of Jesus or the life of the early church, the biblical writings do not tell us how it actually was but how its religious significance was understood.
While the a-sexual and a-familial ethos of early Christianity is often misunderstood as antisexual and antiwomen, it actually is an indication of a "role-revolt" which allowed women to "legitimately" move out of the confines of the patriarchal family and to center their life around the spiritual self-fulfillment and independence that gave them greater respect, mobility, and influence. Historical expression of the middle-class male writers: S. Johansson has shown that the misogynist polemics of male writers, theologians, and historians must be understood as expressions of middle-class men whose psychic and economic reality were heavily determined by daily competition, and who therefore sought to maximize the "natural" difference between women and men in order not to be replaced by women. While in aristocratic society women of the upper classes were expected to substitute for men during times of war of death, middle-class men did not depend on the loyalty and resources of women of their class, but on using family resources with maximum effectiveness. Since masculine identity for middle-class men of urban cultures is produced by intensive socialization and expensive education, "temperamental and occupational similarity between women and men threatened the economic, psychological, and social security of middle-class dominated families." While middle-class men produce symbolic and literary expressions of gender dimorphism and misogynism, peasant and working-class life is commonly shot through with symbolic manifestations of male superiority….Men who experience daily humiliation and frustration because of their economic and social disadvantages find their most important form of solace in looking down on and abusing women. This psychological cushion against oppression makes class exploitation more bearable; perhaps as some feminists argue, it makes it more durable." pages 90-91 Methodological notes: The glorification as well as the denigration or marginalization of women in Jewish texts is to be understood as a social construction of reality in patriarchal terms or as a projection of male reality. ….. Women’s actual social-religious status must be determined by the degree of their economic autonomy and social roles rather than by ideological or prescriptive statements. " pages 108-109 Theological thoughts **"It is the festive table-sharing at a wedding feast, and not the askesis of the "holy man," that characterizes Jesus and his movement." page 119 "**Since the reality of the basileia for Jesus spells not primarily holiness but wholeness, the salvation of God’s basileia is present and experientially available whenever Jesus casts out demons (Luke 11:20), heals the sick and the ritually unclean, tells stories about the lost who are found, of the uninvited who are invited, or of the last who will be first." pages 120-121 **"However, this future is mediated and promised to all members of Israel. No one is exempted. Everyone is invited. Women as well as men, prostitutes as well as Pharisees." page 121 **"The earliest gospel strata assert again and again that Jesus claimed the basileia for three distinct groups of people: (1) the destitute poor, (2) the sick and crippled; and (3) tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes. **While the sick and possessed are easily seen as belonging to the poor and starving to whom the basileia is promised, exegetes usually see the moral but not the social predicament of tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes." pages 122-126 "To sum up, the Palestinian Jesus movement understands the ministry and mission of Jesus as that of the prophet and child of Sophia [wisdom] sent to announce that God is the God of the poor and heavy laden, of the outcasts and those who suffer injustice. . . . . The suffering and death of Jesus, like that of John and all the other prophets sent to Israel before him, are not required in order to atone for the sins of people in the face of an absolute God, but are the result of violence against the envoys of Sophia who proclaim God’s unlimited goodness and the equality and election of all her children in Israel." page 135 Women’s role in the ministry and status of Jesus "Galilean women were not only decisive for the extension of the Jesus movement to the gentiles but also for the very continuation of this movement to gentiles but also for the very continuation of this movement after Jesus” arrest and execution. Jesus’ Galilean women disciples did not flee after his arrest but stayed in Jerusalem for his execution and burial. These Galilean women were also the first to articulate their experience of the powerful goodness of God who did not leave the crucified Jesus in the grave but raised him from the dead. The early Christian confession that "Jesus the Nazarene who was executed on the cross was raised" is, according to the pre-Markan resurrection story of Mark 16:1-6, 8a, revealed in a vision first to the Galilean women disciples of Jesus. Dissolving patriarchy "in the world" of the living God patriarchal marriage does not exist either for men or for women. They neither marry nor are given in marriage but are "like the angels in heaven." The eschatological being of men and women "like the angels or heavenly messengers" must be understood with reference to the first part of the sentence. It is not that sexual differentiation and sexuality do not exist in the "world" of God, but that "patriarchal marriage is no more," because its function in maintaining and continuing patriarchal economic and religious structures is no longer necessary. This is what it means to live and be "like the angels" who live in "the world" of God." page 144 In God’s world women and men no longer relate to each other in terms of patriarchal dominance and dependence, but as persons who live in the presence of the living God. "The saying of Jesus in v. 35 [Mark 3:35], "Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother," which could have been circulated originally without the narrative context of vv. 31-34, is similar to Luke 11:28. Those who live the gracious goodness of God are Jesus’ true family, which includes brothers, sisters, and mothers, but, significantly enough, no fathers. The exclusion of fathers from the "true family" of Jesus cannot be explained by biographical references or by reference to God as the true father of Jesus, since Mark 10:30 also omits fathers. However, "mothers and sisters," that is, women, are clearly included among the followers of Jesus." page 147 it implicitly rejects their power and status and thus claims that in the messianic community all patriarchal structures are abolished." page 147