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Many Catholics, as well as Christians from other denominations, have a habit of talking about God as though God were masculine or even male. Some Catholics will even affirm that they believe God is masculine, and that referring to God as anything other than masculine is theologically questionable or even sinful. After all, two of the three divine persons of the Trinity are specifically designated with male names: the Father and the Son. Jesus called God “Father” and taught his disciples to pray accordingly. And in a faith tradition with all-male leadership, people may be accustomed to thinking that the masculine is essentially superior.
But does this mean God is male or masculine? Or that Catholics are obliged to think of the divine exclusively in masculine terms?
On this episode of the podcast, hosts Emily Sanna and Rebecca Bratten Weiss talk to Dominican Sister Barbara Reid about whether God has a gender and how considerations about gender identity are connected with our talk about God. Reid is the president of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She has written numerous books, including feminist interpretations of scripture, and has been honored for her pioneering work in feminist Biblical studies.
You can read more about this topic in these links:
- “Does God have a gender?” by Sister Barbara E. Reid, O.P.
- “How we read Scripture can help or hinder efforts toward gender equality” by Sister Barbara E. Reid, O.P.
- “Reimaging God: An interview with author Jessica Pegis” A U.S. Catholic interview
- “Stop (only) calling God ‘he’” by Meghan Murphy-Gill
- “Can we call God ‘Mother’?” by Katherine Attanasi
- “Consider a different meaning of ‘God the father’” by Emily Sanna
Glad You Asked is sponsored by the Claretian Missionaries.