Liberation Theology: Human Hope Confronts Christian History and American Power

By Rosemary Radford Ruether | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

Mother Earth and the
Megamachine: A Theology of
Liberation in a Feminine,
Somatic and Ecological Perspective

Christianity, as the heir of both classical Neo-Platonism and apocalyptic Judaism, combines the image of a male, warrior God with the exaltation of the intellect over the body. The Classical doctrine of Christ, which fused the vision of the heavenly messianic king with the transcendent logos of immutable Being, was a synthesis of the religious impulses of late antique religious consciousness, but precisely in their alienated state of development. These world-negating religions carried a set of dualities that still profoundly condition the modern world view.

All the basic dualities—the alienation of the mind from the body; the alienation of the subjective self from the objective world; the subjective retreat of the individual, alienated from the social community; the domination or rejection of nature by spirit—these all have roots in the apocalyptic-Platonic religious heritage of classical Christianity. But the alienation of the masculine from the feminine is the primary sexual symbolism that

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