Magazine article The Christian Century

Re-Re-Imagining in Minnesota

Magazine article The Christian Century

Re-Re-Imagining in Minnesota

Article excerpt

A theological conference held in Minneapolis in November 1993 was denounced by some as "heretical" and "pagan" and praised by others who saw it as the "second Reformation." In the wake of controversy that still hasn't quieted, another conference with the same theme of "Re-Imagining" was held November 3-4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The conference was sponsored by the Re-Imagining Community, a nonprofit organization based in the Minnesota Church Center in Minneapolis, which seeks to continue the work of the first Re-Imagining conference.

After the 1993 gathering, reports circulated that the conference had engaged in goddess worship and that participants had applauded the presence of lesbians; consequently, members in some supporting denominations threatened to withhold contributions and to withdraw their memberships. The backlash resulted in the firing of at least one denominational executive and rebukes to others.

Like the 1993 conference, this year's gathering sought fresh ways of understanding faith, God and the Bible from a feminist perspective. There were songs, prayers, worship and sacred dances that invoked the spirit of Sophia, who, the program explained, is "a figure who appears throughout the scriptures as a female personification of the wisdom of God. To her are attributed the same works of creating and ordering the universe as elsewhere are attributed to Yahweh."

A Catholic nun, Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter, professor of liturgy, worship and spirituality at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, made several presentations preparing the "talking circles" for dialogue about issues of faith. …

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