From Exclusion to Inclusion:
Feminist Interpretations of History
We all belong to one Spirit. Those who
oppress long for this belonging, but
ownership does not permit belonging….
If we are one with Creativity itself, if we
choose not to oppress, then the waters, the
land, the cosmos, and our fellow creatures
will teach us about belonging. The
belonging is to those who choose to be as
one with Life itself. And if we give up the
notion of owning some piece of creation
that is outside the sphere of our own
bodies and minds, we may belong.
"Dancing in the House of Wisdom" or
"Waltzing in Widsom Ways" means step-
ping and twirling—creating an interpre-
tative, communal dance and breaking out
of the rhythm of the rigidity of culturally
ascribed dance steps. I visualize a diverse
group of wo/men dancing in a circular
formation inside the pillars of an open-air
house—their dance circle open, ready to
accept the reader inside. The dance could
be edifying to the mind, body and spirit
of the reader.
THE FIRST QUOTE FROM THE WRITINGS OF THE WOMANIST SCHOLAR, Karen Baker-Fletcher, comes from her journal of reflections and the second from Linda Ellison in a paper written for "Gospel Stories of Women," taught by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza.1 With these quotes, two women depict in entrancing language the deep-seated feeling of one who longs to become a participant in the concord of the cosmos. The choice that we make not to own or oppress generates this aesthesis of the harmony of the elements that allows us to belong to the cosmos that is generated by the life-giving Spirit. Further, the image of the dancing goddess and her maidens invites women into the captivating, shared dance of participation in the task of revealing the intricacies of the Scripture. Among the religious symbolizations of this merging with the cosmos and the text through creativity and the renunciation of oppression is the goddess
1. Baker-Fletcher and Baker-Fletcher, My Sister, My Brother, 295–96.