Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Is This A Sign Of Things To Come??
My seminary, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, has just announced that for the first time in its 172 year history, it will have a WOMAN PRESIDENT!!!! Yes, it is true. Her name is Serene Jones, she is 48, and has been a professor at Yale Divinity School and Yale Law School for some time. She is an accomplished writer, and her specialty is gender studies and theology, particularly feminist/womanist theology. She is thrilled, of course, to be the first woman president, but said she would have been equally thrilled to be its 12th! I like her already. Here is another quote from Dr. Jones: "The Reality is that 8-percent of grassroots, faith-based programs are carried out by women practitioners, and the majority of seminar students today are women," she said. "However, women still run up against the stained-glass ceiling, and we need to understand that women's ministries and spiritual leadership are flowering, often outside ordained ministry." (Union News, Spring 2008, p 3)
Oh, you might recognize this seminary - it is also where James Cone, father of Black Liberation Theology teaches. I had the opportunity to study under him while at Union (1983- 86). Another name you might recognize, Dwight Hopkins, was a doctoral student there at the same time, and was my TA in Systematic Theology. I think I have written here before about Black Liberation Theology. I always got the impression that Black Liberation Theology, like Latin American Liberation theology, ALL liberation theologies, came from the place of Jesus standing with the oppressed. I never got the hate and anger we have seen displayed at Obama's church, certainly not when I was at Union either in class or chapel. Just sayin'.
Anyway, perhaps this is a sign of what is to come, a herald that we will ALL have a woman president in the coming year. Oh, dear goddess - that would certainly be the answer to a lot of prayers, mine included.
To Dr. Serene Jones (what a perfect name for a theologian, by the way), I say WELCOME to the Union community. I look forward to hearing more about your tenure there in the coming months and years!
(For more information on Dr. Jones, you can go here: http://www.utsnyc.edu/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=913&srcid=256)