The Family And The Unification Church Edited by Gene G. James

Women: Guilt, Spirituality and Family - Patricia Zulkosky

A woman knows guilt for most of her life. She is guilty if she is too assertive; she is guilty if she is too feminine and therefore seductive. She is guilty if she is too brilliant, too articulate, too successful. If she becomes pregnant, she is at fault. If she chooses not to have children, she is guilty at best of denying her true femininity; at worst, of murder. If her children are maladjusted -- if they fail at school, get involved with drugs, or exhibit inappropriate behavior it is her fault. And, if her marriage fails, if her husband loses interest and chooses the attention of another, it is because she has fallen short.

And, guilt is taking its toll. If violence against women has been recorded in foot binding, gynecological mutilation, rape and pornography, it is also being etched into the secret lives of women who turn against themselves in self-hatred; who lose themselves in alcohol, drugs, starvation diets -- or in the frenetic activity of trying to please everyone else.1

Guilt has emerged as a common theme in the lives of my female clients and friends. It appears to be especially acute as women find themselves trying to live up to the myth of the American middle- class woman and wife which calls for fulfillment through an identity derived from her husband and children. The social isolation women experience promotes the feeling that something is wrong with them personally; they just have to try harder or resign themselves to an unhappy situation. Only recently have women been sharing their stories and pain with each other and finding that they are not alone in their experience. This sharing is the impetus for the current in the women's movement that is calling for women to name their experience and to seek change. There has emerged a deep awareness of the interrelationship between individual women's experience and social systems such as the family, religion and other institutions. In this paper I will review the role of Christianity in the formation of woman's guilt and discuss its relevance to Unification theology and lifestyle. Then, I will discuss some of the changes in the family system that may result from and support the new identity of women, as women emerge from lives of guilt.

Valerie Saiving's 1960 essay "The Human Situation: A Feminine View" set forth the premise that the vision of the theologian is affected by the particularity of his or her own experience as male or female.2 She argues that the theological position which defines sin as pride and virtue as sacrificial love (as held by Reinhold Neibuhr and others) fails to illuminate woman's experience and further reinforces what might be considered "woman's sin" of self-forgetfulness and self-negation.3 Sue Dunfee further expanded this concept in her development of woman's sin as the "sin of Hiding":

Inasmuch as woman has accepted the name of "other" to the patriarchal culture; inasmuch as she has accepted a role, a place, a name without realizing her human freedom to name herself, she has been guilty of hiding. And, inasmuch as she has poured herself into vicarious living; inasmuch as she has denied her sense of self in total submission to husband/father/boss or in total self-giving to children, job or family, she has been guilty of the sin of Hiding. As she has been afraid to dream a dream for herself as well as for others, and as she has trained herself to live a submerged existence, she has hidden from her full humanity.4

The result of this misnaming of women's sin is the perpetration of patterns of bondage and repression that result in guilt. Dunfee argues that our understanding of guilt is rooted in our concept of the nature of sin and in the way religion names and proclaims forms of sin. While awareness of sin and guilt is balanced by the promise of forgiveness and love of God in Christianity, the guilt of woman does not seem to have known this same redemptive promise. Rather than guilt leading to the confession of sin and resultant forgiveness, guilt has led woman into the very cycle of bondage to guilt and patterns of destruction that the Christian faith is supposed to shatter. "Thus by encouraging woman to confess the wrong sin, and by tailing to judge her in her actual sin, Christianity has both added to woman's guilt and tailed to call her into full humanity."5

Both Saiving and Dunfee recognize that Christianity's contribution to the problem of woman's guilt is compounded by Christianity's call for women to emulate the virtue of self-sacrificial love which is synonymous with her sin. By making self-sacrifice, the inverse of pride, the paradigm of an authentic life, Christianity has given religious validation to the situation of oppression of woman

As long as the highest human virtue is self-sacrifice, and as long as the long-suffering, totally self-giving wife/ mother is the symbol our tradition uplifts as true woman, then woman cannot answer the call to accept her human freedom without knowing the guilt of being named by her tradition, as well as by herself, as assertive, self-centered, unfeminine -- and finally as a sinner. A theology which recognizes pride as the primary form of sin and which fails to understand that the sin of Hiding is an actuality hiding under the guise of self-sacrifice, and which fails to develop a teaching that the call of God to full humanity is the call into freedom to name oneself, to assert one's selfhood, and to know pride in one's self, seeks to perpetuate woman's bondage to her hiddenness. Furthermore, because self-assertion is equated with the sin of pride, the knowledge of her desire to be a self is often expressed by a woman with guilt and anxiety. Thus the need to be a self is placed in opposition to being the good woman -- the good wife and mother -- whose total devotion to others is her virtue. Not only then does woman know the guilt of submerged desire that puts her into hidden conflict with the virtues she is called upon to emulate, but that desire itself creates a state of guilt and anxiety within her. As long as the sin of pride remains the sin and as long as the sin of Hiding remains an un-named sin, woman is caught in a double bondage to her guilt.6

As a consequence, woman, cut off from herself, tries to strangle impulses to be both a woman and an individual in her own right as she speaks of such temptations as sin or as temptations to sin. She is the woman who constantly apologizes for having her own thoughts and who in her guilt hides her creativity because it seems too much like self-assertion. "She is the woman who is consumed by a guilt she can never assuage through total self-sacrifice because deep down it is a guilt goaded on by an even deeper sense of guilt -- the guilt of not being a self."7

It is important not to underestimate the power of religious concepts such as sin and virtue in a woman's experience of life. Religious symbols order human experience by providing an overarching framework within which to understand human life. By providing a picture of the ultimate context, religious stances integrate human experience primarily by encouraging commitment to specific values and goals. An overarching religious framework is not arbitrary addendum to an integrated human life but the very structure which provides a coherence and direction to our lives. Much of this orientating task is accomplished through stories.

Carol Christ points out the importance of stories in the introduction to her book, Diving Deep and Surfacing. "There is no experience without stories. There is a dialectic between stories and experience. Stories give shape to experience, experience gives rise to stories."8 Stories provide orientation to life's meaning; they are boundaries against which life is played out. Woman has lived in the interstices between her own vaguely understood experience and the shapings given to the experience by the stories of men. How much of women's experience has been suppressed in order to fit into the stories of men?

The recognition of these incongruencies expanded as Valerie Saiving, Mary Daly, Shelia Collins and others began to argue for "experience as a crucible for theology."9 It was only as women began telling woman's stories from a woman's point of view, and as women recognized experience as the grist of theological reflection that analysis such as that developed by Saiving and Dunfee began to emerge. Telling stories led to the recognition of common experiences and then to new female-oriented theological reflection as woman set about the task of naming herself and her experience.

This theological reflection based on woman's experience seems to be a catch-22, however. O n one hand it releases a burst of freedom and empowerment as women "hear each other into speech."10 On the other hand, terror emerges as the altered vision of reality forces woman to redefine her most basic commitments and values which often call upon her to upset the status quo. Thus the heroic and spiritual quest to confess the sin of Hiding is both challenging and threatening to women. The challenge to the would-be female hero is not the movement from arrogance or pride to humility as it is for the male, but rather to move from humiliation to self-affirmation and identity. The real question is whether or not Christianity can accept the challenge to convict woman of her real sin.

In summary I have said that guilt is a dominant feature of woman's experience. It is generated by the unsuccessful attempt to conform to the prescribed role model of being submissive, family-oriented and self-sacrificial. Further this role model is embedded in both the praxis and theology of religious institutions and as such has carried over into secular praxis and thought.

To evaluate the applicability of the sin of Hiding to woman in the Unification Church both the theology and the praxis must be considered. The theological consideration, based on The Outline of the Principle, Level 4, will focus on an explanation of sin and virtue in comparison to the concept of sin as pride and virtue as self-sacrifice presented earlier. The experiential discussion will focus on oral tradition, written tradition other than the Divine Principle, and m y personal experiences as a woman in the Unification Church.

The Unification view of sin, particularly of original sin, bears closer relation to the Catholic strain of thought which views sin as concupiscence than to the Protestant strain which understands sin as pride. In this sense, across-the-board comparisons cannot be made. However, Unification theology maintains the destructive image of woman as temptress that was reflected and perpetuated by Christianity's interpretation of the Fall.11

Since a tree reproduces itself by its fruit (which bears the seeds) and man reproduces by a sexual relationship, then the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes the sexual love of Eve. The fact that Eve ate the fruit which Satan persuaded her to eat means that she committed fornication with Satan. Since eating something means to make it a part of our flesh and blood, Eve's giving Adam the fruit of good and evil means that Eve caused Adam to fall through this same act of illicit love (p. 44).

Eve's sin was the root of sin, which bore fruit when Cam killed Abel (p. 144).

While these statements have not been developed in the oral tradition of the Unification Church in as explicitly sexist ways as Tertullian, Barth and others have done and continue to do, the tradition does not dispel the myths or images either.

In Unification theology, sin is an "act or thought which violates 'Heavenly law'" where Heavenly law is defined as "the principle as it applies to proper human conduct" (p. 51). Sin is most commonly understood as four fallen natures: (1) not loving as God loves; (2) leaving one's proper position; (3) reversing the order of rule; and (4) multiplication of sin (p. 53).

The Unification understanding of virtue is the inverse of its understanding of sin. The "Principle" as it applies to proper human conduct is best summarized in the Principles of Restoration which includes both restoration through indemnity (the condition that must be met in order for something to be restored to its original position or state, achieved by the reversal of the process which led to the loss of the original position or state (p. 107) and the Foundation for the Messiah. Without reviewing the entire Divine Principle understanding of the goal of creation, the process of the fall and the history of restoration, it is enough to say that all things that were lost at the fall of man [sic] need to be restored through the indemnity condition for removing the fallen nature. It we call Adam's position a mediator's position between someone in the position of servant (archangel position) and God, then someone in the servant's position (each fallen person) must: (1) love a person in the mediator's position, (2) receive God's love through someone in the mediator's position, (3) be obedient to and submit to a person in the mediator's position, and (4) learn God's way from a person in the mediator's position (p. 110). In short, fallen man [sic] must love, serve, and obey the person chosen by God to fill the mediator's position, with the goal of saving the world.

This view of virtue is perhaps best expressed in the song from Unification hymnody named "Call to Sacrifice."12

Come unite the world you soldiers of Truth,
chosen by God to carry His Word.
Till the world proclaims Him ruler of all,
every soldier must go forward to fight.
Offer God your life and desire,
uniting both body and soul.
We shall be the soldiers who can fulfill,
everything for God by doing His Will.

Join the fight, for the Lord
sacrificing all that you have.
Join the fight, win the world,
We will see -- Victory.

When we move to the praxis level of evaluation, a survey of official texts of Divine Principle, developments of the Principle such as those by Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology and Christian Thought, and Unification Theology, Unification hymnody, and books of brief excerpts from Rev. Moon's speeches such as A Prophet Speaks Today, we find nearly exclusive use of sexist language such as male imagery for God, and masculine pronouns and generic nouns that operate to enforce masculinist attitudes. Though the criticism of sexist language is trivialized in the Unification Church, there is an ever-growing mass of evidence from linguists, psychologists, feminists and others who recognize that words are symbols that profoundly and unconsciously affect us. Our thinking about God is important because it colors our self-image and interaction with others. To illustrate, I am reminded of a cartoon of a girl-child writing a letter: "Dear God, Are boys better than girls? I know you are one but please try to be fair." Women have just as much right as men to think of themselves in the image of God and to think of God as similar to them.

The Unification response is that it views God as being both masculine and feminine. Unificationists therefore feel they have the potential solution to some of the theological problems related to a traditional view of a "male" God. But what is the value of a view that holds God is both masculine and feminine, if it is not embodied in the theology, liturgy and devotional practices of the church? On the contrary, it may be detrimental.

A parallel situation is found in the Mormon Church which has a feminine image of God, a Heavenly Mother, equal in power and glory to a Heavenly Father God. But everyone still refers to God as "He." Prayers are addressed to God the Father, never to God the Mother. A Mormon colleague, Gale Boiling, made the astute observation that the Mormon concept of God as Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother is one reason why Mormon women do not take so readily to feminism. Boiling explains:

Mormonism has the "advantage" over a system that conceives of God in solely male terms in that women do not feel like outsiders. The image of deity and of religion as being a male club which excludes women is avoided. Mormon women never experience the shock that non-Mormon women do when they realize men are more like God than women are.

The same may be true for Unification women.

A second finding of the survey of Unification texts was the obvious lack of references to women. While the texts do not make blatantly negative remarks about women or contain statements defining the role of women, neither do they develop or even mention the role of women in providential history. Given the prominent role assigned to woman at the fall, woman's experience is painfully missing from the history of restoration.13 In fact, lack of female presence in the providence and the use of generic language, might give one the impression that women do not exist. This is one piece of evidence to support Sonia Johnson's observation that to live in a patriarchy means that the underlying assumption of one's entire world view is that anything of any importance is done by men.14 Women have even been blinded to their non-existence.

Feminist theologian Mary Daly points out many devices available to both men and women for refusing to see the problem of sexism.15 One way is trivialization. For instance, "Are you on the subject of women again when there are so many important problems?" Another way is particularization as illustrated by, "The feminists' problem is their unresolved resentment and anger; it is their personal problem." Still another way is spiritualization, the refusal to look at concrete oppressive facts. And the method of universalization is to reply, "But isn't the real problem human liberation?" Often these words are true but are used to avoid specific problems of sexism. Humor can also be a weapon of extraordinary power. Women are often silenced by the fear of being labeled as not having a sense of humor when they no longer find certain jokes funny or when they perceive them as offensive and painful.

Let us return to the technique of universalization long enough to respond to the comment that the Church is not oppressing women because it requires the same self-sacrifice and obedience from both men and women. While it is true that the same devotion is required from both men and women, the implication of this demand differs according to social position and training. The demand of self-sacrifice from a one-down group such as women, functions to keep them in a subservient position. On the other hand, the demand to sacrifice is beneficial to men who stand in a one-up social position because it encourages them to temper their prideful self-serving behavior encouraged by our society. In this sense, the church is better for men than it is for women. Let it also be recognized that men have far greater opportunity to be placed in positions of leadership. Women state leaders, regional fundraising commanders, graduate students and department heads are few and far between.

In short, the harbor of the theological concept of God as both male and female, the use of devices to prevent recognition of sexism and the lack of references to women in the restoration process all add up to a kind of hidden sexism -- at least it is hidden to many members of the Unification Church. It has been necessary for members to lower substantially their threshold of awareness in order to deny oppression. Hidden sexism is much more dangerous than blatant sexism because it is more difficult to recognize and point out the enemy and to demand change. Robin Morgan declared: "The subtlest and most vicious aspect of women's oppression is that we have been convinced we are not oppressed. We have been blinded so as not to see our own condition."16

In the meantime, women continue to experience the pains of patriarchy alone and without understanding. The most readable and enlightening expose of the pains women experience under patriarchal religion is Sonia Johnson's book, From Housewife to Heretic.17 She uses her experience and story to illustrate many experiences which I have also had in the Unification Church such as: divide and conquer techniques, exalted feminine rhetoric, the use of women to keep other women in their place, the appropriation of the church viewpoint as personal viewpoint without serious reflection and decision, reliance on male authority for direction in personal lives, holding the woman (the victim) responsible for feelings of worthlessness and depression, and compartmentalized thinking.

In conclusion, I feel there is adequate theological and experiential evidence to say that the sin of Hiding, and the guilt derived from the sin remaining unnamed, is a feature of women's experience in the Unification Church. It was my experience.

Can the Unification Church be responsive to the needs and pains of its women?

There are many things that could be done to strengthen the presentation of the Principle to make it more inclusive and applicable to women. Care could be taken to replace generic terms with inclusive terms, the role of women in providential history could be developed and more information about Mrs. Moon and other strong women in the church could be made available to members of the church to serve as role models. Efforts could be made to develop the understanding of the feminine aspect of God and to incorporate this understanding in the theology, devotion and hymnody of the Church. Perhaps the Principle could be taught using only female references to God as a consciousness-raising effort. These are a few obvious suggestions. A women's task force could be initiated to further explore the concerns and to make suggestions.

Will the Church respond? Will it be enough?

Some women are not so optimistic about the usefulness of patriarchal Christianity or Unificationism to solve the dilemmas women face. Instead, they are turning towards woman's experience, literature, stories and dreams as alternative sources of spirituality and identity. For these women the problem of guilt is not solved by renaming the sin and calling for repentance, but by rejecting the traditional notion of sin and evil. They are urging women to look deeply within themselves and society for meaning in life. The searching and sharing experience of hearing each other into speech is critical to this movement. Woman's spiritual and identity quest is seen as integrally related to the telling and hearing of women's stories.

The function of story is to provide orientation and meaning to life's flow. Until recently women have lived with the problem of being in a world where women's stories have rarely been told from a woman's perspective. The spiritual growth that emerges from the interaction of story and experience has been thwarted. Women need to develop the resources that will facilitate the spiritual quest of awakening to the depths of our souls and our position in the universe. Woman's experience must be the matrix out of which theological questions are formed and answered.

In Diving Deep and Surfacing Carol Christ documents this quest as depicted in literary heroines as they grew to understand themselves and to sense their own power and value in the world. She does not claim there is a universal spiritual quest for all women, but rather that there is religious meaning in uniquely female experiences.18

Shelia Collins suggests that the content of women's theology is the personal life history, the concrete daily experiences, dreams, frustrations, hopes, fears, and feelings of women who share struggle for life and for self-actualization. The theological form consists in storytelling, personal biography, poetry, song, dance, myths, images and symbols which emerge from a communal theologizing process.19 Religious development should spring up and out from within, rather than break in upon the person from without. There is a diversity of form and content to woman's spirituality. It is not necessary for women to share the same myths, stories, and experiences in order to share community. It is important that women share the process of creating and reflecting on imagery.

This process often begins by turning inward. Naomi Goldenberg suggests the loss of one's father, whether through physical death or through psychological growth away from his authority, is an event that generally precedes serious introspection and inward psychic movement. She goes on to theorize that "since introspection does follow the death of the father's, then death of father-gods could mean the onset of religious forms which emphasize awareness of oneself and tend to understand gods and goddesses as inner psychic forces."20 Goldenberg notes that persons who have outgrown the father god tend to place their gods within themselves and to focus on spiritual processes whose value they experience internally. Perhaps the psycho-religious age will be a mystical one which will emphasize continual observation of psychic imagery.21

Christ also stresses the mystical nature of woman's spiritual quest.22 It is ineffable, transient, insight producing and leads to integration with the powers of being. It leads to new self-awareness and self-confidence. Christ is clear that it is important for a woman to name her experience so that others may find validation in their experiences. This mystical experience provides the insight that woman's power stems from her clear understanding of her rootedness in nature and in her own personal past and also provides a sense of identity that can reduce guilt.

As we have seen, the inward process can be stimulated by the declining influence of the father or by naming the mystical experience. In a related way, Jung believed that people are engaged in spiritual activity when they follow the transformations of dream or fantasy.23 He developed instructions for dreaming the dream onwards through the method of active imagination so as to provide spiritual insight and meaning to life.

Up to this point I have been talking about story, myth, mystical experience and dream. Each is separate and yet interrelated. Each arises from, and reaches down into, the depths of a woman as both cause and effect, which is why they can transform guilt. All of these experiences are "imaginal aspects" of a psychic picture that a woman works to weave into reality. Spiritual depth and progress may depend on the ability to see tangible aspects of imaginal things and to act on them.

Transformation through the inward path is complemented by the theme of the "watcher" which Carol Christ finds in Doris Lessing's novels. The watcher is the part of a woman that observes, understands and becomes conscious of the deepened dimensions of experience. It is a receptive intelligence that specializes in waiting with purposefulness. It transcends conscious control and yet the woman learns to trust that whatever happens, wherever she goes, the process of living will provide her with opportunities to deepen her insight. The conscience arises from within rather than being imposed from without. Christ observes that:

An observing, connected, deepened consciousness is the source of the heroine's prophetic power. As she understands what is happening in herself, in the children, and in the world in which she lives, she comes to understand what will happen as a development of what is already happening.24

This organic prophecy is a part of spirituality wherein the personal also becomes the social and the political. The spirituality and identity of the woman is distilled from her concrete experience. "All that is visible must grow beyond itself, and extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order."25

In this discussion, guilt is reduced as women find that it is not their individual problem that they can't conform to the mythic ideal, but that it is a shared problem imposed by existing religious and secular societies. In this way the personal becomes the political, and women gain the impetus to strive for the recognition of alternative values. Guilt is no longer debilitating, but becomes empowering within the context of a support system. This approach allows women to develop a new self-image -- based not on the self-sacrificial role of woman that Christianity has come to value -- but in women trusting their own personal and community experience.

But Christ, Goldenberg and others take the argument still further, claiming it is not possible for women to construct a new role through limiting themselves to psychological process. Women need a female role model, the goddess, as an affirmation of the legitimacy and beneficence of female power. Guilt cannot be removed in the existing patriarchal system.

Religions centered on the worship of a male God keep women in a childish state of psychological dependence on men and male authority, while at the same time legitimating the political and social authority of fathers and sons in the institutions of society. The damage done to women by exclusively male symbolism in religion and culture is both psychological and political; women feel their own power is inferior or dangerous and they therefore give over their will to male authority figures in family and society.

Madonna Kolbenschlag states that matriarchal religious experience provides an antidote to many of the excesses of patriarchal experience:

It exorcises archetypal images through a process of renominization; it overcomes transcendent instrumentality in immanence; it derationalizes religious experience through recovery of mysticism and the "numinous"; it replaces clerical elitism with the authority of the individual; it demystifies transcendent religion by identifying divine power within natural energies.27

Christ suggests three possible meanings to the symbol of the goddess: (1) the Goddess as divine female, as personification who can be invoked through prayer and ritual, (2) the Goddess as symbol of life, death and rebirth energy in nature and culture, in personal and communal life, (3) the Goddess as symbol of affirmation of the legitimacy and beauty of female power. Each explanation can be appropriate for different individuals as they make the symbol primary while allowing for different interpretations. Regardless of the meaning one chooses the Goddess still serves the same functions: (1) the affirmation of female power, (2) the affirmation of the female body, (3) positive valuation of the will, ("A woman is encouraged to know her will, to believe that her will is valid, and to believe that her will can be achieved in the world").28 and (4) the revaluation of mother-daughter relations and women's heritage. Goddess imagery provides one role model and positive image of womanhood to enable women to escape from the bondage of guilt.

Regardless of the approach taken to minimize guilt, it is a necessary movement for modern women. I hope it is clear that the guilt of which I am speaking is not the guilt that arises from being guilty of a crime, but is the guilt a woman feels as she becomes aware that her inward promptings which call her toward full personhood extend beyond or fly in the face of traditional social roles. Perhaps she is guilty of the social crime of upsetting the status quo. The guilt emerges in countless ways since the decision to assert one's self is a decision that affects the people she cares about -- husband, children, family. Because of a family's organic interdependency and its unconscious structure, it is often difficult for one person to change and grow unless the whole family system changes in directions that support the woman's growth or unless the woman leaves the family and establishes a new network of support. This problem is compounded by the need for society to change to support a changing family structure. In this context I want to discuss the impact of woman's growth on the family.

Families are the basic system of "people making" in all human societies. A family is a primary social organism with a distinctive identity or personality of its own, which is more than the sum of its parts. There is an organic interdependency such that the functioning of any one part of the system reflects and influences the interaction of all parts of the whole organism. The behavior, attitudes, values, and patterns of relating of individual family members are shaped by the family structure and social expectations. These include unconscious family rules, expectations, values, taboos, beliefs, patterns of communication, and distribution of power among its members. This dynamic structure can frustrate or facilitate the growth of all its members. Therefore, we need to look at some of the dynamics that influence the process of family growth.

Virginia Satir has identified four family dynamics that encourage growth. First, each member feels and supports each other's self worth. Second, persons communicate in clear, direct and honest ways. Third, the implicit rules are fair, flexible and open to negotiation as the family's situation changes. Fourth, families are open systems that have a broad system network beyond themselves.29 Though these qualities may seem obvious, they are often extremely difficult to implement, especially in the face of change. A family can go through the motions of change while attitudes and expectations remain rigid, leading to still more guilt.

Calling women into account for their sin of Hiding necessitates the development of a new symmetrical family where there is a minimal division of work along sexual lines. Until recently, it has been popularly thought that men and women have complementary psychological needs and conjugal roles. The male was the provider and the female was the nurturer. This led to the misconception of viewing persons as half-persons who are dependent on the other, rather than promoting the more balanced view of two whole persons relating in mutual interdependence. Furthermore, the process of overvaluing the role of the provider has led to the undervaluing of other significant roles of men such as husband, father and human being. Nurturing should not be defined as mothering but as parenting. Emerging from hiddenness for women involves developing their strong, assertive and rational potentials and integrating them with their other skills.

Another concept that needs modification is that of the home as haven or escape from the world at large. It cannot successfully stand as the sole sanctuary of moral nurturance and emotional strength. We need to let go of the exclusivity of marriage by recognizing that one person cannot meet all of the needs of another. We need more friends, networks, and involvement beyond the couple, balancing time spent together, with others, and alone. In order tor this to work, our understanding of work has to be modified so that it too can be a source of nurturance and emotional strength. Far reaching changes on every level of social interaction are needed for women to grow beyond the social guilt they are now experiencing.

Kolbenschlag feels that women are at the center of this spiritual and social transformation. She summarizes some of the signs that distinguish a woman in the process of authentic liberation: (1) their capacity for ethical choice will increase, (2) an increased capacity for religious experience will parallel development in ethical maturity, (3) the woman will accept responsibility for her own inner life, (4) the concept of sin and virtue will undergo radical inversion; we will be required to do no harm to no one and to no thing, (5) there will be a recognition and transmutation of anger, (6) there will be a convergence of the two powerful energies of politicization and contemplation.30

The dimensions of change I have outlined in this paper are but a very few of the dimensions that will need attention as women take or receive permission to emerge from Hiding. The needed changes are so extensive that we might do well to look at Utopian novels for possible visions, rather than discuss each dimension individually; though we need both the vision of another way of relating and the mechanism by which we can change the existing system. This is our community task.


1 Sue Dunfee, "Beyond Violence, Beyond Guilt," for the conference "Beyond Violence -- Facets of a New Vision," 6-7 Nov. 1981, Claremont, Calif., p. 1.

2 Valerie Saiving, "The Human Situation: A Feminine View," Womanspirit Rising, ed. Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow (New York: Harper and Row, 1979), p. 25.

3 Ibid., p. 37.

4 Dunfee, p. 8.

5 Ibid., p. 2.

6 Ibid., pp. 8-9.

7 Ibid., p. 11.

8 Carol P. Christ, Diving Deep and Surfacing: Woman Writers on Spiritual Quest (Boston: Beacon, 1980), p. 5.

9 Shelia Collins, A Different Heaven and Earth (Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson Press, 1974), pp. 33-45.

10 Nelle Morton, "Hearing into Speech," A Sermon given at Claremont School of Theology, 27 April 1977, p. 1.

11 Elizabeth Clark and Herbert Richardson, Women and Religion (New York: Harper and Row, 1977); Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father (Boston: Beacon, 1973), pp. 44ff.

12 "Call to Sacrifice," Holy Songs (New York: Unification Church), p. 20.

13 The two brief references to women in restoration history are found in Outline to the Principle: Level 4 (New York: Holy Spirit Assn. for Unif. of World Christianity, 1981), on p. 144 paragraph F, which refers to Rebecca's role in Jacob's mission, and on p. 196 which refers to the need for an "Eve" country in WWII.

14 Sonia Johnson, From Housewife to Heretic (New York: Doubleday, 1981), p. 376.

15 Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father (Boston: Beacon Press, 1973), p. 5.

16 Robin Morgan, Going Too Far (New York: Village Books, 1978), p. 96.

17 Johnson, p. 376.

18 Christ, Diving Deep, pp. 3-4.

19 Collins, p. 208.

20 Naomi Goldenberg, The Changing of the Gods (Boston: Beacon, 1979), p. 41.

21 Ibid., p. 120.

22 Christ, Diving Deep, p. 22.

23 Ibid., p. 67.

24 Ibid., p. 71.

25 Mary Ester Harding, Women's Mysteries (New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1971), p. 151.

26 Carol P. Christ, "Why Women Need Goddesses," paper presented at American Academy of Religion Convention, 1977, p. 3.

27 Madonna Kolbenschlag, Kiss Sleeping Beauty Goodbye (New York: Doubleday, 1979), pp. 188-89.

28 Christ, "Why Women Need Goddesses," p. 14.

29 Howard Clinebell, Contemporary Growth Therapies (Nashville: Abingdon, 1981), p. 220.

30 Kolbenschlag, pp. 193-96. 

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