Hermeneutics and The Shape of the Future - Edited by Frank K. Flinn


Frederick Sontag: I don't believe that a paper should be apologized for but I want still to say a little about mine. Namely, a week ago yesterday on Friday I received a telephone call saying where was my paper, and my answer was: You never asked me for one. Between last Friday and the time I left I tried to do a paper. They said do anything you want. I didn't think I could do a sort of critique of Divine Principle eschatology in that short a time so I quickly did a kind of statement of my own on what I think some of the problems are in using the future.

But let me say a few things about some of the strengths and weaknesses that I see in Unification eschatology. First, I think that God is free. This is a decided advantage. It allows for principles and contingencies and the future to be kept open. My critique of Unificationism is that God is limited to the Principle and cannot intervene except in ways in which the Principle allows. As far as the new future is concerned, it does allow for God's initiating action. Klaus makes this point in his paper. The Unification movement's announcement that this has already taken place leads to an air of excitement which is an attractive quality. However, it may fail. This is part of the doctrine and God will want to try again. But this makes God a prisoner of his own system. As someone mentioned yesterday, every theologian has commented on what God cannot do, but I do believe this isn't a fixed notion. I would not want to limit God to acting within the Principle. The main claim, I think, for the eschatology is that the new family has been begun and the restored family is established. We want to ask, what can be pointed to as evidence of the change and God's present action? I once asked a member, what makes you think it will succeed? He said, "Because it is already more than fifty percent on its way." That is a crucial kind of feeling. The sense that restoration is already underway lends a sense of campaign and urgency to the movement, but this sense, I think, is probably behind most of the mistakes that the Unification Church has made and has brought it in for criticism. They are in a hurry. My own conviction is that God has not fixed the eschatological plan yet nor finally determined to work through human interests. I am not convinced that that is a viable way in which to bring in the eschaton. I think that Divine Principle, and those who believe in it, have an answer as to where they find the movement of the Holy Spirit in the present day. I cannot understand how anyone could be a "Moonie" who does not think that God is active in Rev. Moon and that he is the locus of the Holy Spirit's activities in the present day. My own feeling about this is that God could act in this way, but I do not think he needs to.

I want to make a couple of points on the other three papers. When Klaus finally gets around to Unification thought, he says that the manifestation of the effective presence of Jesus is already reached. Both the resurrection and judgment are invisible spiritual events. There is a problem with that. If they are essentially invisible, how do we test their presence, that is, how do we know that the resurrection is in a sense really within us? You can say that they are invisible and it gets you off the hook, but surely you have to point to some evidence that indicates that they are spiritually present. Now, I believe that every Unification member believes that they are present but you can't just hide behind invisibility. Just below that you say that according to Unification theology God has already acted and that the new history has begun. I do believe that is the claim and that is the basis for the eschatology -- not a future projection but something here and now. That gives excitement to the movement. The new family is an integral part of the kingdom, but how do you test this?

Dagfinn rejects my notion that the Principle is a new legalism or rigid code of behavior like the Old Testament and that we need to find release from it. He says Unificationists are not bound to that but he has not given any reasons for why they are not. Why aren't you bound to the Principle as a way of operation? You do show your side as non-eggheaded in the paper, (laughter) One of the characteristics of Rev. Moon's way, you say, is that he never seems to run out of surprises. Now what you are doing is appealing to the person versus the book. That is all right; I don't think Mr. Salonen will mind. Mr. Salonen told me that Rev. Moon was the great revolutionizer in the church. As soon as anybody settled down, something would happen and they would be stirred up again. But we are caught here -- you are appealing to Rev. Moon as a person versus the confines of the doctrine of the book. I think this is legitimate to do but it certainly puts us into a quandary. Then you say that history is seen in the light of the future. I am not really sure that that is Divine Principle. It is an interesting point -- and as you know I like it (laughter) -- that the Principle as it is now will eventually be superseded by a more direct and experiential way of knowing and living with God. Now that is a very revolutionary kind of notion; it is a touch from Zen that there shall be no text to which you shall be bound. If you are really going to claim that this is revolutionary, then unfortunately all the scholars like Tony and Klaus are going to have trouble because they love a definitive text. And if you are going to now preach that there is going to be a kind of experiential way of knowing God that is really an amazing, startling kind of definition and I hope that the board of investigation on unmoonie activities will call you up to account for that! (laughter)

As for the feminist critique, I have only a couple of things to say. This is quite different from the other papers here, so I have given ear. Lorine says women choose to abandon all myths, symbols, and traditions which devalue the feminine and exalt the masculine. I have a belief that, unfortunately, you can't put all people into one. My question is: all women? I am not convinced of that. Some women may, but you act as if every woman would do that, and I don't think that is correct. Either you have got to make the case as they all do now or that they all will. There are many, many women who simply don't do that. They don't reject the ancient myths. In a very similar vein you say that only theology which adequately reflects a woman's own lived experience and promises a different future can be accepted. Again my question is: by whom? I am not convinced that all women will abide by that injunction on your part. Secondly, you make an even more important assertion, that there is a single experience for all women. I am not convinced of that. I know that is not my wife's notion and she would insist that she is a woman! (laughter) There is a kind of an assumption of a uniform position here which I am not really convinced is justified.

Klaus Lindner: Thank you for your comments, Professor Sontag. I want to start with Lorine's paper. I liked Lorine's paper because it made constructive comments, especially in the conclusion, which I agree with. I think that the things you do not want, Divine Principle also doesn't want. I think that Unification men may be the only Christian men who can express with women like you the hope for the coming of woman as part of the Second Coming. Your criticisms are based on the way things are expressed in the text. You talk about how physical redemption comes about by the Messiah's relationship with the woman. That is not precisely the Unification position. It simply says that alone we cannot go past a certain point. Relationship does not mean a one-sided relationship. Both are influenced by each other and therefore it is not his relationship with her but precisely their relationship. It comes out in your paper as though the relationship with the woman is the physical aspect and individuality is the spiritual aspect. That is not what the Principle really wants to say. On the same page you say that the concept of the kingdom of God in heaven is not developed. I think that it is developed in terms of the spiritual kingdom of heaven after death. There is a whole chapter on the spiritual world and how people will live there. It is developed much more than in traditional Christian eschatology. Also, we would usually take as a strength that God is seen precisely as relational, as related to people.

You say the deeper cultural psychological structures of dualism prevail because God remains in the subject position. Unificationists really believe that the subject-object relationship in perfection is not something that set. Perfection is an interchangeable thing. Even the relationship with God in perfection is not just a subject-object relationship. God always remains God, bur a human being who has a perfect relationship with God can take the subject position. I think all Unificationists would agree with me that this is a very essential part of the teaching. Many of the people in the Unification Church also see that there is an inherent problem with naming God just father, and I think in Unification theology the image of God is actually the image of true parents. We also try to put more into the father image because of that, but I agree that ultimately to call God "father" is a problem because you will always have to redefine it.

Finally, when you say that the bride of the Lord of the Second Advent is unidentified and is portrayed as completely passive and accepting, I think you should hear Mrs. Moon's testimony on that. At the time that Divine Principle was written she was maybe thirteen or fifteen so that was not yet clear, but there is certainly not the feeling that she is completely passive and has no course of equal responsibility to go through.

Briefly on Professor Sontag's paper -- I told him already that his criticisms are very cogent but what I don't think he can offer is an alternative. He says that the only theological answer is a God of sufficient power and sufficient independence to alter history and that this God will be able to deliver on his promises. The problem is that the God who is completely independent from man raises the question why, in fact, that God did not alter history. I prefer the Unification alternative here as a solution to the more traditional one.

Lorine Getz: I thought it would be possible to put our papers in context in the beginning. In response to Fred, I wrote my paper specifically from the position of post-Christian feminist, a perspective I assumed people would perceive as they read this through. A similar kind of problem arises when someone says "You know, all Blacks believe...." Obviously there are all kinds of positions among Blacks. In order to make clear distinctions I took what I thought to be the most radical of the women's critique and left out all the nuances. I did the same thing with Divine Principle. There are all kinds of nuances in Divine Principle, especially regarding how it is lived. Not only what is in the book is relevant -- note the point about Mrs. Moon, for example. I am dealing here exclusively with the text and what I see to be the problems in the text. Let me just point out further that the graphics in the green handbook1 put women only in the object position. I think this is a prevailing problem in the texts of the church.

As I read Fred's and Dagfinn's papers it seemed to me that they both defined God as powerful and insisted on his freedom, an attribute that I can appreciate. But I found their concepts of God to be so edited into an ahistorical mode that God cannot be understood as entering into any relationship whatsoever. I find that problematic. The other problem which is one I see repeated in Christian history is the question of Jesus' meaning and whether his life or death or resurrection has continuing importance to us. To describe the meaning of Jesus as the hope and the tragic loss does not help me any. When you tell any minority -- or oppressed group member that the promise lies precisely in a tragic loss -- that is the same as saying there is hope and no help at all. I find that somewhat problematic. The third point that I wonder about is the question of whether you perceive there to be the possibility of the development of spiritual life based on relationship between humans and the divine? If so, does that give us some kind of spiritual link whereby we can develop in some specific direction?

With Klaus' paper I had the feeling that I was specifically at a disadvantage. I am not really conversant with the Protestant theology of history. My question to him deals specifically with the new history, the new family, and the new man. It seemed to me, Klaus, that you wanted to link Divine Principle right into the heart of Christian tradition and to say that Divine Principle picks up the eschatological expectations of the Judeo-Christian tradition. My experience is that for most of the rest of the Judeo-Christian tradition the eschatological expectation is dead. My interest in Divine Principle is that it is not an attempt to revive something that is dead but initiate something that is new, exciting, and to be pursued. I don't sense the need to baptize it right into the old tradition. Why not just go ahead with its own new message?

Dagfinn, I was very excited about your paper, though I may need some corrections to my understanding of it because I was reading it in keeping with my Jungian perspectives. You highlight the relational aspects of Divine Principle and present an indication of psychological development which I have found singularly unexpressed previously. You want to define most of what is going on in terms of understandable relationships with a significant human and divine base. I find there to be a lot of creative possibility within that kind of definition.

Dagfinn Aslid: It is tempting to respond, of course, to both of you but I will try to play it by the ground rules. I'll start out by making some comments on Dr. Sontag's paper. There might be more likenesses between us than you think, Fred, and I hope this doesn't sound too sugary. I think we both affirm the important distinction between futurology and eschatology -- though both stress the fact that the future is not something that is extrapolated from history or the present but that the future is something that is new. This is an important point and is the basis for God's freedom to act. Now you ask, how can we be sure without imprisoning or constraining God by the Principle? This is a critique on just about every page in your paper. I don't see that our interpretation of history or even our expectations are "binding on God in a legalistic sense." I'll go more into that later. You ask how God is able to deliver his promises. Well, we cannot really be sure because it is always contingent upon humans, but I would say with many other theologians that the Old Testament in particular is testimony to the trustworthiness of God keeping God's part of the bargain. I would like to ask you a question. Why is it that God must be free of any need for human assistance? The interdependency, of course, is explicit in Divine Principle, and there are basic differences between us. I would just like you to expand on that a little bit.

On the notion of revelation, you do mention the essential need of revelation for eschatology. Here again I would stress a difference. When you speak of revelation it is essentially a super naturalistic type of revelation whereas we speak more in a neo-Thomistic sense of harmony between reason and revelation and would insist that this is not contradictory to a significant eschatology.

As a converted "Moonie," I have to affirm that the resurrection event is also stressed. It is not very much stressed, but sufficiently stressed. It is the source for Christian hope. You ask, why is God's action now restoring the life which failed? I am not sure if you mean this regarding Jesus or regarding more psychological applications to the human situation. When you say "source of hope" based on "the reversal of tragic loss," that is something quite explicit in our view of history and our view of the present situation. It is a hope which has the side of hopefulness in spite of many failures, a persistent hope which continues. I think we differ on this. Your ground for hope is different from ours. As Lorine pointed out, she doesn't see the realism in your hope due to the ahistorical tendencies of your existentialist position, whereas we ground our hope in a more historical perspective.

You say God must be capable of change. I am sure you don't mean that in a process sense of a consequent nature to God. I would appreciate some resonance from Durwood Foster on this point. You mention very significantly the affinities between a process perspective and the Unification perspective.

In my response to Lorine's paper, I agree that it is absurd to have a bunch of males sitting here working out a feminist theology and christology. I am glad that we had the sense to include women in the forum. My reaction is affirmative of your paper. I have made a definite step to change at least my language. I try to avoid using the male pronouns and the rest. This is part of being at Claremont and the concern with using inclusive language. This is a lesson that we need to learn in our church because our church, in being as new as it is, doesn't have to be afraid of changing keys or feeling so threatened by this as many traditional churches which are rigidified. Lorine, you say Divine Principle speaks of equality, etc., but on the whole this is just so many words. You intimate that our practice doesn't verify our ideas. In a sense that is right -- we haven't as yet come to the point where we are ready to thematize these issues. When we do, we will need women theologians to work on it. You resonated to the concept of relationality which is prominent in my paper, although I agree with David Kelly that there isn't a simple solution. The important element of our vision of the future especially rests on its formation of the centrality of inclusiveness, the notion of ethics as richness and intensive experience. That is an ontology and a view that necessarily includes the female.

I appreciate your warning about the male symbols. That is something that has sneaked its way into our theology from the tradition. When you say the feminist turns to her experience, I can only say, Yes, this is something that we need in our theologizing. You critique christology as being that of the "macho prince," to caricature your own caricature. In Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany some sisters came and took the initiative in restoration. We also speak of our "true mother." This is not merely piety. There is a very theological significance in this, and I think it is something that definitely should be included in the canon of the Principle with time.

Patricia Zulkosky: It is difficult for me to speak as detachedly about the issue of Lorine Getz's paper as other people appear to be because I feel myself to be intimately involved with the issue. I am very grateful for what Lorine has done in terms other recognition of the situation, her way of bringing the situation to the attention of people, and also her initiative in gathering the women of the whole seminar together to discuss the situation. At this point I am going to leave my position as a Unificationist who defends Divine Principle in order to speak out on some of the ways that the theory does not match the practice. The theory has a great deal of potential in terms of bringing about the equality of men and women. In terms of the practice at this moment, I think we need to look at what women like myself have experienced.

Dagfinn makes comments about the role of Mrs. Moon. In the small discussion by women the question was raised about the role of Mrs. Moon: Ho w much can Mrs. Moon be a role model for me as a woman in the church? Frankly, I don't know anything about her. I think that this is just an indication of the kinds of directions in which the church needs to go. I haven't raised questions about women in leadership positions in the church or situations like that in which I myself feel that I have been burned at certain times in the church. I do not want to get into that kind of emotional issue but just to deal with some of the ways that we present ourselves. The worst thing in the green book is not the language but the pictures. If someone doesn't read this book -- and you well know that people don't read books very much, at least a lot of the people that we are trying to reach -- they will go through and they will look at only the pictures. They convey a deeper meaning or impression beyond the words.

I am really frustrated by the situation. I believe in the theology and the potential development of Unificationism. My plea to you is, if you feel the way I do, make those feelings well known. I don't think there has been enough opportunity for women in the church to make this kind of point. It is not the problem of everyone in the church and, as someone was saying, not all women feel this way. But I do think that it is a problem of everyone who becomes sensitized to the issue. Any oppression becomes that much greater when you are aware that you are being oppressed, and until you become aware of that then it doesn't matter to you. There are a lot of times in my life in the church and other times when I have felt what was happening to me was happening to me because of my personality. I have some rough edges that need working on. On the other hand, when women get together and start to share their experiences, and it turns out that every woman in the group is sharing the same experience and rationalizing that experience by saying it is her personality, then it becomes clear that it is not only my personality but our culture. Since we have the possibility of being flexible in the development of our theology and lifestyle, I really hope that we make the best of that to try to set a model of equality between men and women in a way that I think only Divine Principle offers to the world.

Nora Spurgin: I would just like to say that I appreciate Lorine's understanding. Theologically, I think we have a framework where men and women can be equal to an extent that hardly any other theology does. We are also evolving and developing. It is important that we look at how we can really make our practice follow our theological framework. I do think that in the Divine Principle understanding of God's making of man and woman, there is an essence of masculinity and femininity apart from the objects within which they dwell. I think these essences are within both men and women to varying degrees and in varying ways.

It is also interesting that our view of God is that God is not just an initiating being but also responsive to our suffering. It is quite different from a view of God as one who creates the world and then doesn't have any feeling for it and closes himself off and remains aloof from the impact of what is going on. Our view of God includes responsive energy and that is a kind of nature which maybe we label as feminine.

I personally haven't been so burned in the church by any of the male leadership although there are times when things happen. For example, not so long ago my secretary was taken away from me and I wondered if that would have happened if I was a man. But in general, I haven't felt that I have personally been unfulfilled because of the situation I'm in. I am in a situation now where I am a mother and a wife, and I feel that the church has provided quite a broad range of opportunities for me. We are developing a lot, and we as increasingly enlightened women want to be a part of the process of life, a part of planning the future. We have to be aware of it. I do believe that we have a lot of things to work out and I also believe that some of them will get worked out. But I don't think that they will get worked out easily.

Frank Flinn: I am going to shift back to the earlier discussion. Lorine, this is not a put down. I'm going to argue standard, mainline, orthodox Roman Catholic theology. Right now I think that I see a deficiency in Divine Principle in terms of the theology of creation. Creation is first by separation. The root idea of the word barah in Hebrew, in the ordinary sense, means to cut in two or divide. That sense is preserved in the Hebrew piel form. This means that there are irreducible structures in the creation. When God talks about man and woman in Genesis chapter one, the words should not be translated, "male" and "female" but "masculine" and "feminine." The words are not ish and ishah, as in Genesis chapter two, but zakhar and nekebah. They are linguistically unrelated yet both are in the image of God. If I read Genesis I rightly, it is saying that the masculine is irreducible to the feminine, and vice versa, and that is what the image of God is. Now it is in the second account of creation that you get male/female or man/woman imagery coming. That has to do with the fall and the fall is a distortion of the structure of creation. One of my cavils with Unification theology is that I see that creation as separation is prior to creation as relatedness, i.e., logically prior to. Unificationists see creation only as relatedness.

Another point I would like to add is about the bodily resurrection. I believe that I am going to be raised in my body. The reason that I believe that I am going to be raised in my body is that when God created the world he created a material world and a spiritual world and they are equally good. This is why I believe in the resurrection of the body. You have to go back to the doctrine of creation to make sense out of the theology of resurrection. When Unificationists get charged with being gnostics, it is precisely on this point that they are going to get charged with being gnostics. Unification does not deal with the doctrine of resurrection except in a vague Pannenbergian, futuristic sense.

Andrew Wilson: I would like to consider whether we have a problem with sexist language and if so, whether it also gets into our ontology. David made the point that our ontology was not so bad but that our language is. When we talk about subject and object in Divine Principle we say that all these subject-object relationships work within in the same ontological unit which is the four position foundation. In the four position foundation there is the concept of the triple objective purpose, namely, that every one of the four positions must serve at some point as subject to the other three positions. In other words, in the family, sometimes the father is object and the mother subject. Sometimes the child is subject. Sometimes God is subject, and sometimes we are subject in our relationship to God. This ontology implies a radical equality of value and of relationship not only in terms of man and woman but by the same reasoning in terms of human beings and God.

It means that we cannot think of God only as our father, but also as our child and as our husband or wife and so on. By the same token this ontology completely denies the basis for an authoritarian social structure. It means that our social structure must involve this kind of consensualness which Steve Post talked about. If we want to be consistent -- I am not sure if we want to be consistent here but I hope we want to be -- this means that the resolution of the problem of the role of women is bound up with the problems of our social structures in general. The relationship between leader and follower in the Unification Church has been criticized many times by Rev. Moon himself as too dictatorial in terms of how people relate to each other. Unification ontology cannot support that kind of authoritarian relationship by the same ontological argument that it cannot support male domination. If we want to hold to our ontology, we have to tie all of these things together.

David Kelly: And, if you can develop and show in Divine Principle and Unification thought that indeed you believe that we create God, that this relationship is both ways, that God is not only parent but also human child, this is the first time I have heard that idea here. If this is accurate, I will withdraw my charge of ontological sexism on the subject-object issue.

Stanley Johannesen: I would like to address myself to this. My notion of human culture is that the range of personality types we deal with starting at the most elementary and original level is related to sex roles. I think in any human society there is the trickster, the willing worker, the fool, even the misogynist, the wife, the Sibyl, the whore, the scholar. Some of these roles are not sex specific. One of the ways that you can define cultures is the way in which different societies pattern all these possible social types to give them functions, to reward or to suppress certain types. I want to get back to the idea about counterculture. A counterculture within a larger culture can rearrange those allocations to a certain degree but only to a limited extent. The Unification Church seems to exhibit a very high degree of congruence between the kinds of people that it rewards or the personality types that it finds valuable and the personality types that the wider culture finds valuable. This is your point, Tony. It is a cooperative counterculture, oriented towards success for instance. It is not a counterculture that despises the rewards of personal or material success. Bureaucratically it exploits individual talent in a way that is valued in the larger culture. There is a particular thing that I want to argue because I think it has to do with the sexist problem, and that is the extraordinary idealization of personal relationships. What I object to in Unification thought is precisely some of the things I object to in modernism. There is an area here in which the Unification Church buys into some of the worst things of modernism. The tendency to idealize personal relationships as opposed to working them out and the idealization of the family has a tendency to create certain cast-iron expectations around sexual roles which cannot be fulfilled.

Lloyd Eby: I want to go back to Fred's remarks. Your positivistic concept of God is one that sees God as a being who moves or operates according to no knowable or predictable principle; God is knowable only through some kind of positive faith or experience. I am not being very subtle, but I'm trying to make a point. Now, if that is so, then there are certain consequences. First of all, God is irresponsible; secondly, and much more importantly, God is fundamentally unknowable because epistemological consistency is denied. Any principle by which one could judge whether reported divine activity is really a divine activity is abandoned. You have cut the epistemological connection between God's activity and knowability. I think that account of God is pathological. You implicitly deny any kind of inner relationship between God and man. There is no logical problem with that but there is a very deep theological problem with that.

As to Frank Flinn's point about the root meaning of creation as division, I find that a very interesting suggestion. I think this intent is in Unificationism; it is compatible with it but something that we have to talk about.

Henry Vander Goot: I don't think that is in Unification, because it isn't in any kind of thinking based on bipolarity. Unificationist ontology seems to be monistic. The principle of bipolarity is perfectly compatible with a monistic principle and in fact it is dependent upon it.

Lloyd Eby: I deny that it is simply monistic. I hold that it is simultaneously monistic and dualistic. It can be.

Henry Vander Goot: No, it can't be dualist and monist at one and the same time. Monism tries to account for the whole in a certain way; that same whole is accounted for by the dualist in a different way.

Anthony Guerra: My first point is to make a refinement as to my suggested term which I now will state as "alternative cooperative culture" as distinct from counterculture. I want to use the word "alternative" because I think we are creating new structures, new forms which hopefully correct some of the problems in the existing culture. I want also to use the word "cooperative" because the new structures are to be set, not in dialectical opposition to existing culture but rather in a kind of cooperative dialogue in a non-violent way. That is the reason I prefer to use that term as distinct from counterculture.

Fred Sontag says if the future is to be radically different it cannot flow from the past. To pin down the past does not solve the problem of the future. Granted, the future will be different from the past. But to say that it cannot flow from the past is to deny the fundamental Judeo-Christian affirmation that God is working in history through such people as Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and down throughout the saints to the contemporary Christian age. Although the future will be different from the past it will not be radically discontinuous and that is precisely the reason for looking at the past.

Frederick Sontag: First of all, I don't think that there is any theology without its weakness. There is no such thing as a perfect theology for many reasons which would take me far afield. I am saying this because the questions that have been raised are all very good ones.

Klaus, why hasn't God altered history before now if he is capable of it? That is the great and painful question. That is the possibility but it is the reverse side of the dialectic of history. You are bound to the fact that you see progress coming if you think he is aloof from history but can intervene.

Lorine, you say God is ahistorical and therefore could be totally irresponsible. I won't answer in detail because some of the things I want to say will bear on that. But I would agree basically. Yes, he could be. What is your evidence for that? Then just a brief comment on your notion that tragic loss is not necessary. That has some problems but what I would appeal to is, in fact, that in our human experience it is a whole series of tragic losses, and I am not convinced that it is going to change. Now I think your most interesting suggestion was the development of spiritual life which is in touch with the divine, which gives us some link and hope. I didn't stress that at all but you hit the nail on the head. The spiritual tradition is the linkage between individuals and God and does not bear much relation to the historical times. In fact when times are chaotic the spiritual link comes back through and I think that is what does act, and I think that is where confirmation would come.

Dagfinn, you ask, how can we be sure without imprisoning God? That is a dilemma that I, too, pose but take the other side -- I would rather nor be sure. When you point to the Old Testament as testimony of God's trustworthiness, you are idealizing Judaism. The Jews are still waiting. The Jews in the death camps were very torn by this problem of God's trustworthiness. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him" -- this is an incredible statement given to history by the Jews, so don't idealize them.

Faith is belief in things unseen. Yet I accused Klaus of not providing evidence. That is quire correct and it goes back to my response to Lorine. My evidence is that we ground our hope on the traditional life, the spiritual life and the fact of the feeling of God's presence, and the change in our lives. I began to take "Moonies" seriously when over and over again I got the statement, "My life was changed." As a former Baptist, I recognize that testimony. The spiritual change of the individual is the ground of hope. I don't see any other. Klaus was changed. You, Tony, were changed. That is your testimony; I have read it.

One more point and then a little story. Lloyd, I won't argue about this charge of positivism although I don't understand it. It does make God fundamentally unknowable if you insist on the traditional kinds of evidence. My response to you as to why I would go that way is, Yes, it makes God much more difficult to pin down and we have no epistemological cord. In the history of man's relationship with God I see no consistency. I see a fantastic collage of a hundred different ways. Nobody has managed to pin him down yet, so yes, I see the difficulty of that side.

Now my little story which I recall Mr. Salonen was witness to. When I did the interview with Rev. Moon I focused on the point of resurrection. I asked if it was correct that Unificationism does not stress the resurrection. This is your main problem with many traditional theologians. When I asked Rev. Moon the question, there was much muttering in Korean and no answer came. I said to Col. Pak, "He didn't answer my question." and the Colonel said, "He doesn't like your question." I said, "I don't care whether he likes my question; I want an answer to it." More Korean talk followed and the answer came, "He says that if you know as much about our church doctrine as you claim to, you should know the answer to that question yourself." I said, "Well I don't and I want it answered." Finally, we calmed down and had a drink of Ginseng, then the answer came: "We do not use the term resurrection so much; we prefer the term restoration and in our doctrine restoration is the way we interpret and substitute for resurrection." The whole thing then flashed over me. It was true, I should have understood that Rev. Moon was right that you really don't stress the resurrection in the traditional way. You reinterpret the notion of resurrection into restoration.

Klaus Lindner: I was myself quite moved by what Patricia said. Many Catholic women, the largest group of women at Harvard Divinity School, have problems like that within the structures of their church. The reason why it is so important for Unification theology to address that is precisely because we want to transcend that and offer something better. I think we can but the problems are not so much problems we create as problems we haven't been able to resolve completely.

Patricia Zulkosky: Or that we haven't addressed.

Lorine Getz: Occasionally, Divine Principle talks about a Father God who has a Son, and there is kind of a vague openness to the Holy Spirit; this is where the feminist definition keeps entering in. Then everyone says that we don't know much about the feminine aspect of God and we need to work that out. This trinitarian model on the psychological level at least, presupposes a male point of view. There are the two roles that men can specifically relate to, namely, father and son. We don't have any idea of how God works in the "feminine" role of the Holy Spirit. How should I think about that? I certainly know all kinds of things about mother and daughter roles, but I don't know how to relate them to the theological notion of the Holy Spirit. What I plead for both as a feminist and also as a person sympathetic to the Unification movement is space for women to begin to develop their own "trinitarian" models which would begin with a notion of God as mother and daughter and include an undefined "masculine" role as Holy Spirit.

This comes from my Jungian background, but I think Jung can also be a trap. Although Jung moves beyond a trinitarian notion and develops a quaternity model, he then identifies the feminine and evil, which is no help. When Jung discusses the feminine as anima, he starts talking about pornography, virgins, etc. I can't relate to that understanding of woman. Herb Richardson does the same thing in Nun. Witch and Playmate. I love Herb dearly, but when he wants to tell me that his book is a theology of sexuality, I want to tell him I don't dream about nuns and witches and playmates. That is only half of the model; I want time to develop my half.

Dagfinn Aslid: Lorine, you theologize in a good Unification style -- and with a lot of imagination. On the question that you raised about the development of relationality, I would affirm the use of the Jungian mode of theologizing. It is conducive to inclusiveness of the feminine and stresses sensitivity and the earthiness of what we might call knowledge. Our spirituality affirms secularity in a way that traditional Christianity rejects in its dichotomy between the spiritual and the physical paradigm that can allow us to affirm the feminist position.

Durwood Foster: I would have to respond to Dagfinn later about how process theology relates to Unification theology. One sees an effort to overcome the contradiction which as Henry Vander Goot says is a real contradictor between monism and dualism. Pantheism is an expression of that. There are an awful lot of things to say along that line. But what I mainly want to do is express appreciation for this extremely stimulating and rich session and particularly, among many other things, for the way in which the problems of sexism have been openly addressed and responded to. One thing that it teaches me about our basic purpose of being here in accord with our rubric of hermeneutics is that surely a cardinal rule of hermeneutics is to have present those who are being talked about and to attempt to listen to them and to respond to them freely and responsibly. I think that has happened here and I am grateful for it.


1 Outline of the Principle Level 4 (New York: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1980). 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library