Subjects (abstracts): Theology and Feminism; Struggle To Be the Sun Again; Women and Religion in America; The End of Christendom and the Future of Christianity;
from: Theology and Feminism, Daphne Hampson, Basil Blackwell, 1990.
"About the Author"
"Daphne Hampson started her career as a historian and wrote her Oxford doctoral thesis on the response in Britain to the church conflict in Germany during the Third Reich. She followed this by a Harvard doctorate in systematic theology. Since 1977 she has been a lecturer in systematic theology at the University of St Andrews. In the late 1970s she took a leading part in the campaign to allow women to be ordained in the Anglican churches in Britain. Now defining herself as post-Christian, she believes Christianity and feminism to be incompatible and the Christian myth to be untrue, while wishing to find a way to conceptualize God that is in continuity with the western tradition."
"My basic themenamely that I do not think feminism and Christianity to be compatiblewends its way through the book." [Preface].
"In this introduction I shall consider the ideawhich is likely to be held to be fantasticthat feminism represents the death-knell of Christianity as a viable religious option.1 I do not say this lightly. I myself grew up within Christianity: it was fundamental to my whole outlookso much so that I chose to study theology and wished, for twenty years, to be ordained. But I have in recent years had to extricate what it may mean to be a religious person from the particular expression of being religious which is Christianity, and to discard Christianity. It has not been easy. If one comes to conclude of Christianity, as I have, that it is neither true nor moral, one is faced with two alternatives. Either one becomes an atheist; which for me was not a serious possibility. Or one comes to reinterpret what one understands by being a religious person who loves God [see #15, 342 (Darwin)]. It may be said by some that my problem was that I was a theologian. I should point out that it was in large part my training in theology which allowed me to find a way forward!
So it will be said that Christianity has weathered many a crisis: feminism is simply the latest. As the saying goes, Christianity is always adapting itself to something believable: it will do so again. It is conservative Christians who, together with more radical feminists, perceive that feminism represents not just one crisis among many. For the feminist challenge strikes at the heart of Christianity." ["1"].
"Our knowledge today of other world religions has made the claims of Christianity increasingly untenable. The Christian religion becomes relativized. It comes to seem much more likely that THE RELIGIOUS MYTH OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, AND THE STRUCTURE [MYTHS, ETC.] OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY, ARE SIMPLY THE CREATION OF ONE PARTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE, WHO INTERPRETED THE WORLD FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE [See: #2, 32; #7, 196-197; #15, 335-341].
Now feminism has crowned the crisis. For feminists are saying that Christianity, and Judaism, have been patriarchal myths and that they have hurt women. Once there is a considerable group of people, born and bred within western religion, who turn upon it and declare it to be partial, then that myth is relativized with a vengeance. Feminists are of course making this challenge at a time when the truth of the myth is in any case disputed. Many cope with the crisis by saying that the myth of the religion is however, in its understanding of creation, sin, redemption and the eschaton ["last thing" (Encyc. Religion, V. 14, 433)], a 'true myth'. Those parts which seem non-essential, perhaps the virgin birth, they simply discard. But the feminist challenge makes it difficult to make the sideways move of saying that Christianity is symbolically true. For precisely the feminist contention is that symbols [including crosses [see Addendum C]] are powerful and may damage relationships.
The idea that Christianity may not be a force for good comes as a shock to many people." [2-3].
"the masculine nature of Christianity, and equally of Judaism, is becoming increasingly problematic to a large number of women. Of course women want equality, and many still strive for equality within the Christian church. But the debate has moved on. While men (and some women) consider whether women can be full insiders within the church, women debate whether or not they want to be. Eleven years ago it was I who wrote the statement in favour of the ordination of women to the priesthood circulated to all members of the General Synod of the Church of England before the vote. Today finds me no longer Christian." .
"if Jesus of Nazareth [see Addendum D] is not thought to be unique, and the Christian story is just a myth, why, one must ask, should one who is a feminist choose to take up this particular myth when it is so male, and has central to it a male person who is held to be unique?" .
"Marina Warner [see #3, 78] describes the demise of the role of the virgin Mary in western culture. 'The reality her myth describes is over; the moral code she affirms has been exhausted. The Catholic church might succeed, with its natural resilience and craft, in accommodating her to the new circumstances of sexual equality, but it is more likely that, like Ishtar [see: Addendum A; B], the Virgin will recede into legend.'41" .
"A feminist critique of a male outlook often extends not simply to the way that men have viewed women but to the way that they have viewed nature.
[A] Just as men seem to have maintained themselves in isolation and not to have conceived of themselves as being part of a web of humanity,
[B] just as they have designated woman as an 'other' and then proceeded to dominate her,
[C] so too in western culture (and that culture has been a male construct) has the world of nature been conceived as something separate from humankind. This objectification has led to exploitation, as the rest of the creation has been seen in terms of its usefulness to humankind.
Western religion seems to have served humanity singularly ill in this regard."
. [See: #15, 335-341].
"The Hebrew religion of a transcendent monotheism, as it has flowed into western thought, conceives God as wholly separate from nature. Indeed Jewish monotheism was in large part formed in opposition [classic one-upmanship!] to the more immanentist religions of surrounding cultures. The verse at the beginning of Genesis to the effect that humankind should have 'dominion' over the rest of creation has been read as meaning that the rest of creation exists for humankind's benefit and may therefore be exploited. We may note that the secular form of western religion, Marxism, likewise conceives humankind progressively to exercise mastery over the forces of nature. Greek thought, though different, is no more promising. That which is highest, mind or spirit, is seen to be essentially dissociated from the changing world subject to decay. The quest for the good then comes to be equated with freedom from all that would tie humans to their animal nature. It is of significance that within western thought the charge of 'pantheism', when flung at a theology, is the worst possible form of abuse. Whatever the Christian God is, that God is to be dissociated from pantheism which is a 'lower' form of religion.
We have reason to think that women's spirituality will be fundamentally different: the evidence is clearly that this is the case...." [131-132].
"men appear to be curiously unintegrated....Men's sexuality often seems to be somehow separate from themselves. And certainly many women find the men they know to be extraordinarily isolatednot least from other men....Could it be that Angst is the hazard to which in particular the isolated, and privileged, male is prone? His minor needs having been taken care of (by wife, secretary and cleaner) he is left alone in his study, his mind able to contemplate vast reaches of thought. He seems to transcend time, yet despite his creativity, he knows he must die. He feels himself limitless, yet cruelly limited. He will attempt to secure himself through feats, whether in the writing of books, orin the case of anotherthrough conquering nations.
It may be that women (typically) live within a different social matrix; so that Angst is not a major theme. Anxiety they may indeed have: but that is different, anxiety pertains to this or that. Do they lack the time for Angst?" .
"Angst is a word which, in theology and philosophy, has particular connotations. It is anxiety without an object: thus it might be described as a basic dis-ease." .
"Feminist writers have often thought men to be oriented towards death in a way that women are not. Thought about death occupies a major place in male religion. Moreover, it is often death connected with sacrifice. Indeed there is a theme of death through sacrifice and rebirth. This paradigm is obviously built into Christianity. May it be that women are more interested in giving birth to life? Nor does the life necessarily need to come out of death. Further there appears to be a preoccupation in male religion with the continuation of an individual life after death. May it be that the kind of religion which comes naturally to men here is very different from what would be the emphases of many women? The early American feminist thinker Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1860 - 1935] certainly thought so, writing:
It is hardly surprising that men should be more concerned with death through sacrifice. For generations it has been for men to kill and to risk being killed, either earlier in the hunt, or in all ages through war. Of course women have also risked their lives. Until recently every time a woman became pregnant she did so. But to lose one's life in childbirth is to lose one's life in a situation of supreme connectedness to anotherto give one's life in giving life. Whereas to kill, or risk being killed, must imply a certain disconnectedness and an impersonalization of the other. There must be many men also who find the centrality of sacrifice to religion to be perverse. But one should note that it is written into much male religion. Women may feel very differently". [140-141].
"The greater social isolation of men which may lead to a greater sense of Angst may also account for their being more concerned for the continuation of an individual life after death. If it is true that men tend to be more egotistical, more self-enclosed and socialized to think that they must make an impact on the world, then it is not surprising to find that this should be the case. Anne Wilson Schaef comments on the difference between men and women here which she has experienced in her psychotherapeutic practice....
Since White Male System persons so firmly believe that it is possible for one to become God, they are understandably concerned with the issue of immortality. Female System persons, on the other hand, realize that immortality is not a genuine possibility and spend little or no time worrying about it. Nearly every man I have ever seen in therapy spends several sessions dealing with immortality-related anxieties. ... At some level of their consciousness ... a surprising number of men really do believe that it's possible for them to become immortal. They only have to find the way! ... One must either have children, especially male heirs to carry on the family name and bloodliness [sic]; or one must amass material goods; or one must produce lasting things like 'great books'. ... I have yet to meet a woman who concerns herself with the issue of immortality. She may want her children to validate her own choices, but she seldom believes that they will guarantee her eternal life on this earth. She is usually too busy struggling with more mundane issues such as the need to survive and establish a sense of self-worth.41" .
"What I believe we need to do...is to find a way to conceptualize God which is independent of the Christian myth, a myth which is neither tenable nor ethical. We must find a way to capture our experience of God in the language of our day. In doing this we shall be doing no more than did others in their time, drawing on the cultural milieu in which they lived." .
[See: #2, 32; #7, 196-197; #15, 335-341].
from: Struggle To Be the Sun Again, Introducing Asian Women's Theology, Chung Hyun Kyung, Orbis, 1991.
'About the title:
The title of this book "Struggle To Be the Sun Again" comes from the poem, "The Hidden Sun," which is written by a Japanese woman, Hiratsuka Raicho. In her poem, she claims that "originally, woman was the sun. She was an authentic person. But now woman is the moon." That means once Asian women were self-defining women but now they have become dependent women defined by men in their lives. Therefore she perceives Asian women's struggle for liberation as "Struggle To Be the Sun Again." I think her poetic expression aptly shows Asian women's yearning for wholeness.'
'I do not know what kind of new spirituality and theology will come out of Asian women's struggle to be authentically who we are in the fullest sense. I do know, however, that the future of Asian women's spirituality and theology must move away from Christo-centrism [compare: death-based religion, 394] and toward life-centrism. We Asian women no longer are passive soil for the Christian seed of truth [sic!] (the imagery so often used to describe Christian missions in Asia). Rather, we will be mothers who will actively participate in the birth of the new spirituality and theology which will carry our specifically Asian, Third World, and women's genes. We are expecting an arrival of a new spirituality and a new theology which will empower poor Asian women in their "struggle to be the sun again."'
[End of text] . [See: Addendum C; D].
from: Women and Religion in America, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Rosemary Skinner Keller, 3 Vols., Volume 3: 19001968, Harper & Row, 1986.
"A FEMINIST VISION OF WOMEN'S RELIGION
Document 8: Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1860 - 1935]
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a descendant of eminent American literary families; her great aunt was Harriet Beecher Stowe. A leading feminist and Socialist, Gilman's major book was Women and Economics (1898). She also wrote an early feminist utopian novel, Herland, in which she imagined a society inhabited only by women who reproduce by parthenogenesis.33 In her major work on religion, His Religion and Hers [see 406], she links male religion with death and other-worldliness and female religion with the promotion of life on earth.34" [34-35].
'THE PECULIARITY OF ALL DEATH-BASED RELIGIONS [FOR EXAMPLE: CHRISTIANISM ("CHRISTIANITY")] IS THAT THEIR SUBJECT-MATTER IS ENTIRELY OUTSIDE OF FACTS. MEN COULD THINK AND THINK, TALK AND ARGUE, ADVANCE, DENY, ASSERT, AND CONTROVERT, AND WRITE INNUMERABLE BOOKS, WITHOUT BEING HAMPERED AT ANY TIME BY ANY FACT.
THUS WE HAVE ALMOST FROM THE BEGINNING THE ASSERTION OF AUTHORITY WHICH IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISPROVE, A SIN TO DOUBT, AN INDISCRETION EVEN TO CONSIDER. THEN, WITH THIS ARBITRARY BASIS, THE MINDS OF MEN SOARED HAPPILY IN UNBRIDLED CONJECTURE, AND BUILT UP COLOSSAL SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT, RACIAL "COMPLEXES" OR STATES OF MIND, WHICH WERE IMPOSED UPON THE WORLD....'
[37-38 [from: His Religion and Hers (see Addendum E), 223, 224]].
"The whole feminine attitude toward life differs essentially from the masculine, because of her superior adaptation to the service of others, her rich fund of surplus energy for such service. Her philosophy will so differ, her religion must so differ, and her conduct, based on natural impulses, justified by philosophy and ennobled by religion, will change our social economics at the very root." [End of Document 8]
[38 [from: His Religion and Hers (see Addendum E), 270]]. [See: Addendum F].
from: The End of Christendom and the Future of Christianity, Douglas John Hall, Trinity, 1997. [received 3/3/97].
"The thesis of this book is that the Christian movement can indeed have a significant futureone that will be faithful to the original vision of the movement and of immense service to our beleaguered world. But to have that future, Christians will have to stop trying to have the kind of future that SIXTEEN CENTURIES of official Christianity in the Western world has conditioned them to covet.
Douglas John Hall examines the decline and fall of Christendom [compare: Edward Gibbon [1737 - 1794]: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire] [see #16, 351 (Hobbes)] and looks at ecclesiastical responses to the end of Christendom. He proposes that the churches make their disestablishment work for good and describes how the Christian movement might serve dominant societies, classes, and institutions in a post-Christian era.
Douglas John Hall is Professor of Christian Theology in the faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal. He is the author of seventeen books, including a three-volume theology (Thinking the Faith, Professing the Faith, and Confessing the Faith)." [from the back cover].
'1 The Decline and Fall of Christendom
and Ecclesiastical "Future Shock"
To say that Christianity in the world at large is undergoing a major transition is to indulge in understatement. What is happening is nothing less than the winding down of a process that was INAUGURATED IN THE FOURTH CENTURY of the common era. To the great shift that began to occur in the character of the Christian movement under the Roman emperors Constantine [Emperor 306 (312) - 327] and Theodosius I [Emperor, 379 - 395], there now corresponds a shift of reverse proportions. What was born in that distant century [FOURTH CENTURY], namely, the IMPERIAL church, now comes to an end.' .
"The decline and humiliation of Christendom in the West is, I have said, a process. It is not a matter of sudden death." .
'The Dilemma of the Liberal and Moderate Churches
at the End of Christendom
Although there are exceptions, it seems to me that most Christian denominations and congregations in our context are trying to behave as if nothing had happenedas if we were still living in a basically Christian civilization; as if the Christian religion were still quite obviously the official religion of the official culture; as if we could carry on baptizing, marrying, and burying everybody as we have always done; as if governments would listen to us, and educational institutions would respect us, and the general public would (perhaps begrudgingly) heed our moral and other pronouncements, and so on and so on, "world without end." Many denominations mount specific programs to deal with this or that "new" issue; but few want to pay any attention to the big issue, which is whether this imperial form of the Christian religion can even surviveor should! A sort of repressed or suppressed sense of failure eats away at the denominations, often manifesting itself openly in economic and leadership crises. But instead of addressing this forthrightly, we live with it at the subconscious level and, in the meantime, get on with schemes to keep the status quo going as long as possible [see #4, 125 (Freud: "pitiful rearguard actions."); #15, 349, 355-358].
We still want to tell the Christian story as a success story' [20-21].
"We are being pushed to the edges of our society as churches; that is to say, we are being disestablished. The question is whether we can assume some active role in this process instead of simply letting it happen to us. What would it mean to disestablish ourselves?" [32-33].
"the discriminating among us have discerned the appearance of new attitudes toward the whole phenomenon of religion: that it is strictly an option; that it is a purely individual decision; that there is no reason why the children of believing parents should be considered potential members of religious communions; that religion may be useful, but truth does not apply to this category, and so on." [38-39].
'The question...is not whether we can or cannot continue to assume the supposed privileges of our historical form of establishment; rather, it is whether we will simply allow the process of being disestablished happen to us or whether, as individuals and Christian bodies, we will take some active part in directing the process. The process itself, I believe, cannot be reversed; moreover, I do not believe that Christ's discipleship is well served by trying to reverse it. The scramble to regain, or retrieve, or recreate Christendom, which is entertained in various forms and programs by several powerful Christian lobbies in North America and beyond, seems to me both socially naive and theologically questionable. Even if it could be achieved (and it could not be achieved without violence, psychological if not physical), it would not represent a faithful reading of "gospel" for our context [this clause?].' [39-40].
"4 On Being Salt, Yeast, and Light:
At the risk of overkill, I will state my primary thesis once more: CHRISTIANITY HAS ARRIVED AT THE END OF ITS SOJOURN AS THE OFFICIAL, OR ESTABLISHED, RELIGION OF THE WESTERN WORLD. The churches resist coming to terms with this ending because it seems so dismal a thing. But in Christian thinking, endings can also be beginnings; and if we are courageous enough to enter into this ending thoughtfully and intentionally, we will discover a beginning that may surprise us. The end of Christendom could be the beginning of something more nearly like the churchthe disciple community described by the Scriptures and treasured throughout the ages by prophetic minorities." .
'The peculiarity of all death-based religions [for example: Christianism ("Christianity")] is that their subject-matter is entirely outside of facts. Men could think and think, talk and argue, advance, deny, assert, and controvert, and write innumerable books, without being hampered at any time by any fact.
Thus we have almost from the beginning the ASSERTION OF AUTHORITY which it was impossible to disprove, a sin to doubt, an indiscretion even to consider. Then, with this arbitrary basis, the minds of men soared happily in unbridled conjecture, and built up colossal systems of thought, racial "complexes" or states of mind, which were IMPOSED upon the world....' [repeat, from 396].
from: Encyclopedia of Gods, Over 2,500 Deities of the World, Michael Jordan, Kyle Cathie, 1992.
"Itar (star of heaven)
Origin Mesopotamian (Babylonian-Akkadian) [Iraq]. Goddess of fertility and war.
Known period of worship circa 2500 BC until circa 200 AD.
Synonyms Inana [Sumerian]....
Itar is probably the most significant and influentual [sic] of all ancient Near-Eastern goddesses." .
from: The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker, Harper & Row, 1983.
Babylonian "Star," the Great Goddess who appears in the Bible as Ashtoreth, Anath, Asherah, or Esther, the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 44:19). She was also the Great Whore, described in Revelation 17:5 as Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. Another of her titles was the Goddess Har, who called herself the compassionate prostitute. Men communed with her through the sexual rites of her harlot-priestesses.1 See Prostitution.
BABYLONIAN SCRIPTURES called Ishtar the Light of the World, Leader of Hosts, Opener of the Womb, Righteous Judge, Lawgiver, Goddess of Goddesses, Bestower of Strength, Framer of All Decrees, Lady of Victory, Forgiver of Sins, etc.2 MUCH OF THE LITURGICAL FLATTERY ADDRESSED TO GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WAS PLAGIARIZED FROM BABYLONIAN PRAYERS TO ISHTAR. One example:
from: Aryan Sun-Myths, The Origin of Religions, [Sarah Elizabeth Titcomb 1842 - 1895 (only other reference(s) encountered: Nat. Union Cat., 1978, Vol. 595, 204)] [published anonymously], With an Introduction by Charles Morris [1833 - 1922 (prolific author)], Author of "A Manual of Classical Literature," and "The Aryan Race: Its Origin and Its Achievements.", Nims and Knight, 1889. [received 3/11/97].
[See: #13, 263-328 passim; #15, 335-341 passim].
Reprinted 1996 by The Book Tree, P.O. Box 724, Escondido, CA 92033.
[The Book Tree was my source for The Christ Myth (see #15, 335-341)].
The attention of the writer having been called to the fact that all Indo-Germanic nations have worshipped crucified Saviours, an investigation of the subject was made. Overwhelming proof was obtained that the sun-myths of the ancient Aryans were the origin of the religions in all of the countries which were peopled by the Aryans. The Saviours worshipped in these lands are personifications of the Sun [see #13, 263-328 passim; #15, 336-337], the chief god of the Aryans. That Pagan nations worshipped a crucified man, was admitted by the Fathers of the early Christian Church. The holy Father Minucius Felix [d. c. 250], in his Octavius, written as late as A.D. 211, indignantly resents the supposition that the sign of the cross should be considered as exclusively a Christian symbol; and represents his advocate of the Christian argument as retorting on an infidel opponent thus: "As for the adoration of crosses, which you object to against us, I must tell you that we neither adore crosses nor desire them. You it is, ye Pagans, who worship wooden gods, who are the most likely people to adore wooden crosses, as being parts of the same substance with your deities. For what else are your ensigns, flags, and standards, but crosses gilt and beautified? Your victorious trophies not only represent a simple cross, but a cross with a man upon it."' ["5"-6].
[See: #9, 218 (Minucius Felix (Octavius))].
"Not until the pontificate of Agathon (A.D. 608 ) [Pope Agatho 678 - 681 (577? - 681)] was Christ represented as a man on a cross. During the reign of Constantine Pogonatus [Constans II Pogonatus, Byzantine emperor 641 - 668], by the Sixth Synod of Constantinople (Canon 82) it was ORDAINED that instead of the ancient symbol, which had been the lamb, the figure of a man nailed to a cross should be represented. All this was confirmed by Pope Adrian I ["Hadrian I (d. 795), Pope from 772." (Ox. Dict. C.C.)].2 ["2Quoted in Higgins's Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 3."]" .
No hint is given in the New Testament of Christ's appearance; and the early Church, in the absence of all guiding facts, had to fall back on IMAGINATION. In the first years the Christian Church fancied its Lord's visage and form marred more than those of other men; and that he must have had no attractions of personal beauty [sources?]. Justin Martyr (A.D. 150160) speaks of him as without beauty or attractiveness, and of mean appearance. Clement of Alex-dria [Alexandria] (A.D. 200) describes him as of an uninviting appearance, and almost repulsive. Tertullian (A.D. 200210) says he had not even ordinary human beauty, far less heavenly. Origen (A.D. 230) went so far as to say that he was "small in body and deformed, as well as low born, and that his only beauty was in his soul and life."2 ["2Geikie [John Cunningham Geikie [1824 - 1906], The Life and Words of Christ, 2 vols., 1877], Life of Christ, vol. i. p. 151."]
One of the favorite ways of depicting him finally came to be under the figure of a beautiful and adorable youth, of about fifteen or eighteen years of age, beardless, with a sweet expression of countenance, and long and abundant hair flowing over his shoulders. His brow is sometimes encircled by a diadem or bandeau, like a young priest of the Pagan gods; that is, in fact, the favorite figure. On sculptured sarcophagi, in fresco paintings and mosaics, CHRIST IS THUS REPRESENTED AS A GRACEFUL YOUTH, JUST AS APOLLO WAS FIGURED BY THE PAGANS, and as angels are represented by Christians.1 ["1J.P. Lundy [Rev. John Patterson Lundy 1823 - 1892 ("Valuable private library" (Nat. Union Cat.))], Monumental Christianity , p. 231."]' [120-121].
[See: #2, 22, 126.; #4, 119, 510.; #8, 205 (forgery); #9, 225 ("Christ...clean shaven"); #13, 266 ("Christ as Helios: mosaic behind the High Altar in St Peter's, Rome")].
from: The Mothers, A Study of the Origins of Sentiments and Institutions, Robert Briffault [1876 - 1948], 3 Vols., MacMillan, Vol. III, 1927.
[See: Twentieth Century Authors (Robert Briffault)].
[See: Marriage: Past and Present, Debate Between Robert Briffault and Bronislaw Malinowski, Ashley Montagu, 1956].
[Note: much information; research to corroborate, etc.].
"The sects which used the 'Book of Elxai'namely, the Essaeans, Ebionim, Nazarenesascribed a particular symbolic significance to the sun, and they are called by Epiphanius 'Heliaci,' sun-worshippers, or Samsaeans, after Samson, that is, Shamash ["Assyrian/Babylonian sun god" (Guide to the Gods, 861); Sumerian name: Utu (A Guide to the Gods, 332) [see: "shammash", Webster's Third, 1993]], the sun (Epiphanius [c. 315 - 403 (St.) (Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus)], op. cit., liii.2; cf. xxix.5 [the author's source is Migne (Opera, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca)])." .
'THE MESSIAH, AS EARLY AS THE SECOND CENTURY B.C., WAS REGULARLY LIKENED TO THE SUN (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of Levi, xviii, ed. R.H. Charles, pp. 62 sq.). THE EARLY CHRISTIANS who, like the Essaeans, TURNED TO THE EAST WHEN PRAYING, HELD THEIR FEASTS ON SUN-DAYS, ASSOCIATED THE DEATH OF CHRIST WITH AN ECLIPSE OF THE SUN, and later celebrated His birthday on the Mithraic 'Natalis dies solis,' were likewise held by the pagans to be SUN-WORSHIPPERS (Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 220], Apologia, xvi). Indeed, CHRIST WAS ALWAYS ASSIMILATED TO THE SUN. The Clementine Homilies [see #13, 274] state that the disciples of John, the Hemerobaptist ["Jewish sect" ("daily ablution")], looked upon Jesus as the sun, and that he had therefore twelve apostles, whereas they regarded John the Baptist as the moon, and he accordingly had thirty disciples, or, more precisely, twenty-nine and a half, one being a woman, "for a woman, being half a man, made up the number of the triacontad ["set of thirty"], as with the moon whose revolution does not make the complete course of the month" (Clementine Homilies, ii. 23).' .
[See: #13, 263-328 passim; #15, 336-337].
"The sun-hero of the Essaeans, Samson, was a Nazarene (Judges, xvi. 17). John the Baptist was a Nazarene (Luke, i. 15) [?]. Paul was "a ringleader of the Nazarenes" (Acts, xiv. 5 [Acts 18:18; 21:23-26]). No place of the name of Nazareth is known to Palestinian geography before the fourth century A.D., although over sixty-three names of towns and villages in Galilee are recorded." .
[See (Nazareth): #3, 48; #9, 223].
Excursus: from: Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, (formerly  titled: Star-Names and Their Meanings), Richard Hinckley Allen, Dover, 1963 (1899).
"The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100], followed by Saint Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - c. 215], A.D. 200, surmised that the twelve stones in the breastplate of the high priest might refer to the twelve zodiacal constellations." .
"In England the Venerable Bede, 673735, substituted the eleven apostles for eleven of the early signs [constellations], as the Corona seu Circulus sanctorum Apostolorum, John the Baptist fitly taking the place of Aquarius to complete the circle [Zodiac]." .
"The Christian father Origen [c. 185 - c. 254 (student of Clement of Alexandria)] [see #13, 265], following the supposed authority of the Book of Job, xxv, 5, and perhaps influenced by the 43d verse of chapter xiii of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, said that the stars themselves were living beings; and Dionysius Exiguus [d. 556 (inventor of "B.C." and "A.D.") (see #13, 306)], the chronologist of our 6th century, established in the constellations the hierarchies of the genii [see: "celestial hierarchy" (Webster's Third)], assigning to the cherubim [cherub: "a celestial being. Gen. 3:24; Ezek. 1,10 [chapters]." (Random House Dict.)] the domain of the fixed stars ["name given to the stars since antiquity when the stars were believed to be firmly fastened to a crystal sphere." (Dict. Astronomical Terms)]." .
from: His Religion and Hers A Study of the Faith of Our Fathers, and the Work of Our Mothers, Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1860 - 1935], Hyperion, 1976 (1923).
"Somewhere in the voluminous writings of that great social servant H.G. Wells [1866 - 1946], their author says something to this effect: Suppose the wisest men in the world were gathered together in a great hall to decide on what was most needed for human benefit, and suppose that into that hall came pouring, through a chute, babies at the rate of thirty [now?] a minute. Would anything be discussed there except what to do with those babies? THIS RUSHING FLOOD OF BABIES, he pursues, IS WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD, YET AS A PREËMINENT RACE PROBLEM WE IGNORE IT.
If we once admit that our life here is for the purpose of race-improvement, then we question any religion which does not improve the race, or the main force of which evaporates, as it were, directing our best efforts toward the sky." [9-10].
from: Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Nonfiction Reader, Edited by Larry Ceplair, Columbia University Press, 1991.
"Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1860 - 1935]
As Her Contemporaries Saw Her" .
'....the writer Rebecca West (18921983) said, in 1924, that Charlotte was "the greatest woman in the world today."6
Men were equally complimentary. The sociologist Edward A. Ross (18661951) wrote: "She was the most brilliant woman I have known."7' .
'William Dean Howells (18371920)...hailed the brilliance of her satirical verse, and the Socialist writer, Upton Sinclair (18781968), called her "America's most brilliant woman poet and critic."9' .
'In 1932, doctors found an inoperable cancer growing in her breast. She had always believed that human beings should not have to suffer from chronic pain, torment, and misery. "Sickness is a morbid condition, an evil condition," she had written. "It generates a miserable self-consciousness and irritability. A sick body is a heavy strain upon the mind, and injures its natural working."22 Convinced that there should be as much dignity in death as in life, she began to store chloroform for the day she could no longer stand the pain.' .
'On August 15, 1935 [Pasadena, California] she wrote Edward Ross: "I've had the best-behaved cancer you ever sawno pain at all. But in June I had shingles, which is a devilish disease, and now 'complications' have set in, nephritis and dropsy, and a fairly laughable weakness; so I'm going to go peacefully to sleep with my beloved chloroform. I'm getting fed up with sheer weakness."23
Two days later she died from an overdose of chloroform. In her suicide note ["believed to have been typed by Mrs. Gilman" (N.Y. Times (see below))], she wrote:
"Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman had experienced, felt, or seen many of the social obstacles blocking equality for and intimacy between the sexes. She had overcome the obstacles in her own path and then used her experience and her fine mind to develop theories to explain and reforms to overcome obstacles in the path of human progress. Though in historical perspective it can be seen that her thinking did not altogether transcend the intellectual, gender, and cultural limits of her era, and that she could be utopian, hortatory, and insensitive to racial concerns, she remains a shining example of the power of creative thinking, clear writing, and force of will." .