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Critique

She does this by saying that the model by which we establish our relationship to the earth is a pattern she calls the “kingship” model (p.29). Under the kingship model humanity sets up dualism that separates humankind from the rest of creation by establishing a dominionship of the former over the latter; but it is still below God who has as absolute dominion over humanity in the similar manner. Ms. Johnson states that under this model women are situated somewhere between “poodles and men,” (p. 29). So according to this pattern, men, as kings, can do what they like with both nature and women, which are subjects of the man. Ms. Johnson disputes this model. Ms. Johnson calls her theology panatheism. It’s a belief that all things are in God, as opposed to pantheism, which sees God in all things. Yet she does admit that traditional Christian theology does view God as above and apart from the world. Likewise, she does not accept the biblical Genesis story as the basis for her understanding of the world, but accepts a “cosmic history” that includes a long, slow-pace creation over billions of years, and the evolutionary creation of man as opposed to God’s act. ...
sees is not the one that we traditionally associate as the God that man can commune with, but rather she states that the “…Spirit fills the world and is in all things. Since the Spirit is also transcendent over the world, divine in dwelling circles round to embrace the whole world, which thereby dwells within the sphere of the divine,” (p.42). Ms. Johnson’s cosmological belief then is not in a personal God, but in a real God who is separate from his creation. Ms. Johnson’s Creative Spirit may be real too, but implies only a belief in God who is part of that creation, a Creative Spirit that has been creating since the very beginning, but is in no sense an entity of itself. Ms. Johnson suggests that if the earth itself dies as a place for life, then the Creative Spirit will also be lost. She also states that man has the power and must unite in ecofeminism to stave off this disaster. The author may be absolutely correct that we do need to cooperate and save the entire earth to save our existence on this earth, but where is the hope beyond this? Is there any reward besides this continuation that the Creative Spirit can give to us? Is there really a God in Ms. Johnson’s theological view or does the end of one individual’s life mean the end of that very individual? This is the most serious flaw in Ms. Johnson’s theology. Faith in God is supposed to lead to hope of eternal life for the believer but she offers no hope beyond the continuation of life in this material world. One wants something more than just a communion of all things if one is to believe in the Creative Spirit. The only hope she offers is a hope to the earth itself that it (and perhaps mankind) will survive. There is no belief in the power of God to correct these patterns if He wants them ...Show more

Summary

Women, Earth, and Creative Spirit by Elizabeth A. Johnson, a critique The purpose of this book in Ms. Johnson’s own words is: I propose to explore the thesis that the exploitation of the earth, which has reached crisis proportions in our day, is intimately linked to the marginalization of women, and that both of these predicaments are intrinsically related to forgetting the Creator Spirit who pervades the world in the dance of life…
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Critique essay example
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