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If we reread (with courage) the Tradition...

 Se si rilegge (con coraggio)  la Tradizione...  DCM-012
30 December 2021

L’Eglise et le féminin

Why does the Church struggle so much to recognize women, to give them an adequate role? Why are attempts in this direction timid, slow and often at a standstill? Why does the Church prefer to celebrate the feminine, to honor it rather than truly welcome it by recognizing its strength and value?

Anne-Marie Pelletier, a noted scholar of the Bible, asks this question in her book L’Eglise et le féminin, Éditions Salvator, which was recently published in France. The book details her search for an answer, because an answer is needed more than ever in a Church that after twenty centuries finds herself at a crossroads. Today, if she wants to continue to exist, then rethinking herself entirely and revisiting tradition is an indispensable task. 

Anne-Marie Pelletier tries to do this with her profound writing in which she demonstrates how the traditions to which we appeal to justify the non-recognition of the feminine have little to do with the profound meaning of sacred texts. Instead, she finds, the reasons are rather the consequence of a mediation between religion and historical culture. Therefore, are these traditions to be discarded? The author (and this is one of the merits of the book) conducts a brave and profound analysis and reveals responsibility for the prejudices that today hold back a female presence in the Church, and avoids any cross examination. Tradition, the author states, has a value because thanks to it the faith has been transmitted; however, it is necessary to have the courage to reread it in the light of a changing society in which women who have gained strength and a role.

The Untamable Women of the Bible

Women are queens, adventurers, warriors, pioneers. They fight and seduce. They love and work. Their stories occupy at least half of the Bible, yet little is known about them. Moreover, what is known, written and read is reductive, often uninteresting and unattractive for those who are young and live in the twenty-first century. Maria Teresa Milano and Valentina Merzi in Le indomabili donne della Bibbia [The Untamable Women of the Bible], Edizioni Sonda, attempt a revolution. In the volume, they recount the women in the Book of Books, as a contemporary woman would tell a young woman, with cultural references, quotes; positions that can help them understand all their strengths. Religion and pop culture, faith and television personalities, cinema and sacred texts intersect in the description of women who appear illuminated by a different and powerful light. More real and more imaginative. They look like Lady Gaga or Beyoncé, they could be protagonists of successful television series, they are proud of themselves, of their lives. They have interests and passions.

There is Lydia, a perfect businesswoman, Mary of Magdala, the beloved, Miriam, the voice of freedom, Ruth and Noemi, friends forever, Tamar, the enterprising widow. No, the Bible is not an outdated book, it is not a tome inherited from grandparents, the Bible speaks about us, and it talks about women. What they are today. All that is necessary is to know how to read the Bible. Maria Teresa Milano and Valentina Merzi have tried, and have succeeded, and manage to entertain and make us love it.

By Ritanna Armeni