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Poem: In the Beginning – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Jun 082012

This post is in response to Rachel Held Evans’ “ One In Christ: A Week of Mutuality, dedicated to discussing an egalitarian view of gender—including relevant biblical texts and practical applications.  The goal is to show how scripture, tradition, reason, and experience all support a posture of equality toward women, one that favors mutuality rather than hierarchy, in the home, Church, and society. Morning posts will generally focus on biblical texts. Afternoon posts will generally focus on practical application.”

After doing research for a sermon on Proverbs 31:10-31, both Dame Wisdom (Proverbs 8–9) and the Wise Woman of Proverbs 31 inspired this poem.

“In the Beginning”


In the beginning there was


In the beginning there was


In the beginning

The Spirit brooded
Godde spoke
And Wisdom cheered

In the beginning was Godde
And Wisdom was with Godde
Before She was rationalized into

The Word

Before She was reduced to
A Housewife

In the beginning was Godde and Wisdom

Saying, “It is good.”

For more Divine Feminine Imagery see my Pentecost sermon: Blowing Where She Wills.

Resources using Divine Feminine Imagery for Godde:

Female Images of God from the Women’s Ordination Conference

The Christian Godde Project which working on a version of the New Testament using feminine names and imagery for Godde. (I’m an associate editor.)

The Sophia Book of Hours and The Sohia Psalter by Dr. Laura Grimes.

Jann Aldredge-Clanton whose book and blog Changing Church: Stories of Liberating Ministers shares how both male and female pastors and priests are working for equality within church and using feminine imagery for Godde as well as masculine. My interview with Jann is here.

The Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus (EEWC) is an organization that is not only working for equality but also advocates Divine Feminine language for Godde, so we have a more complete picture of who Godde is and how woman are God imagers because, we too, are made in the image of Godde.

Did you know there are only eight verses in the Bible that discourage women from speaking and holding leadership positions in the church? Did you know there are thousands of verses in the Bible that tell the stories of women who were leaders in their homes, towns, and religious circles? Meet the women in the Bible who were religious & civic leaders, business women, & women who challenged both Jesus and Moses in What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School. What else didn’t you learn in Sunday School? Find out when you buy What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down from Wipf and Stock Publishers or Amazon.com today.

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  3 Responses to “Poem: In the Beginning”

  1. What a powerful poem, Shawna! It is inspired by Wisdom. She is with you and within you!


  2. I love this! So brief yet so emotive.

  3. […] James Bradford Pate has been blogging through the Psalms so see Psalms 79, 80, 81 and 82.  Shawna R.B. Atterbury provides a poem and several links to feminine images of the divine in passages such as Proverbs 8 […]

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