Monday, October 30, 2006

Standing on New Borders - Islam

This column by Father Ron Rolheiser ran in our Catholic Herald. His theme is the need for peace between Christians and Muslims. Or is it?
The Gospels recount an incident where, one day, Jesus was "walking along the borders of Samaria, when he met a woman." Scripture scholars assure us that what is being described here is more than mere geography and more than a simple conversation between Jesus and a Syro-Phoenician woman. A border is a boundary, the edges of something foreign, and Samaria and this woman were what was particularly foreign at that moment.

Samaria was a different ethnicity and a different religion, and the woman a different gender. In essence, the Gospels are saying: "One day Jesus was walking along the edges of ethnicity, religion, and gender, as these there then known and accepted."

Fr. Rolheiser sure has a knack for equivocal expression; the idea that Jesus pushes gender boundaries almost slips past.

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