I’ve been wanting to read Friends of God and Prophets: A Feminist Theological Reading of the Communion of Saints by Sr. Dr. Elizabeth Johnson for years. It’s not a new book (published in 1998), but I’m especially drawn to it because of the juxtaposition in the Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints
Although that last stanza of the Apostle’s Creed looks like it might just be a list of “all those other things we need to get in there”, the title and scope of this book suggests that these three may be reasonably woven together. After writing my master’s thesis in ecclesiology, I had promised this book to myself as a graduation present, but haven’t had the time or energy to read it before now.
I decided it would make a great Easter season read, because during the season of Easter, our first reading, “from the Prophets”, is not from the Shared Scriptures as usual, but from the Acts of the Apostles, which is a book about the earliest days of the church. What could be a better time to read a book like this?
So I’m looking for reading buddies and conversation partners! If you are interested in any or all of feminist theology, Catholic theology, the church, the saints, and how we can retrieve and revitalize traditional symbols for contemporary church communities, maybe you would like to join me!
I’m planning to start *next* week (since I figure many of us need Bright Week to recover from Triduum, not to mention get a copy of the book), and will be happy to discuss the book here on my blog, or on Goodreads, or on Twitter — if I get interest there, I’ll see if we can pick a weekly time that works for folks & come up with a reasonable hashtag.
There are 7 weeks in Easter but we’re not starting until the 2nd week, so here is my 6 week reading plan from the Table of Contents. It works out to roughly 50 pages a week.
Part I: Framing the Question, which consists of
Ch 1, A Sleeping Symbol
Ch 2, Christian Feminism
beginning Part II: Dialogue with a Living Tradition
Ch 3, A Holy Nation, A People Belonging to God
Ch 4, Patterns in the Age of the Martyrs
Ch 5, Institutional Settling
Ch 6, Movements for Reform
Ch 7, Serenely Free
April 30 May 7
beginning Part III: Theology of the Friends of God and Prophets
Ch 8, Women’s Practices of Memory
Ch 9, Companions in Memory
May 7 May 15
Ch 10, The Darkness of Death
Ch 11, Companions in Hope
May 15 May 21
Ch 12, Communion of Saints: Friends of God and Prophets
Ch 13, To Let the Symbol Sing Again
If you’re not sure you’re up for any or all of the reading, and just want to tag along for the conversation, or dip in and out for the chapters that interest you, that’s okay too! My goal here is to have people to talk to about what I’m reading, so “Whatever Works” is the motto here.
If you’re interested or if you have questions before deciding, let me know in comments here, on Goodreads, or on Twitter. I look forward to having companions on the journey!
UPDATED TO ADD:
– we will use #FOGAP as a hashtag for twitter discussions
– comments are also welcome on the most recent blogpost about the book
– we will meet up on twitter Fridays @ 9PM EDT
– but also feel free to tweet your thoughts & comments as you read
– I plan to keep a tab open on your browser to pick up any new comments on the hashtag
– I will always have a tweet with a link to the most recent blogpost pinned to my profile page
UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD:
We’ve slipped the schedule a week because we got off to a slow start. The above updated dates are Saturday end dates; our twitter chats happen the night before. Hope to see you there!