The Human Truth Foundation

God and Pronouns: God has No Gender

By Vexen Crabtree 2008

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#gender #god #new_age #philosophy #religion #theology #wicca

Nearly all monotheistic religions refer to God as a "He", as a male father-figure. This is because the creators of those religions were themselves all male1. Modern new religions and movements such as Wicca and the New Age do not fall into the same patriarchal trap. The gender of god, or the determination of which gendered pronoun we should use, is one of the major illogical assumptions about God that people frequently make. God has no gender. It does not reproduce. It makes no sense biologically, sexually or culturally to call the creator of all genders and species by the particular gender of a particular species. He and She are appropriate pronouns for species with two sexes, not for the God of the Universe. We have no right to assume to call God by any gender based on the characteristics of human roles. God is not a "He" or a "She", but an It.


1. Arguments That God Has No Gender

2. Religions and Beliefs With a Gender-Neutral Divinity

#eckankar #new_age #wicca

It is not popular amongst traditional religionists to use gender-neutral language, because most religion has been patriarchal. But many New Religious Movements and some other obscure corners of Human spirituality buck this trend. In the New Age religion of Eckankar their sacred name for God is Sugmad, which they stress "is neither masculine nor feminine"2. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (an occult magical group founded towards the end of the 19th century) recognized the divine as having feminine aspects as well as male3. Kabbalists (mystics and occultists who indulge in the Kabbalah/Qabbala) teach that "En Sof was neither male nor female. It was an 'It' that became a 'Thou' to the mystic at the end of the process of emanation"4. Divinity in Wicca is seen as both male and female (typically as the Horned God and Mother Goddess5), as are the general forces of nature which emanate from the male and female principal6,7, and these two sides complement one another8,9.

Current edition: 2008 Jan 01
Last Modified: 2015 Dec 18
Originally published 2006 Feb 01
http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/god_pronouns.html
Parent page: Single God Religions (Monotheism)

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References: (What's this?)

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Armstrong, Karen
(2005) A Short History of Myth: Volume 1-4. 2008 Kindle edition. First published in Great Britain in 2005 by Canongate Books Ltd.

Clarke, Peter B.. Peter B. Clarke: Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, King's College, University of London, and currently Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK.
(2011) The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Originally published 2009. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Eckankar
(1995) Eckankar: Ancient Wisdom for Today. Paperback book. Subtitled: "How past lives, dreams, and Soul Travel help you find God". Originally published 1993 (I think). Current version published by ECKANKAR, Minneapolis, USA.

Harvey, Graham & Hardman, Charlotte
(1995) Pagan Pathways. Paperback book. 2000 edition. Originally published 1995. Current version published by Thorsons.

Hutton, Ronald
(1999) The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Paperback book. 2001 edition. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

LaVey, Anton. (1930-1997) Founder of the Church of Satan.
(1998) Satan Speaks!. Paperback book. Published by Feral House, USA.

Murray et al.
(2009) Hammond Atlas of World Religions. Hardback book. Published by Hammond World Atlas Corporation, Langenscheidt Publishing Group, New York, USA. Contributing authors: Stuart A.P. Murray; Robert Huber; Elizabeth Mechem; Sarah Novak; Devid West Reynolds, PhD; Tricia Wright; Thomas Cussans.

Pagan Federation, the
(2008) Witchcraft Information Pack. Originally published 1992. Accessed online at www.paganfed.org/dl/Witchcraft_Info_Pack.pdf on 2014 Apr 20.

Partridge, Christopher
(2004, Ed.) Encyclopedia of New Religions. Hardback book. Published by Lion Publishing, Oxford, UK.

Pearson, Joanne
(2002, Ed.) Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age. Paperback book. Published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, UK, in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

Plüss, Caroline. Assistant Professor in the Division of Sociology School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore.
(2011) Migration and the Globalization of Religion. This essay is chapter 27 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages 491-506).

Footnotes

  1. LaVey (1998) chapter "The God of the Assholes" p2. Added to this page on 2015 Dec 18.^
  2. Eckankar (1995) p11. Added to this page on 2013 Jun 07.^
  3. Plüss (2011) p26-27. Added to this page on 2014 Apr 25.^
  4. Armstrong (2005) Footnote 99. Added to this page on 2013 Jun 07.^
  5. Pagan Federation (2008) p3.^
  6. Hutton (1999) p338-339 examines the history of Farrar & Farrar's compendium of notes and original texts from the earliest versions of the Book of Shadows, published as Eight Sabbaths, and The Witche's Way in the 1980s, and written in collaboration with Doreen Valiente. Hutton writes: "The exercise reasserted the identity of Wicca as a distinctive pagan religion, bound up closely with the seasonal rhythmns of the natural world and the human life-cycle, honouring a goddess and god and with a claim to immemorial transmission from the past".^
  7. Harvey & Hardman (1995) Introduction p.XII states "Wicca has always stressed bitheism, the wonder of all things as being manifest in the God and Goddess.".^
  8. Pearson (2002) Chapter 1, p32-37, 43.^
  9. Partridge (2004) p295.^

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