It is rare to encounter people in the United States who understand what I do. “You’re an anthropologist?” They say. “How interesting! Is that like Indiana Jones or more like Jurassic Park?”
I exaggerate (a bit), but anthropology is not a widely understood discipline in this country. I would also say, based on my highly unscientific study, that it is even less understood in the church. Anthropology’s traditional anti-missionary bias, combined with a general distrust of “-ologies” of various sorts, has led anthropology to be a weak voice in U.S. Christianity.
They came from all over— Bahrain, Turkey, Rome:
A little band of women
with hope all their own
To learn and to study,
To become stronger in their faith
To encourage one another
In the footsteps of the saints.
Rendered invisible it has happened just too many times
times two squared
Even worse is being rendered visible
but not really important.
Your voice is not really that important they say.
It doesn’t have the right credentials,
Many books behind you ... a following... or enough degrees,
or how could you really have something to say
when you spend many of your days doing laundry,
wiping noses, changing diapers,
raising living human beings, instead of just words on a page.
Living words are not regarded with the same care.
I really think it’s very sad No! Not just sad, extremely bad
That Eve alone was blamed for years
And women oft reduced to tears,
Because she boldly took the fruit
And ate it, when the serpent spoke.
The Hebrew scriptures make it clear Adam was with her, standing near.
Do you think that thus she would have dared
Had he her lust not fully shared?
Poor Eve, condemned thenceforth to bear
Within herself the painful share
Of ordained consequence! Yet worse
By far what men then did.
Who was she in the Garden, there before The tree with cherubim and flaming Sword
Was guarded? What true thoughts, not culture's lore,
By grace, and yet by more: first fellowship's
Commune, did her mind hold, and her heart own?