It has been said that if we do not remember our history we are doomed to repeat it, but in this issue of Priscilla Papers I think an opposite version of the phrase is more applicable: if we do not remember our history we are doomed not to repeat it. Within the Christian tradition, we can be proud of the rich history of theology developed by thoughtful and God-loving people.
In this issue, CBE’s president, Mimi Haddad, takes us on a historical tour of biblical feminine language for God as used by our Christian predecessors. While preparing this article for publication, I found myself being nourished by the beautiful language. My own desire to use language to communicate was fueled through the words of Teresa of Avila, “For from those divine breasts where it seems God is always sustaining the soul, there flow streams of milk bringing comfort to all the people.” Haddad rightly reminds us that “we must press forward with a careful awareness that when we use metaphorical language for God we are not creating God in our own image as male or as female … In the same way we stress Christ’s humanity over his gender, it is important to also see the humanity of men and women as pre-eminent to their gender.”
Also in this issue, Kevin Giles gives us a sense of the history of theology related to understanding the Trinity and reminds us that theologians are a secondary authority to the Bible. He brings to light the rich and complicated historical discourse on the nature of the Trinity. Giles builds a case to understand the Trinity as a model for egalitarianism that we can apply to all of our relationships.
We can be grateful to Haddad and Giles for reminding us of our history as Christians so we might not only repeat it but also participate in the wonderful opportunities God has for us. This message is particularly important to me personally as I am about to move on to a new phase in my own career. I will no longer serve as editor of Priscilla Papers so that I will have more time to pursue my own writing career.
Prior to becoming a parent in November of last year, I was able to edit Priscilla Papers and pursue my creative writing goals to my own satisfaction. However, the responsibilities of parenting do not leave enough room for me to edit Priscilla Papers and write the poetry and fiction I feel compelled to write. I found it necessary to choose between my editorial work and my creative work. It was a painful choice to make because I love both.
I was aided in the decision-making process by the words of Rainer Maria Rilke in the book Letters to a Young Poet: “ask yourself in the most silent hour of the night: must I write? And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple ‘I must,’ then build your whole life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.” When I meditated on these words, the choice seemed clear, albeit difficult. I will continue to be nourished by and pray for the ministry of CBE and Priscilla Papers as I strive to carry out the desire to create art. I leave you with a heart of gratitude for your faithful support and encouragement over the past year and a half. William Spencer has accepted the challenge to edit Priscilla Papers, and I eagerly anticipate the results of his vision for this journal.