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This passage is used as a key building block in theologies portraying gender hierarchy as God’s will. This is while the exegetes offer very contradictory interpretations of the text, typically concluding that Paul was not very logical in his argumentation or alternatively parts of the challenging text are simply ignored. In this workshop, an interpretation is presented that assumes that Paul is logical in his argumentation. The passage starts to make sense, when a) the conflict in Corinth is understood as one between social classes – also among different classes of women, b) we realize that the head-coverings and hairdos showed the social status of the person – and status conflicts were the big issue in Corinth overall, c) we notice that the punctuation marks have been added much later and can be ignored. The text is given a natural interpretation as Paul’s Christ-centered response simultaneously to all the conflicting parties, that consist of women in conflict amongst themselves, men in conflict amongst themselves, and conflicts between genders. The workshop offers the participants an opportunity to discuss themes according to their interests relating to the details of the passage, its meaning, the culture of Paul’s time and even Paul’s theology or challenges of exegetical research more widely, also regarding the women’s passages. Read more
What do Gen. 2:24-25 and Eph. 5: 21-33 have in common? When rightly understood, they both provide an almost formula-like description for a pleasurable, loving, faithful marriage of oneness. And both passages are built on equality and mutuality. Modern science teaches what the writers of Genesis and Ephesians could not have known. In these passages, the Holy Spirit inspired a poetic, yet biological picture of how God intends to create a literal chemical bond between husband and wife through invited touch and self-giving behaviors. When both spouses give each other the multifaceted pleasures of exclusively "clinging" and “submitting to one another,” the hormone oxytocin flows. Oxytocin in turn creates a chemical bond between them that supports becoming one flesh, and makes giving oneself up for the other almost inevitable! This biological/psychological knowledge is so powerful that it became the tipping point in helping the Sabiny tribe of Uganda abandon the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Since these biblical and biological messages have the power to bring an end to FGM, think what they can do for your marriage!   Read more
The attitude of Jesus of Nazareth towards women bearing sexual stigma was quite exceptional compared to that of his contemporaries. Behind this we can see, for instance, the radical idea of a woman being an individual capable of making independent decisions – the value of which exceeds the status of being considered the sex object and property of a man. Later church history has distorted this way of thinking, even though the notion of women in the Kingdom of God -entirety proclaimed by Jesus is challengingly equal.  Read more
Why in the country which is one of the best of the countries for girls to live, is the church still struggling with the issues of woman leadership in the church? What kind of challenges an European woman faces in a church ministry? How she can cope with? How the message of the Bible releases and not binds the women? How the Church can make use of woman ministers? The prospects for women ministers.  Read more
Kari Kukkanen is a long-time board member of RaTas - Christians for Equality. He has retired from the teacher position at a Christian College in Helsinki. He has two adult sons.   Read more
Theologians are generally agreed that Genesis chapters 1 to 3 are foundational to biblical revelation, and in particular to a right understanding of the male-female relationship. Today, most commentators on Genesis and Pope John Paul II in a binding encyclical on all Roman Catholics, conclude that in God's good creation man and woman stand side by side, equal in status, dignity and leadership ability; the fall is entirely the cause of women's subordination. Read more
This session will consider a whole Bible approach concerning women and leadership. Topics will include creation, redemption and service for women and men created in God’s image and recreated in the image of Christ.  Read more
We will examine some of the most crucial New Testament texts dealing with the condition of women in the first century society and church. Is the speaking in congregation permitted for women? How about the meaning of ”submit to your husbands” or ”the husband is the head of the wife”? Read more
It is good to bear in mind that traditions – whether Jewish or Christian – have not always stayed loyal to the biblical truth. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the value and status of women throughout the centuries. Read more
Ideas have consequences. In the ”Real men” workshop, we shall be discussing the lies men believe, their challenges and their role in promoting egalitarianism.  Read more

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