Link to Archive of Issues Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit

Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Site Index A Justice Site

Liberation Theology

The Art of Betty LaDuke

Betty LaDuke's Eritrea: Women Celebrate
Eritrea: Women Celebrate
by Betty La Duke

California State University, Dominguez Hills
Created: June 6, 2001
Latest update: June 6, 2001

Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit

Review and Teaching Essay by Jeanne Curran, Susan R. Takata, and Patricia Acone
Copyright: Jeanne Curran,Susan R. Takata, and Patricia Acone June 2001. Fair use "encouraged."

This essay is based on Elizabeth A. Johnson's Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit. About $6 at

On Wednesday, June 6, 2001, Patricia Acone wrote:

Recently, I received an invitation to a retreat offered by Immaculate Heart College. The invitation included the book that would be used for the retreat/seminar. I showed it to you a couple of weeks ago; it is a small unintimidating booklet with only 73 pages and notes. The title is Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit by Elizabeth A. Johnson who is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondolet (the order of sisters who taught me.

Johnson holds a doctorate from Catholic University of America and she is a faculty member of the Theology Department at Fordham University. She takes the world to task and links women, earth and the creator spirit as entities that have each equally been trivialized by men, and especially by the men in the Catholic church. She states:

"I propose to explore the thesis that the exploitation of the earth, which has reached crisis proportions in our day, is intimately linked to the marginalization of women, and that both of these predicaments are intrinsically related to forgetting the Creator Spirit who pervades the world in the dance of life. Within a sexist system the true identity of both women and the earth are skewed. Both are commonly excluded from the sphere of the sacred; both are routinely taken for granted and ignored, used and discarded, even battered and "raped" while nevertheless they do not cease to give birth and sustain life. Both women and the earth, furthermore, have a symbolic and literal affinity with the Creator Spirit, giver of life, who is similarly ignored in western religious consciousness as a result of restricting the sacred to a transcendent, monarchical diety outside of nature".

She refers to a" hierarchical dualism" that is modeled on the dominance of ruling male elites and whereby women, people of color,etc are labeled as inferior. She addresses the issue of how male children are taught, by us, to be totally different from their mothers to even despise the female role. She uses bell hooks. I will order a copy for you so that you can receive it post Africa.

On Wednesday, June 6, 2001, jeanne responded:

I remember the little book you showed me. Can't wait to read it. I am intrigued by her phrase "hierarchical dualism," and by her use of bell hooks.

love and peace, jeanne