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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Top Divinity Schools Tell Professors to Refer to God with Gender-Neutral Language

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Jan 17
  • Comments

Two prominent divinity schools have instructed their professors to use gender-neutral language when referring to God.

According to National Review, the divinity schools at Duke and Vanderbilt Universities have told their faculty to give “consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the Divine,” in an effort to be more “inclusive” and to “mitigate sexism.”

Although “It is up to the individual professor’s interpretation for their classes and is suggestive rather than mandatory,” National Review writer Katherine Timpf notes that most attendees at Duke’s divinity school, for example, are already part of the Methodist church, which believes that its God is a male.

Therefore, although anyone has a right in America to refer to God however they see fit, they do not have the license to make the biblical God into an entity with no gender specificity when He is clearly spoken of as a male in the main Christian text, the Bible.

“It would be like teaching Hamlet and calling Hamlet ‘she,’” Timpf points out.

But Duke’s guidelines for their professors say that gender-specific pronouns and language should be replaced with simply “God” or even “Godself.”

Masculine pronouns for God “have served as a cornerstone of the patriarchy,” say the universities.


Publication date: January 17, 2017