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Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: desertman] #398626 08/29/13 11:22 PM
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Dear desertman,

Could I call you "Sandy?" smile

Wasn't referring to you at all, sir.

Pray for me too that I overcome in my current struggle (and one day get my PM privileges here . . .).

Kidding! Less pain when I laugh!

Cheers,

Alex

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: desertman] #398642 08/30/13 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by Vox Populi

I am genuinely interested in real arguments - with reference to the fathers or documents of the Church.

Ok, I just can't help myself. You want Church Fathers, you got em! smile :
Quote

St. Augustine
The City of God (Book XXII) Chapter 17 - Whether the Bodies of Women Shall Retain Their Own Sex in the Resurrection.

From those bodies, then, vice shall be withdrawn, while nature shall be preserved. And the sex of woman is not a vice, but nature. It shall then indeed be superior to carnal intercourse and child-bearing; nevertheless the female members shall remain adapted not to the old uses, but to a new beauty, which, so far from provoking lust, now extinct, shall excite praise to the wisdom and clemency of God, who both made what was not and delivered from corruption what He made. For at the beginning of the human race the woman was made of a rib taken from the side of the man while he slept; for it seemed fit that even then Christ and His Church should be foreshadowed in this event. For that sleep of the man was the death of Christ, whose side, as He hung lifeless upon the cross, was pierced with a spear, and there flowed from it blood and water, and these we know to be the sacraments by which the Church is "built up." For Scripture used this very word, not saying "He formed" or "framed," but "built her up into a woman;" Genesis 2:22 whence also the apostle speaks of the edification of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:12 which is the Church. The woman, therefore, is a creature of God even as the man; but by her creation from man unity is commended; and the manner of her creation prefigured, as has been said, Christ and the Church. He, then, who created both sexes will restore both. Jesus Himself also, when asked by the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, which of the seven brothers should have to wife the woman whom all in succession had taken to raise up seed to their brother, as the law enjoined, says, "You do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29 And though it was a fit opportunity for His saying, She about whom you make inquiries shall herself be a man, and not a woman, He said nothing of the kind; but "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Matthew 22:30 They shall be equal to the angels in immortality and happiness, not in flesh, nor in resurrection, which the angels did not need, because they could not die. The Lord then denied that there would be in the resurrection, not women, but marriages; and He uttered this denial in circumstances in which the question mooted would have been more easily and speedily solved by denying that the female sex would exist, if this had in truth been foreknown by Him. But, indeed, He even affirmed that the sex should exist by saying, "They shall not be given in marriage," which can only apply to females; "Neither shall they marry," which applies to males. There shall therefore be those who are in this world accustomed to marry and be given in marriage, only they shall there make no such marriages.


Of course something tells me you'll still claim this is opinion and that you'll stick with your catechist!
(Just messing with ya!) wink
This is all in good fun Vox P.!


OK, we have an OPINION of Augustine.

anything more? except an opinion? like a determination by a Church counsel?

so far the words of Jesus Christ and the degree of Catechism stands as I see it - no gender in the afterlife.


Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: desertman] #398643 08/30/13 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by desertman
One last thought Vox. Think about the fact that being male and female is not just about body parts or procreation. There is a difference physically, spiritually, emotionally between men and women and those differences are part of what make God's creation beautiful. The way which men and women relate to one another - and not just sexually - is beautiful. The dynamics between the sexes is beautiful. It's not just about functionality or procreation. It's about beauty and wonder.


the whole difference is about procreation. it is just a feature of the body, nothing else. The higher level bodies - spiritual bodies - as we will have after Resurrection do not need this feature - as Angels do not either.
I do not see any special beauty in the dynamics between sexes - if there is no main objective involved. the whole beauty is for the procreation only.

Interesting, that you do not see it as chains on our lowly bodies, which it is.

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: desertman] #398644 08/30/13 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by Vox Populi
[ I did encounter this belief on the web that our gender is going to be with us forever, however, I was raised on belief that we won't have any gender since there won't be any need for it.


Originally Posted by Vox Populi
...I have always thought this way and always will


What is the use of debating with you after making statements like these? You are obviously not open to even the slightest possibility you might be wrong.


Because I have not seen anything convincing except your own opinions and opinions of two other distinguished men of church.

Neither has spoken why did Jesus Christ specifically noted that there is no need for gender difference in Heaven and even referred the comparison to Angels, who, being higher entities than humans, do not have gender.

Then the article of the Catholic Church in the Catechism, which clearly states that our bodies will be changed to spiritual bodies of a higher order is totally mum on gender difference.
I wonder - why?

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: HeavenlyBlack] #398648 08/30/13 05:19 PM
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Neither has spoken why did Jesus Christ specifically noted that there is no need for gender difference in Heaven and even referred the comparison to Angels, who, being higher entities than humans, do not have gender.


From John Meyendorff's Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective, pp.13-14:

Quote
All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 22:23-32; Mark 12:18·27; Luke 20:27-37) report Jesus' attitude towards the "levirate." It is important to notice that the question is related to Christ's teaching on resurrection and immortality, which cancels worries about survival through posterity. When the Sadducees ("which say that there is no resurrection") asked who, among the seven brothers who successively married the same woman, will have her to wife "in the resurrection," Jesus answers that "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven."

This text is often understood to imply that marriage is only an earthly institution and that its reality is dissolved by death. Such an understanding prevailed in the Western Church, which never discouraged remarriage of widowers and never limited the number of remarriages permitted to Christians. However, if this were the right understanding of Jesus' words, they would be in clear contradiction to the teaching of St. Paul and to the very consistent canonical practice of the Orthodox Church throughout the centuries. In the Christian understanding, marriage is absolutely unique and quite incompatible with the "levirate." Never would the Christian Church encourage a man to marry his brother's widow (see below, Chapter X). In fact, as Clement of Alexandria already noted, "The Lord is not rejecting mar­riage, but ridding their minds of the expectation that in the resurrection there will be carnal desire."(1) Jesus' answer to the Sadducees is strictly limited by the meaning of their question. They rejected the Resurrection because they could not understand it otherwise than as a restoration of earthly human existence, which would include the Judaic understand­ ing of marriage as procreation through sexual intercourse. In this, Jesus says, they "err," because life in the Kingdom will be like that of the "angels." Jesus' answer is, therefore, noth­ing more than a denial of a naive and materialistic under­ standing of the Resurrection, and it does not give any positive meaning to marriage. He speaks of the levirate, and not of Christian marriage, whose meaning is revealed-implicitly and explicitly-in other parts of the New Testament.

1. Clement of Alexandria (d. appro 21S A.D.) is one of the founders of Christian theology. The quotation is from his Miscellanies, III, 12, 87, Engl. tr. in The Library of Christian Classics, II, Philadelphia, Pa., The Westminster Press, 19:54, p. 81.

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: HeavenlyBlack] #398661 09/01/13 05:40 AM
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Weighing in for the continuity of gender in the resurrection, I would point out that gender involves far more than mere sexuality and generation. Characteristics of masculinity include ideas of protection, fatherhood, creativity, and vigilance. Characteristics of femininity include nurturance, maternity and healing.

C.S. Lewis, throughout his Space Trilogy, makes much of the difference between sex and gender. Particularly in the 3rd novel, "That Hideous Strength", in the scene where the planetary archons, or Oyarsas descend to Earth to execute the Divine Judgement against the N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) Mars, the god of War(Malacandra), is contrasted with Venus, the godess of Love (Perelandra),and their corresponding characteristics Lewis states his teaching explicity: Basicly these eternal gender-based traits transcend the earthly, biological traits of sexuality as Plato's heavenly, cosmic Ideals transcend those of the physical universe. Hope this helps. Glenn

Although this may be short on proof texts from Scripture, one may compare and contrast God the Father "from whom all fatherhood gets its name", or St.Michael with the Theotokos, or the Holy Spirit, "who hovered over the face of the deep". Hopefully this approach works to validate the persistence of masculinity and femininity in the afterlife.

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: StuartK] #398671 09/01/13 05:39 PM
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In the Resurrection _all_relationships_ will be transcended because they will be mediated through Christ perfectly, and no longer through our limited modes of human communication such as speech or various forms of nonverbal communication such as sexual intercourse. In the resurrection "we shall know even as we are known". Thus, gender remains as part of our indelible human character but is no longer needed for communication. Glenn.

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: JGlennCee] #398702 09/02/13 07:30 PM
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Yes, it's sad to see that Vox just may be a Sadducee . . .

Alex

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: HeavenlyBlack] #398705 09/02/13 07:51 PM
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Sounds like a lot of Docetism.

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: chadrook] #398712 09/02/13 10:14 PM
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It does, doesn't it?

Alex

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #398727 09/03/13 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
It does, doesn't it?

Alex


But we need to take the nebulous approach like gnosticism.

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: chadrook] #398733 09/03/13 12:13 PM
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Some of my students refer to me as being "nebulous . . ."

Cheers, Alex

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: Vox Populi] #398735 09/03/13 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Vox Populi
OK, we have an OPINION of Augustine.

anything more? except an opinion? like a determination by a Church council?

VP,

Church councils are called to deal with serious issues confronting the Church ...

Originally Posted by Vox Populi
so far the words of Jesus Christ and the degree of Catechism stands as I see it - no gender in the afterlife.


Yes, the words of Jesus Christ are of *supreme* importance to Christians. However, it is vitally important *not* to read our own suppositions into His words.

As I see it, your interpretation is based on two suppositions:
  • That Our Lord's affirmation of our becoming "as the angels in heaven" necessarily extends beyond the simple fact of not marrying and being given in marriage
  • That having male and female characteristics is completely, necessarily and self-evidently meaningless apart from marrying and being given in marriage

If either of these suppositions is anything less than a mathematical certainty, your thesis becomes dubious, at best.

For my part, I have to say you're the first person I've heard try to affirm this interpretation.

(Btw, the term "afterlife" is a construct of 19th-century rationalists, and has no place in the Christian vocabulary.)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: Epiphanius] #398765 09/04/13 10:46 AM
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Perhaps an interesting debate, but really...does it matter with respect to our own Theosis and journey through this life?

I'll defer to the Apostle Paul here as this is one of those things we now see darkly as in a mirror.

Or, as we Orthodox like to say to overthinking scholastics, "Its a mystery." smile

Last edited by DMD; 09/04/13 10:48 AM.
Re: Feminine and Masculine, East and West [Re: StuartK] #398787 09/04/13 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Neither has spoken why did Jesus Christ specifically noted that there is no need for gender difference in Heaven and even referred the comparison to Angels, who, being higher entities than humans, do not have gender.


From John Meyendorff's Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective, pp.13-14:

Quote
All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 22:23-32; Mark 12:18·27; Luke 20:27-37) report Jesus' attitude towards the "levirate." It is important to notice that the question is related to Christ's teaching on resurrection and immortality, which cancels worries about survival through posterity. When the Sadducees ("which say that there is no resurrection") asked who, among the seven brothers who successively married the same woman, will have her to wife "in the resurrection," Jesus answers that "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven."

This text is often understood to imply that marriage is only an earthly institution and that its reality is dissolved by death. Such an understanding prevailed in the Western Church, which never discouraged remarriage of widowers and never limited the number of remarriages permitted to Christians. However, if this were the right understanding of Jesus' words, they would be in clear contradiction to the teaching of St. Paul and to the very consistent canonical practice of the Orthodox Church throughout the centuries. In the Christian understanding, marriage is absolutely unique and quite incompatible with the "levirate." Never would the Christian Church encourage a man to marry his brother's widow (see below, Chapter X). In fact, as Clement of Alexandria already noted, "The Lord is not rejecting mar­riage, but ridding their minds of the expectation that in the resurrection there will be carnal desire."(1) Jesus' answer to the Sadducees is strictly limited by the meaning of their question. They rejected the Resurrection because they could not understand it otherwise than as a restoration of earthly human existence, which would include the Judaic understand­ ing of marriage as procreation through sexual intercourse. In this, Jesus says, they "err," because life in the Kingdom will be like that of the "angels." Jesus' answer is, therefore, noth­ing more than a denial of a naive and materialistic under­ standing of the Resurrection, and it does not give any positive meaning to marriage. He speaks of the levirate, and not of Christian marriage, whose meaning is revealed-implicitly and explicitly-in other parts of the New Testament.

1. Clement of Alexandria (d. appro 21S A.D.) is one of the founders of Christian theology. The quotation is from his Miscellanies, III, 12, 87, Engl. tr. in The Library of Christian Classics, II, Philadelphia, Pa., The Westminster Press, 19:54, p. 81.


OK, since Jesus is clearly speaking against the implication of carnal desire in eternity, Meyendorff is actually confirming ( not directly, but indirectly) that there is no need for sexual identity in eternity since there is not going to be any sex, procreation, or marriage ( if speaking modestly) involved.

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