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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Monday, April 27, 2015

Feminist Nuns, Jesus, & Jane Austen's Feminist Christianity

Three years ago, almost to the day, I posted…
..about “Jane Austen, Jimmy Carter, feminist nuns & Jesus” in the aftermath of the Vatican crackdown on American Catholic nuns who had the temerity to want to live Jesus’s true message of altruism, nonjudgment, and care for the poor and helpless, and in particular for oppressed women, and to expect the Catholic Church not to expel them.
I suggested that Jane Austen would have been 1000% on the side of these heroic nuns, who stood their ground in the face of an attack by perhaps the most ancient powerful patriarchal institution in the world.

By chance today, as I was browsing through blog posts of mine from when I first started blogging actively nearly 5 years ago, I came across the above linked 2012 post, and so imagine my surprise and delight that when I went to Tweet a link to it, I came across Tweets from the last two weeks that linked to articles, such as this one in The Guardian…
…which heralded some really really good news. Pope Francis apparently has done it again, “it” being doing something to really shake up his mammoth bureaucratic apparatus, and to get back to its roots in the selfless, loving message of Jesus that ought to have been the message all along, but got lost a long time ago in many ways.

And I was reminded once again of the quotation in Northanger Abbey, Henry Tilney’s rant at Catherine Morland, that for me is the epicenter of Jane Austen’s true Christian message, i.e., that when the Church (whether it be Anglican, Catholic, or any other) loses sight of its moral center, it is up to ordinary “heroines” on the street to step up and demand a return to goodness and charity.

So somewhere Jane Austen is cheering these brave and resourceful nuns on, as they do their good works. In particular, women must keep pressing hard to force the Churches to be Christian in the best sense of that word.

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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