27 September 2010

Book, recommended: The Eternal Woman

I'm not actually reviewing this book because I have a problem with writing ridiculously long book reviews, and this one would end up being longer than almost anything I've ever written. All I'm going to say is that any Christian person would benefit from reading The Eternal Woman by Gertrud von le Fort.

The Church's view of women was one of many things the Reformation did not seek to change. The Lutheran Confessions didn't have to have an article on women's ordination (WT . . . heck?) or address complementarianism or give an encouraging shout out to all the pregnant ladies. There simply wasn't a question of such things. But now there are many questions of such things, with the unfortunate effect that it nearly always comes off as boorish to give the ladies a friendly reminder of their blessed place (see?). In the introduction to The Eternal Woman, Alice von Hildebrand writes, "there are questions raised only when a person has adopted a wrong metaphysical posture." Good posture takes off ten pounds, so this book is worth the investment right there. Head up and shoulders back, girls: the Church is the only place that has ever respected women.

Fair warning: Gertrud von le Fort was a Roman Catholic, and her thesis pivots on RC Marian dogma. Then again, followers of the Pope generally have a more reliable metaphysical posture than other folks, and if what's dogma to them is an open question to us maybe we'd do well to learn what a good question sounds like. Gertrud von Fort was also a German and an intellectual and writes like one of each with a side of having been born in 1876 when schools still educated, so add one of Amazon's prettiest thinking caps to the cart and qualify the order for free shipping.

(Thanks again to Monique, who sent me my copy. Also, someone once sent me a video of one of those skinny chick inspirational speakers who had a riff about building cathedrals, which I now cannot find. Anyway, that skinny chick sounded an awful lot like page 50.)

The Woman may be eternal, but the book's only 108 pages.

9 comments:

Leah said...

I've just ordered it. Thank you!

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Speaking of Alice von Hildebrand, her own little book, The Privilege of Being a Woman, is also a good read.

Megan173 said...

I just ordered it. Thank you. I was looking for something to read, and my husband's library is now at church and not in our bedroom. I can't wait to get it. By the way I think you created a run on it. After I ordered mine there where only four left.

Rebekah said...

Rev. Deacon, that one's next on my list.

Megan, it was a sad day here too when the library moved out. :D It's also available through Ignatius with e-book and audio options.

Rebekah said...

Duh: http://www.ignatius.com/Products/EW-P/the-eternal-woman.aspx

Gauntlets said...

See, here I've been chewing on a post about how the lack of good Marian dogma is precisely our problem. :D Glad I was beat to the punch by 130 years.

Katy said...

Gauntlets, you should still post.

Actually, it would be nice to have a mini book discussion after you all read the book.

Untamed Shrew said...

I'll admit, this book is a really slow read for me. Maybe that's because I'm, uh... slow.

Reb. Mary said...

I'm really excited about this book. Thanks, friend :)