Amid lots of frustration at work last night, I received clarity on some issues that I have been having, namely the issue of the emphasis on the state of Israel in the synagogue. Bill and I walked back to the theology house, where he told me that it’s a strong urge to leave the table one is at for a better one. However, this ignores the influence that our religion has had on us. Judaism has shaped me, whether I agree with some aspects of the religion or not. We have to stand in solidarity with the institutions that birthed our identities. If I cannot attend service at the synagogue, there are other things I can do on the individual level. There are also alternative communities that I can seek, that I can garner a sense of community. Jewish personalism and queer communitarianism. Perhaps that’s the perspective I need to emphasize.
I am also thinking a lot about the creation of a more inclusive theology, especially from last night’s conversations. My interest at this period in time is to look at the book of Isaiah. Particularly, I am interested in the leit motifs within the book. Isaiah, is important to creating an inclusive theology for many reasons. First, it is three authors. This means that Isaiah represents an already growing tradition, rather than just a book itself. You have three Isaiahs, each rooted during different historical circumstances. One preaches shortly before the exile, the other during the exile, and the other after the exile. In other words, Isaiah is not only prophecy, but it is a prophetic corpus with a narrative. Furthermore, Isaiah offers us commandments, principles, paradigms, and a symbolic world (or several competing symbolic worlds). We get a really thick set of ideals when reading Isaiah. We also get images, as well, which I, as someone who is heavily into the aesthetic, can really appreciate. Isaiah was used so frequently by the early Church that it has often been termed “the fifth Gospel.”
In other words, I think that I have a good start. Time to finish reading Bellah.