I attended Sunstone Northwest today. Because of an inevitable conflict, I had to leave early. Aaron Brown also attended and committed to posting on the topic, but we all know that the Lord’s return is not yet at hand. I therefore offer a few (non-exhaustive) notes for all of you who do not live in the Garden.
Starbird is the popular author of many books on the Sacred Union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. She basically recounted her personal journey from conservative Catholic soccer-mom to Sacred-Feminist, interjecting nuggets from her books along the way.
There were several things that I found fascinating. First, her discovery narrative mirrors very well the lives of many Mormons. Ultradox individual reads some books, struggles with ideas that seem to have been shoved under the rug…
Her experience is grounded in her charismatic praxis. She repeatedly turned to her practice of sincere prayer, bibliomancy and sign interpretation as guides that focused her on the journey to heretic extraordinaire. Surprisingly, she credits the beginning of her odyssey to the bibliomantic selection of Mark 14 for a divinity school term paper. If I am not mistaken, the earliest Mormon attribution of Mary as Jesus wife is an 1844 exegesis of the same verses in Heber Kimball’s Journal.
I wish she would have fielded questions. I’m interested in her response to scholars such as Umberto Eco who publicly disagree with her narrative.
Martha Sonntag Bradley
Bradley reviewed the role of the Church in the anti-ERA battles of the seventies. Having been born in 1976 and not particularly remembering this time period well, I found the account informative and heartbreaking.
In a follow up question, Bradley did note how many women in the church were quite empowered by this anti-ERA activism. They organized citizen groups, education seminars and public protests. She also noted the general antipathy both in and outside the church that young people have toward the label of Feminism today. I can relate to that, and it wasn’t until relatively recently that I have had the confidence to wear it proudly, instead of ceding the term to those who would co-opt it.
Dehlin, of recent bloggernacledom, presented on Mormonism and the internet. He gave a quick overview of the history then spent quite a bit of time on blogs. It was interesting to see people’s reactions to something that is quite regular in our lives. I think my favorite was when he put up a slide with Feminist Mormon Housewives website on it. fMhLisa, you really did an excellent job naming your blog. Look for some new visitors.
Dehlin then went on to describe his vision for the future. John wants an open multimedia forum on the internet. Basically a wiki with video, I think. We’ll see how it pans out. I, myself, am looking forward to the immanent FAIR wiki.