Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baptist Seminary Finally Admits Women

From the North Texas Star Telegram:

'...The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers coursework in Greek and Hebrew, in archaeology, in the philosophy of religion and - starting this fall - in how to cook and sew.

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation's largest Southern Baptist seminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles.

It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hour concentration in homemaking. The program is only open to women.

Coursework will include seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation, seven hours of textile design and "clothing construction," three hours of general homemaking, three hours on "the value of a child," and three hours on the "biblical model for the home and family."...'

This whole 'biblical roles' for women is based on an essential fallacy: namely that gender based roles in biblical times are the same as the gender based roles today. While the Bible clearly talks about and assigns gender roles (liberal protestations about this tend towards the silly) these roles more often than not have little or no correlation to gender roles preached by fundamentalist churches today. The above list of coursework is a classic example. 'Clothing construction' is not a biblical gender role, but anointing the dead is - read the endings of the gospels of Mark and Matthew. This betrays the motivation for this sort of bizarre degree. That and the fact that the only female teaching at the seminary is the wife of the School President.

What's also missing from this program is any mention of gender roles for men. Oddly that always seems to be lacking. No men's coursework for undertaking the lifestyle of the 'suffering servant' of Isaiah, for instance.