We refer to the Fatherhood of God, which is fine but incomplete.... We have hardly spoken about the Motherhood of God, and consequently we have been poorer for this.
The Nature of God
Topic: Divine Love & Goodness
“Just as we must always have faith, we must always question our creeds and make sure that our beliefs bring us closer to God and to truth. Often we focus too much on concrete images of God and on overtly literal readings of the Bible. It is a liability of many languages that they are gendered and therefore we must speak of God as either a He or a She but rarely both. There is something in the nature of God that corresponds to our maleness and our femaleness. We have tended to speak much more of the maleness, so we refer to the Fatherhood of God, which is fine but incomplete. We have missed out on the fullness that is God when we have ignored that which corresponds to our femaleness. We have hardly spoken about the Motherhood of God, and consequently we have been poorer for this.“
Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican Archbishop and theologian known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist.
The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu OMSG CH GCStJ, one of the world’s most revered religious figures and a leading moral voice for peace and justice. passed away on the morning of December 26th at the age of 90.
God Has A Dream
Tutu, Desmond. God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Times. Edited by Douglas Abrams, Rider, 2004. [Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Times].
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Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born October 7, 1931) is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. He was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
Heavenly Father and Mother
The Absolute Being relates to human beings as parent to child. The Jewish and Christian scriptures call God our Heavenly Father; in the Lotus Sutra the Buddha is called “Father of the World.” In some traditions the Absolute Being is also identified as the Divine Mother. Even religions that customarily employ patriarchal imagery for God also describe a motherly aspect: God as Nurturer, Fount of compassion and Sustainer. “There is something in the nature of God that corresponds to our maleness and our femaleness,” remarks Bishop Desmond Tutu. God’s fatherhood and motherhood may be identified with heaven and earth, cooperating to create and nurture all living things.
God’s parental role is not limited to the act of creation; it is an enduring affective relationship of the heart. Love reveals God’s parental aspect better than anything. Even Islam, which avoids describing God as a divine father, in light of its strong rejection of polytheism in which gods physically procreate, includes traditions that describe God’s love by analogy to a father’s love for his son.
–Andrew Wilson [Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture II. Universal Peace Federation, 2011.]
God Has a Dream
“All over this magnificent world God calls us to extend His kingdom of Shalom — peace and wholeness — of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, and of reconciliation. God is transfiguring the world right this very moment through us because God loves us. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.”
–Desmond Tutu [God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Times]
Additional Desmond Tutu Quotes
“It is through weakness and vulnerability that most of us learn empathy and compassion and discover our soul.”
–Desmond Tutu [God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time]
“There are different kinds of justice. Retributive justice is largely Western. The African understanding is far more restorative — not so much to punish as to redress or restore a balance that has been knocked askew.”
–Desmond Tutu [“Recovering from Apartheid” in The New Yorker (18 November 1996)]
“Like humility, generosity comes from seeing that everything we have and everything we accomplish comes from God’s grace and God’s love for us… Certainly it is from experiencing this generosity of God and the generosity of those in our life that we learn gratitude and to be generous to others.”
–Desmond Tutu [God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time] p. 86
“Forgiveness is an absolute necessity for continued human existence.”
–Desmond Tutu [As quoted in Pastoral Care for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Healing the Shattered Soul (2002) by Dalene Fuller Rogers and Harold G. Koenig] p. 31
“I give great thanks to God that he has created a Dalai Lama. Do you really think, as some have argued, that God will be saying: “You know, that guy, the Dalai Lama, is not bad. What a pity he’s not a Christian”? I don’t think that is the case — because, you see, God is not a Christian.”
—Desmond Tutu [As quoted in “Dalai Lama honors Tintin and Tutu” at BBC News (2 June 2006)]