Oxford college for priests calls for gender-neutral God

Oxford college for priests calls for gender-neutral God

 An Oxford University college for priests in the UK has issued a new inclusive language policy, calling on its staff and students to use gender-neutral terminology when referring to God.

Wycliffe Hall based in Oxford, which trains clergy for the Church of England, recommends that "the one who" be used instead of "He" in references to God and advocates choosing hymns in which references to "son" can be changed to "child".

The language policy also wants to replace words like "mankind" with "humankind", The Sunday Times reported.

The document explains: "The patriarchal masculine has become a form of alienation for many women and indeed many men."

The college wants its members to must use a version of the Bible, 'Today's New International Version', that has gender-neutral language.

For example: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" becomes "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God".

Janet Soskice, professor of philosophical theology at Cambridge, told the newspaper that there were both pros and cons to using inclusive language.

"You cannot dry-clean history. At one American university they have a prohibition on using the phrase 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit' in the chapel. That means no holy eucharist service can take place there. Every gain has a loss," she said.

A similar guide published by the UK's Modern Church charity also states that the repetition of masculine language about God is "consistently sexist" and "harmful and demeaning to women as co-equal children of God".

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