More on Margaret Miles

April 16, 2010

Parker Williamson is shocked—shocked—that Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education is featuring as its 2010 Sprunt Lecturer “a feminist speaker who favors replacing the cross with a lactating breast.”

David Smart agrees,
crowing that he “couldn’t make that up if I tried.” Maybe not, but no
matter—Williamson’s got it covered. Nice to know that Margaret Miles’s Century article
from early 2008 can still provoke this kind of hyperbolic half-truth.
Williamson quotes the article, though naturally not this part:

The
secularization of the breast in early modern Western Europe began a
long process in which Christianity came to be seen increasingly as
focused on beliefs and doctrines, while bodies and physical practices
were marginalized. Both images of the crucifixion and images of the
lactating Virgin visualize bodies as capable of communicating
Christianity's central message—God's love for humanity. It may well be
that both images are needed.

Union-PSCE student and CCblogger Marvin Lindsay offers a more thoughtful response.
His starting point is a panel discussion of Miles’s article at the
seminary, in anticipation of her upcoming lecture. Sounds like a good
and provocative conversation.