Friday, February 22, 2013

SK: "She says that, but observe that to say that is really to remain silent"


That a woman is presented as a teacher, as a pattern of piety, can astonish no one who knows piety, can astonish no one who knows that piety or godliness is in its very nature a womanly quality. If women are to "keep silent in the Churches" and to that extent are not to teach—well, that means precisely to keep silent before God, and precisely this belongs essentially to true godliness, and this also thou must be able to learn from a woman.

From a woman, therefore, thou  can also learn the humble faith in relation to the  Extraordinary Man, the humble faith which does not incredulously, doubtingly ask, "Why?" "Wherefore?"  "How is this possible?" but humbly believes like Mary and says, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord."  She says that, but observe that to say that is really to remain silent.  From a woman, thou dost learn to hear the Word, rightly, from Mary, who though "she understood not the saying," yet "kept it in her heart," so that she did not demand irst to understand, but silently treasured the Word in the right place where the Word, the good seed, is "kept in a  good and honest heart"

From a woman thou dost learn the hushed, profound, God-fearing sorrow which is silent before God, from Mary; for it is true that the sword pierced through her heart, as was prophesied, but she was not in despair, either at the prophecy, or at its coming to pass. From a woman thou dost learn concern for one thing needful, from Mary the sister of Lazarus, who sat silent at the feet of Christ, with her heart's choice, the one thing needful. So canst thou also learn from a woman the right sort of sorrow for sin, from the woman that was a sinner, from her whose many sins, long, long ago, not only passed into oblivion but were forgotten, but who herself eternally became unforgettable.  How could it be otherwise that in this respect one might be able to learn from a woman?'
         -Kierkegaard,  Training in Christianity /An Edifying Discourse pp 244-45
Commentary on this whole section of Kierkegaard here...

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