Saturday, April 2, 2011

Commodification of Women Conference - Shalom

Today I went to the Commodification of Women Conference here at Taylor University. John Stackhouse was the key-note speaker. I thought he had some very good things to say. Right now I have a lot going through my mind regarding the conference. For this post I will develop only one of Stackhouse' thought.

It's the concept of shalom. To develop shalom, according to Stackhouse, is the idea of universal flourishing, everything fulfilling its potential. Because everything is interconnected, the flourishing of one person contributes to the flourishing of another. When you're happy I'm happy.

Stackhouse explained this idea in terms of why he spends so much money on his kids. He's spent enough money on his kids to buy a couple of cars. One may ask why. His response was that he loved them. When they are happy, he's happy. He wants to make them happy.

I was surprised that Stackhouse didn't take this and say "now we need to help women who are in great need," or "women don't have shalom, and we need to empower them." He didn't even use the term, I think, "the commodification of women." Yet, he dealt with the issue squarely. When we attempt to bring about shalom into this world, it is no longer just about us, but "the other." (Those who are not like us, completely different from us.)

I think you can take this theology into many different ways, but one obvious way, for me, was looking at it in terms of the doctrine of Christ's kingdom. As servants of the king, aren't we battling for this universal peace? Don't we want our king to rule a world full of shalom? So when I work to see women as humans and not just objects, I am bringing about shalom, bringing about Christ's kingdom here on earth.

No longer is trying to bring about justice in the world, for the sake of stopping injustice. Its about bringing something very special that God intends for us to enjoy and to increase his dominion here on earth.

1 comment:

  1. I recently heard Stackhouse at our school!

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