Supplemental but not Equal

Faith and Philosophy 17 (1):116-125 (2000)
Abstract
This paper addresses central issues in the debate about inclusive language for God by responding to Andrew Dell’Olio, who offered biblical, theological, linguistic, and ethical reasons for a “supplemental” use of feminine language for God. Since he leaves unclear whether “supplemental” means “secondary to” or “fully equal to” the masculine language of the biblical tradition, it is difficult to determine whether he makes his case. While a secondary role for feminine language for God is legitimate, I argue that giving feminine language a status equal to the Bible’s masculine language for God is not warranted by the standard biblical and theological criteria of the Christian tradition
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