Krister Stendahl, dean of the Divinity School, told about 100 people yesterday that anyone who believes that God is a "He" does not know what God is all about, and that "justice" is the determining factor in the assimilation of women into the church.
Stendahl is the only male speaker for this year's Lentz Lecture Series, which is focusing on the church's role in the oppression of women.
While discussing the oft-asked question of whether God is male or female, and how this contributes to women's oppression. Stendahl said that the traditional male-ness of God is an "accident to the faith."
He called the church "a bastion for male leadership and domination," and he said that this domination was "a theological problem in the deepest sense of the word."
Stendahl said that many men are afraid when they see women coming into power in the church because they know deep down that the system is not just. He said that in the past, the attitude toward the justice or injustice of the church's position has been roughly. "Let the world take care of justice and let the church reflect on male-female polarity or some such question."
Stendahl was chosen to give the eighth lecture of the nine-lecture series because of his long-standing interest in the role of women in the church. His first published work on the subject--The Bible and the Role of Women--was printed in 1948.