Johnson’s Argument for a New Understanding of God: Theological Implications for Women’s Place in Society

In her book Naming God She: The Theological Implications, Elizabeth Johnson proposes an argument that our definition of God affects who we are and what we do. She believes that the way we see God reflects our own view of reality, and this ultimately shapes our actions and relationships.

Johnson’s argument is based on the premise that there is a need for a new understanding of God in light of the changing role of women in society. She contends that the traditional image of God as a male father figure is no longer adequate or appropriate. Instead, she suggests that we need to consider other images of God, such as the female image of Sophia or the divine mother.

Johnson’s argument has implications for how we see ourselves and our place in the world. If we adopt her suggestion to view God as female, it could help to change the way we see ourselves and our relationships. It might also lead to a more just and equitable world, as women would no longer be seen as inferior to men.

The traditional image of God as male has been used to justify the subordination of women. This is because it reinforces the idea that men are superior to women and have a right to rule over them. In contrast, Johnson’s female image of Sophia challenges this view by offering an alternative understanding of reality.

Sophia is a wisdom figure who is often depicted as a woman. She represents a different way of seeing things, and she teaches us that knowledge is not just something that belongs to men. Johnson believes that if we adopt this image of Sophia, it will help to change the way we see women and their place in society.

The image of God as female also has implications for how we understand our own bodies. For centuries, women have been told that their bodies are sinful and dirty. This is because they are seen as being like Eve, who was responsible for original sin. However, if we adopt Johnson’s suggestion to view God as female, it could help us to see our bodies in a new light. We would no longer see them as something to be ashamed of, but instead as something beautiful and sacred.

Other images of God can also be helpful in understanding our place in the world. For example, the Bible often uses images of animals to depict God. These images can remind us that we are not alone in the world and that we are connected to all living things. They can also help us to see God as being close to us and approachable.

Ultimately, Johnson’s argument provides food for thought about the nature of reality and our place within it. It is not possible to say definitively whether her suggestions are correct or not, but they offer a different perspective on some important issues.


Elizabeth Johnson defines God as "the ground of all being, the eternal source and goal of all life, the infinite mystery beyond and within all things."

She uses several arguments to support her definition, including that it is based on scripture, tradition, reason, and experience.

I agree with her definition of God because it is very inclusive and encompassing.

Her arguments differ from other definitions of God that I have heard in that they are much more comprehensive and detailed.

The implications of her definition are that we should live our lives in a way that is respectful of all beings and try to see the divine mystery in everything.