In Norway, a theologian calls to designate God by “iel”
Deliver us from the male? In Norway, where the non-gendered pronoun “hen” (“iel”) has just entered the dictionary, a theologian on Thursday called on the Church to go further by using it to designate God.
“I use all these theological arguments that have always said that God is beyond the human, that God is beyond the masculine and the feminine,” Jorunn Økland, professor of gender studies, told AFP. and in theology at the University of Oslo.
To be against his proposal “would be to disagree with what he has said to himself in the past”, pleads the theologian, who wants to put down the old habit of giving a gender – very often masculine – to God.
“My goal is to have it discussed, because this change in the Norwegian dictionaries has opened up this possibility.”
First officially integrated in 2015 by the Swedish Academy, the neutral pronoun “hen” then gradually spread to its Scandinavian neighbors.
While its use is still uneven and has sparked debate in society, the neuter pronoun is nevertheless gaining ground.
Last month, it officially became part of Norway’s two official languages, Nynorsk and Bokmål.
“I thought that now that this term is officially part of the Norwegian language at the highest level, we can start using it outside of gender studies and in a more general context,” says Jorunn Økland.
“If we could think of something that goes beyond the human, that could be a model for something more inclusive, it would be an inspiration for many people, not only for the Church. “, she asserts.
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