Divine fatherhood

For this forum, we invited scholars from varied disciplinary backgrounds, with varied regional and religious expertise, to reflect on what it means to treat fathers as God-like and what it means to treat God as father-like. Are there unexpected ways that linking together gods and fathers—for example, through domestic violence at the family level, racial or colonial paternalism at the social level, and anthropomorphism at the theological level—produces specific pathological forms? What can the religious critique of idolatry learn from feminist theory and practice, and what is gained or lost when feminist critiques of patriarchy adopt a secular idiom? Are the erotics of divine fatherhood—from purity balls to lecherous “mentors” to Beyoncé’s ambiguous “Daddy”—amplified or deformed when divinity is repressed?

Thank you to Juliane Hammer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and editorial board member Vincent Lloyd, Villanova University, for guest curating this forum. You can read their introduction here.