Empowerment versus Power

I am honored to co-lead a woman’s spirituality group at my wonderful church on Sanibel Island, St. Michaels and All Angels.  We gather semi-monthly for an hour, and share thoughts, perspectives, and our life experience around various themes that surface organically from our conversations.  We started with a collection of ideas to discuss, and we distributed them around an integral theory model with the four quadrant representing Self, Family, Community and the World.  But some themes are over-arching and touch on all four corners of our lived experience.

Such is the case with our current focus on personal power. This concept has been the subject of recent writings, scholarship and politicizing. We have fueled our discussions with publications that I locate on the internet.  We are find it rich terrain for discussion and growth.  Some of the questions that surface are life questions; I think this is the case of the question of how is empowerment different or the same as having power.

It is complex the ideas of empowerment and personal power, embedded in our cultural and personal experience. But one worth asking each day on the path to self-actualization and perhaps happiness.   From our last readings, I latched onto three questions/perspectives:  how we enjoy (or relinquish) our personal power, what our religious tradition says about a woman’s power, and how contemporary events and situations influence each of us  personally.

I welcome further conversation here, and include the references to readings we are engaging.

 
 
Here are the readings related to personal power:
Ten ways to own your power
Henna Inam (2011)
 
What the Bible says – and does not say- about Women
David Lose (2012)
President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
 
Rwanda is beating the United States in gender equality
Danielle Paquette (2015, Nov. 20)
 
 
All the Single Ladies
Rebecca Traister (2016)
Author interviewed on NPR
 
NY Times book review (by Gillian White)
 

 

 

 

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