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In-depth Look at the Fatherly and Motherly God

Dr. David Hanna on fatherly and motherly God

Understanding the Creator as fatherly and motherly God gives more comprehensive view of essence of God

Part 3 of a lecture given by Dr. David Hanna, head of the North European sub-region of the Family Federation, at an international prayer meeting by Zoom on 27th March 2024.

See part 1, part 2

To conclude my presentation, here are some additional thoughts from me – indicated by the change of slide background – on the term “Heavenly Parent”.

My own view is that in English it remains a bit problematic, although I’m getting used to it just through constant use. I suppose the term “Heavenly Parent” in English begs the question, “Well, which Parent do you mean, Mother or Father?”

Also, it’s not a term of address that we use in everyday language. We don’t say, “Good morning, parent.”

ParentsHowever, the Korean word “bumo” is ambiguously either singular or plural. And even if singular, the word is anyway made up of the two phonemes, “bu” and “mo”, meaning “father” and “mother”.

So, my personal solution, at least for private prayer, is to use the Korean “Haneul bumonim”. I can easily imagine that for Korean ears, this is a beautiful step up from “Hananim”, which is an old word for God in native Korean religion and which translates, as – you might know – “the honourable number one”.

This change involves a comfortable expansion of the existing word in line with the developed concept.

It has to be said, the idea of God as having both a feminine as well as a masculine nature, is not unique to us as Unificationists.

The root of our faith is, of course, in the Jewish Torah.

“So God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him. Male and female, he created them.” (Genesis 1,28)

Bhagavad Gita
A new edition of the classic translation of the Bhagavad Gita – The Song of God – Translation by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood. Photo: Vedanta Press / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC ASA 4.0 Int

It’s really a revealed truth, very much ahead of its time. But also in the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita, which is written around 200 to 400 BCE, it reads,

“I am the Father and Mother of this universe.”

Richard Rohr on fatherly and motherly God
Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr. Photo (2001): Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA / Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image

And for a more contemporary take, showing this is a topic about which there’s a lot of talk actually, as well as a changing practice today. I was interested to read this. It’s from the popular author and the Franciscan, so catholic monk Richard Rohr. He says,

“Do you think if we’d had a more feminine image of God, that we would have understood creation as labour and giving birth? If we had had an image of God as the great mother who is giving birth, I think history as process, pain, patience-guided destiny would have come more naturally. As it is, we have seen history as a linear obstacle course, something to be conquered, exploited and won.” (Richard Rohr, “Jesus’ Plan for a New World”, p35)

And you’ll surely find many more examples yourself.

I don’t see myself resorting to dualism as being the main danger. I think a more real but hidden danger lies in inductive reasoning itself. If we start with what we know as masculine and feminine and simply say God is like that, then we don’t know God. That is my worry.

I think the lecture could benefit also from a reference to the Holy Spirit and how that has been viewed historically. After all, we call Mother Moon “the substantial Holy Spirit”.

Jesus and first blessing
Extract from a slide used by Dr. Jin-su Hwang. Photo: FFWPU

Jesus was and is the only begotten son of God and the first to fulfill the first blessing and become a complete embodiment of God or incarnation.

Traditional trinitarian view
Extract from a slide used by Dr. Jin-su Hwang. Photo: FFWPU

Now, the traditional trinitarian view of God is all male, with God the Father as male, in mystical oneness with God the Son, who is, of course, male, and God the Holy Spirit, who is also regarded as male. So, three persons in one, but all male.

You also find much discussion in theological circles about the feminine nature of the Holy Spirit and how the masculine definition has been arrived at, which is largely by a quirk of language, actually, as well as being subjected to a male dominated church hierarchy.

Jesus and Holy Spirit
Extract from a slide used by Dr. Jin-su Hwang. Photo: FFWPU

So, the Divine Principle reveals an elegant and very beautiful solution where the Holy Spirit is revealed and given as a feminine counterpart to the risen Jesus to give comfort and spiritual rebirth to those who turn to Christ. This is an important view to propagate, in my opinion.

Finally, let me remind you of just how advanced Father Moon’s Christology, or “True Parentology”, as I like to call it, how advanced it is.

Here he is speaking to dignitaries at the World Culture and Sports Festival banquet that’s back in 2005. He said,

Once Adam and Eve had reached perfection, however, God planned to dwell within them, to have complete oneness with them. He planned that He would enter a relationship of eternal true love with them, wherein He would be Adam and at the same time God. Likewise, He would be Eve and at the same time God.

If Adam and Eve had not fallen, if they had abided by the commandment of God, achieved perfection as individuals, and come together in a holy matrimonial union with the Blessing of God, their children and their descendants would have lived forever as His substantial embodiments, inheriting His nature generation after generation.” (From a speech Father Moon gave 1st August 2005)

So really, my final conclusion is just as St. Paul said in 1. Corinthians 15:13,

“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.” (Amplified Bible)

So, we can say, if there is no “Only Begotten Daughter”, what hope have we to become the substantial embodiments of God?

Thank you very much for your attention, everybody.

See part 1, part 2

Featured image above: Dr. David Hanna lecturing in Oslo, Norway on 16th March 2024. Photo: Knut Holdhus

“In-depth Look at the Fatherly and Motherly God” – text: Dr. David Hanna

More about fatherly and motherly GodGod as Our Heavenly Parent (Father and Mother)

Yet more about fatherly and motherly God: History of God: From Yahweh to Father to Parent

Still more about fatherly and motherly God: Teachings Make Great Strides in New Version

Related to fatherly and motherly God: Essence of God

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: God and Human Beings

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: In a Nutshell

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: Brief about the Teachings

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: Unification Principles

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: Exposition of the Divine Principle

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: Peace Messages

Also related to fatherly and motherly God: Cheon Seong Gyeong




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