centre stage

i’ve been invited to be part of steering group for an exhibition on Women in the Torah, to be held at the Jewish Museum late next year. I’m really enjoying being part of a conversation with people from another faith, in an environment where i’m the guest, not the host; where mine is the minority perspective.

Rebecca, who is curating the exhibition, talked about a conversation she had with Rachel, a Muslim, who is also going to be part of the steering group, about the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, and her discomfort with the way the story plays out for Hagar. Rachel’s reply was that it’s not how the story is understood by Muslims, that from their perspective, what happens to Hagar is a necessary part of the divine plan. Hagar exits stage left from the Judeo-Christian story, and ends up centre stage in a whole new story of faith.

I wrote here once before about those in our stories of faith who are abandoned by the side of the road. I think i need to rewrite that…

In a few weeks time we’re beginning some work with women in Dame Phyllis Frost Prison, exploring some of the stories from the bible that will have particular resonance for them… the rape of Tamar, Lot’s daughters, Hagar’s story, Dinah’s story… These are characters who have largely been left abandoned by the side of faith’s road. i hope we can find the faith they might take centre-stage in…


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