Friday, September 14, 2007,10:41 PM
Struggle to Know
I recently started reading Postcolonial Imagination & Feminist Theology by Kwok Pui-lan. The book is stretching me in many ways as it forces me to view my faith through an utterly foreign lens. It's a good thing, but it can be a tad overwhelming at points. More on all that later. I just wanted to share tonight the words the author uses to open the first chapter. She writes -
I have been reflecting on my long intellectual journey to "struggle to know." Why is knowing a struggle? It is a struggle because you have to spend years learning what others told you is important to know, before you acquire the credentials and qualifications to say something about yourself. It is a struggle because you have to affirm first that you have something important to say and that your experience counts.

I have no clue if this is something that white western men can understand experientially (if it is my apologies for negating your journey), but this is the story I have lived and that I have heard told to me by others. It's the struggle women face when they attempt to have a voice or be a leader. When the world that is constructed for us looks one way, but our experiences and our self awareness reveal something else entirely, it is more than just difficult to find our place in that world. When all that we know about life, history, religion is slanted in a certain direction, to step up and use our voice is not such as easy thing. When to just be ourselves challenges all that is accepted, holy and dear in the world, it becomes all that much harder to speak out and attempt to make a difference. When we are mocked, labeled, and dismissed for believing that our experience counts, it truly is an ongoing struggle.

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posted by Julie at 10:41 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 9/15/2007 01:47:00 AM, Blogger paul

    I think it is most difficult for the voices that are least heard to realise they have something worth saying - at least (white) men have the advantage of often finding it easier to access the system and have traditionally been more likely to be listened too. Which gives us more of a responsibility to listen to others and recognise that their struggle is harder but what they have to say is often more worthwhile as a result of being voices not often heard before...

  • At 9/15/2007 02:08:00 PM, Blogger John Lynch

    Thanks for this, Julie -

    So often it seems our experience of knowledge is intimately connected with our perspective on validation. What validates our opinions so that they become "knowledge"? And to whom are they "knowledge" anyway?

    I've found that it is indeed a painful journey, full of struggle, to shift the sources of our validation from what our broken pasts have taught us to what God teaches us.

    All the best as the Lord becomes your and all of our true knowledge... a knowledge which we can relationally grasp as individuals - despite the deceptions of this distorted world.

    Peace in Christ,

    - John


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