What does Julie Clawson mean by saying light can be dangerous?

February 26, 2013

“The Danger of the Light” by Julie Clawson
In this powerful essay from her One Hand Clapping blog, Julie Clawson helps us see light in a way that’s quite different from our usual way of thinking. “As much as Christians like to talk about the light shining into the darkness, we often forget how dangerous light can be,” she writes. “Light reveals things that we would rather keep hidden. Light forces us to face truths we would rather ignore.” See what she says about the church’s attempts throughout history to remove the illumination provided by the female presence in the sacred, or by a recognition and appreciation of the beauty of the human body and sexuality, or by revealing the oppressiveness of hierarchical, patriarchal power.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.