Category Archives: Rationality

EMOTIONS, RATIONALITY, AND GENDER

Tim Savage is the pastor of a church back in my hometown of Phoenix. I vividly recall Tim telling me that Morna Hooker, his doctoral supervisor at Cambridge, seemed to understand the pathos of Paul better than many male, Pauline scholars.

Hooker can hold her own intellectually against any male New Testament scholar, but it does seem many (not all) women may have a bit of an edge in picking up the less than rational components.

Allow me to clarify a few things, but please know my thinking in this area is provisional and partial. Not much is set in stone.

“Less than rational components” does not equal anti-rational. Like Pascal, I think “the heart has its reasons that reason knows not of.” This certainly does not make these “less than rational” things irrational.

As to an example, perhaps we could look at Paul’s affliction which resulted in despair (II Cor. 1:8,9). We don’t know for sure, but perhaps some of that affliction was not physical in nature. And maybe a female scholar might be more sensitive that the non physical affliction of the “concern for all the churches” could’ve contributed to Paul’s despair.

As a male who has a strong gift of discernment, I still find my wife (a summa cum laude graduate of seminary, so plenty capable on the “rational” stuff) picking up clues, especially with our sons, that I miss at times. I must add though that I also pick up clues that she sometimes misses, which is why I said my observations are “provisional and partial.”