Ave Maria/Sophia/Gaia: Katherine Bubel and Michelle Berry Lane on Illich and the Sacred Feminine

For our fourth and final conversation, around and beyond the legacy of Ivan Illich, we hear reflections and discussion from Katherine Bubel and Michelle Berry Lane before moving into an extended open discussion.

Katherine discusses Illich’s mythopoetics of Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Pandora, the latter a patriarchally diminished version of the Earth Goddess Gaia, who Katherine connects to the biblical divine wisdom figure of Sophia, and Mary, Mother of God. Where Prometheus pursues mastery and technology, “Epimethean man stays and listens to the dream of Gaia/the Earth.”

Michelle talks about about the conviviality with and of bees, and connects Illich with Suzanne Simard’s work on tree talk, and Lynn Margulis’ work on symbiogenesis. She makes the case that the lost sense of contingency–life hanging moment by moment on God’s grace–can be recaptured in the modern awareness of the complete contingence of our life on the health of our relationships.

Katharine Bubel is assistant professor of English at Trinity Western University.

Michelle Berry Lane is a poet, a teacher of environmental science and a student of theopoetics, and part of Rochester Pollinators, a pollinator advocacy organization in southeast Michigan.

Sources mentioned in this conversation:

Thanks to David Benjamin Blower for the transition music. Check out more of his offerings at the Messianic Folklore Podcast.

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