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Press Cuttings : 1996: Wisdom that is woman, Should God be played by a woman?

Item type: Press Cuttings
Archive reference: YMP/F/15/1/1
Date/year: March 1996
Description: Cutting from the Guardian of 2 March 1996, by Jeremy Gorling.  'Wisdom that is Woman' referring to the casting of Ruth Ford to play God in that year's production of the Mystery Plays in the Theatre Royal.  John Doyle's choice dominated a lot of the coverage that year. 
Cutting from the Daily Mail of 4 March 1996 "Should God be played by woman?" with three letters.
Ruth Ford, the first woman to play God in a mystery play, puts the issue in perspective by saying :'God is a presence, not a specific gender'.   Most people, even clerics, have misinterpreted the phrase 'In God's image'.  It is our sexual souls, not our bodies, that are in God's image.
From Arthur Lee-Delisle, Morden, Surrey
Why the consternation over casting God as a woman in the York mystery plays?  Our 1992 Mystery Plays in Chester had three people playing God: professional actress Mary Lewery, Jamaican professional actor Willie Longmore and 12 year old red headed schoolgirl Christine Roberts.  There is nothing new under God's heaven.  How the Almighty will next be portrayed in Chester must remain a mystery until a public meeting in two weeks.
From William Melenby Smith, Chester
The plan to have a woman play God in the Mystery Plays is simply done to shock in an age when films, advertising and plays are battling to 'out-shock' each other.  It's amusing to listen to feminists claiming a breakthrough on the gender of God in the past 30 years, although from about 3000 BC, when God first revealed himself to the Jewish patriarchs, until Christ's time on earth, and for the next 1,960 years or so, there was no 'progress' on this particular blasphemy.  If they must treat history as an uphill clamber towards an ever-improving goal, the idea of God as a woman is a throwback to a very dim past.  A man can play God the Universal, but a woman playing God can only be a socio-political statement.
From Jay Barker,  Canterbury

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