Can God Be Gender-neutral?

February 11, 2023

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.” – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish poet and playwright.

Readers are invited to pay special attention to the bold 'His' in the above quotation. If Church of England has its way ‘his’ will exit and they are scratching their heads to find a gender-neutral substitute. But, first feature article published in The New York Times and also reproduced in Indian media on 11/2/23.

Church of England Considers Gender-neutral Language for God

The Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod, met in London this week and discussed topics including gender-neutral language for God. The Church of England is considering whether to use gender-neutral terms to refer to God, a spokesperson said (on 9/2/23), adding that there are no plans “to abolish or substantially revise” the existing liturgy.

The church said in an emailed statement that Christians have recognized “since ancient times that God is neither male nor female.” The clergy is now weighing whether it could better reflect that in the language used in its services. “The variety of ways of addressing and describing God found in scripture has not always been reflected in our worship,” the statement said. “There has been greater interest in exploring new language since the introduction of our current forms of service in contemporary language more than 20 years ago.”

The Anglican Church said its Liturgical commission, which prepares and advises on the church service, had been “regularly” considering this language since 2014. That commission has now asked another body, the Faith and Order Commission, which advises on theology, to examine the issue.

In Christian denominations, God is often rendered with masculine pronouns in religious texts and prayers, though many theological scholars and leaders argue that God transcends gender. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “He is neither man nor woman: he is God.”

In 2018, the Church of England’s archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said that God was neither male nor female. The archbishop is the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, which exists in the United States as the Episcopal Church, with 85 million members in 165 countries.

The question of God’s gender received renewed attention this week at a meeting of the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod, in London. At the meeting, the Rev Joanna Stobart, vicar of Ilminster and Whitelackington in Somerset, asked for an update on establishing “more inclusive language” in service. A vice-chair of the Liturgical commission, the Rev Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Lichfield, responded that “a new joint project on gendered language will begin this spring.”

It may be noted that Christians and Muslims believe in one God. What would be the situation in the case of other religions like Hinduism?



The subject is open to many views. What are yours? Your response is welcome in the format given below – Pl. scroll down a bit. Once again, welcome to reason.


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By John B Monteiro
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Comment on this article

  • Asha Monteiro, Ukkinadka, Kasaragod

    Fri, Feb 17 2023

    We are all souls on a journey. God is the supreme soul. When the soul enters into womb of a mother there it takes body and thus gender. During death the Soul leaves the body behind and according to it's account of karma it takes another body, as it enters into the whomb of a mother. So when it takes new body each time it may not be the same gender like previous. So one who realizes that I'm a Soul on a journey, can easily recognize God and connect God as a spirit the supreme power and there may not arise a question of gender . So it's very essential to meditate enter deep inside ourselves and there we are enlightened with wisdom and all our questions answered instead spending time with organizing discussion. This soul concept is applicable irrespective of religion because we are All souls descending from the supreme soul. And we are all connected to the only one supreme soul.

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Mon, Feb 13 2023

    No gender / multiple gender all liberal (modern name for communist) ideology to divide and rule and for elite's vast business to cater their needs. There is gene editing technology CRISPR available since a decade, (military may be two decades or more) to create mixed genders or genderless aliens. Infiltrated liberal communism is almost everywhere now including the church in the name equality, no gender, multiple genders, woman priesthood to do away celibacy, bring immorality, promote sodomy finally destroy spirituality of everyone or make everyone godless communist by disabling VMAT 2 god gene thru mRNA injections also. This may lead to depression then they might come up assisted suicides, promotion of euthanasia, abortion, infanticide... in the name of general human rights or humanity for a total godlessness, which if then prevails, it is not surprising! Then to better control this chaotic situation liberal communist elite bring their lab made viruses for slow euthanising injections for forced depopulation using so called pandemic after pandemic, it is also not surprising. But for all this first God needs to be removed or castrated to make him genderless so these get freehand but God also is watching when His Wrath falls only then these people would wake up and realise their fiddling with human DNA that God designed, is the cause for most of recent and coming natural or environmental disasters.

  • mohan prabhu, mangalore/canada

    Mon, Feb 13 2023

    Even though God has no gender, he created (if one believes in the creation theory) as masculine and a feminine gender in all living organisms, even animals and insects to perpetuate the speces. By using the masculine pronouns, males have dominated the world and given second place to females. That is not God.'s fault. There are three genders: masculine, feminine and neauter (that is neutral); so we might use the neutral term IT for God. There are of course many words that are not pronounsm such as Lord and Lady. King and Queen, etc., etc., used in the scriptures. How will you address the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - scriptures have already given the first two the masculine gender, not to the third - may be the Holy Spirit should be addressed as IT and the other two persons as IT too.

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 12 2023

    God is not gender neutral but God is the Fatherly figure to all, like the family head as Psalm 82:6 says "I Say “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;" (Mother Mary is the spiritual mother.)

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Sun, Feb 12 2023

    God has always been gender neutral its only the interpreters that have confused us. When we have a personal relationship with God and understand God ourselves we then interpret to our liking the gender to make the most of something thats within us into us and we ourselves, whatever our gender deep inside we are genderless and if we interpret everything by gender we have not reached deep inside ourselves. Someone may question whats it thats deep inside i say its not only deep inside its all over. Amen.

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