Part 2: From Abraham to the Islamic StateHerbert Giller’s presentation took us into the geographical nucleus of Islam, and he started off by observing that many of the conflicts raging here today have their roots in the unresolved conflict-ridden relationships in Abraham’s family: between Sara, the mistress and Hagar the maid and their sons, Isaac and Ishmael. God had promised his protection and blessing to the descendants of both sons.With the help of a family tree, he demonstrated that although the descendants of Jacob and Esau (Ishmael) stood on Abraham’s foundation of faith, they ‘gave away’, as he put it, the substantial foundation of Jacob and Esau because Esau subsequently moved to the south, far away.It seemed that they were unable to live together. Neither the descendants of Ishmael nor of Esau were then able to profit from God’s revelation, the Ten Commandments; they remained on a pre-Mosaical level.Jesus came as the Messiah and was to reconcile, cleanse and redeem all the descendants of Abraham.The dramatic late consequences of the crucifixion of Christ were listed; for example how it was that Barabbas, a terrorist was released but that the Messiah was crucified. So it seems that Israel now must suffer terrorism at the hands of the Arabs, since they preferred a terrorist to Jesus.God had to raise up Ishmael’s descendants through Mohammed to the level of Moses: Islam was founded. In Mohammed, the characters of Moses and Barabbas seem to be united.Islam finds itself between the extremes of the mysticism of Sufismus and the militancy of the Jihadists. Since in Mohammed’s time there were many settlements of Jews and Christians on the Arabian Peninsula, which he surely encountered on his journeys, the question arises as to why Mohammed did not become a Christian? For him, the teaching of the trinity was probably unacceptable.The speaker went on to say that Mohammed’s sudden death, before he had clarified the issue of his successor, resulted in conflicts about leadership which are ongoing today.A division developed between the Shiites (disciples of the 4th Caliph, Ali, a nephew of Mohammed) and the Sunnites (disciples of Abu Bakr, a friend of Mohammed). God wishes to raise Islam to the level of Christianity and thus movements for reform developed in Islam, such as that of the Bab (door to God) in Persia, from which came the Baha’i religion.The people who originated from Abraham’s family are still not reconciled with each other! And even the USA has been unable to solve the Middle East conflict.In the opinion of the speaker, Israel needs to accept the resentments of the Palestinians, but however, the positions of right-extremists are strengthened. Thus Muslim terrorism continues to be inflamed.He concluded by showing several harrowing pictures from the conflict areas, which were a sobering warning that we should not too quickly revert to ‘business as usual.’The presentation provoked critical questions as well as agreement; there were thanks and applause, but that was not the end by far-further discussion took place in small groups well into the afternoon!More detailed notes on both of the presentations are available on request. Part 1: A mistaken view of the trinity-concerning God’s femininityMany may have asked themselves why a presentation about God’s femininity was given by a man. But, especially for the men present (a third of the audience), it was valuable and perhaps more easy to receive this topic coming from the mouth of a man.Herbert Giller started off by guiding us back to very early Christian history and drew our attention to theological/ecclesiastical conflicts, the effects of which are felt today: eg the dispute about Christology, about whether Jesus is man or God, about theTrinity (for which there is no evidence in the New Testament), about the role of the Holy Spirit and what or who he is, and about the role of Mary.He pointed out the fatal late consequences of the crucifixion and of the tragedy that Jesus was unable to establish a family with a ‘new Eve’ because of his early death. Thus there was no feminine Messiah at Jesus’ side to embody the feminine aspect of God. So Christianity, especially the church became in the long run a macho- religion, he said.Theological conflicts were thus provoked by problems of definition and translation, which led to serious crises, large schisms and great confusion, all of which persist right up until the present day.The Yin and Yang symbols were used to help explain the significance of God’s femininity and masculinity in other religions. A new interpretation, that God is father and mother, and the definition of a ‘foursome’ with 4 positions seems very logical: God, as father and mother, created man and woman and from this relationship come children…However the lecturer did not remain in the past!He made the connection to the new age: we are now living in the age of femininity! However, before true femininity can emerge, a ‘dark side of power’ tries to destroy it!Mr. Giller is of the opinion that God had no opportunity to express his femininity until now. God’s femininity was blocked. The feminist and gender movements are attempting to destroy femininity (and masculinity). Gender is seen as a ‘social construct’ and can be changed as desired. The exchange between masculine and feminine generates energy on many different levels.However, experience shows us that a patriarchy cannot simply be exchanged by a matriarchy!The following is a closing quotation from an Austrian women’s rights activist:‘We will only know what women are when they are no longer told what they should be’.Equal rights are not enough-it is all about equal appreciation and esteem for both sexes.Equal appreciation means to understand the feminine aspect of God that speaks to us through women.The very informative and inspiring presentation and the discussion, including a longer break, lasted three hours. The audience of more than thirty people showed great interest and participated actively.Once again, it was obvious just how current this topic is. A mistaken view of the trinity-concerning God’s femininityFrom Abraham to the Islamic StateUPF Germany, Robert Bentele, based on notes by Magda Haugen: These were the topics dealt with on the weekend of 23-24 April by the journalist and author Herbert Giller from Vienna, who spoke at the invitation of Munich UPF. And it was an intensive weekend- attracting a large attendance and lively discussion.