WATER joins many friends and colleagues in mourning the death on April 17, 2012, of Dr. Jane Schaberg. Jane was Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy. She was a creative and highly regarded feminist scholar whose work on Mary Magdalene is considered foundational in the field.
Jane was also a poet. Following is a poem (from a forthcoming volume of poems and essays) in which she expresses her hopes about death and her care for her beloved horse, Rappahannock.
May the legacy of her writing continue to be a blessing for all who wish to see women, including women in scripture, in the fullness of their humanity.
and rabbinic and biblical materials
over the apocrypha and various translations
I expect/ I would like/ I hope for/ dream of
a death with the horses of fire coming
the chariots of fire
over Detroit or wherever it happens
highway, hospice, sidewalk, classroom, my own bed at home
me lifted up
light as an old child
my thin nightgown, my bones,
my flesh and hair on fire
great iron hooves pounding on the air and clouds
Rappahannock if he precedes me come back from the dead, one of them
his soft eyes, his chest muscles bulging
mane and tail ablaze
burning but not burnt
reins of light or no reins
joyful recognition of horse, rider, driver if there is one
burning but not burnt.
For more information on Jane, click here.
For a sample of her marvelous scholarship and writing see “Mary Magdalene: the Origins and Futures of Christianity.”
Expressions of sympathy may be addressed to her family:
Carolyn Johnson, 18202 Fairfield, Detroit, MI 48221
Helen Kaufman, 301 Charles St. Ave, Baltimore, MD 21204
Kathy Violette, 1455 High School Drive, St. Louis, MO 63144