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Under the Udala Trees
Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.
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How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

Created: 08/26/16

Replies: 9

Posted Aug. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 28

RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

This is a really difficult question but interesting. No one can really know anyone else's relationship with God and why we have faith or don't have it, and I don't think the author presented Ijeoma's views clearly, letting us decide for ourselves. Certainly the Bible studies she and her mother did for hours every day had a negative effect on Ijeoma; however, she tried to understand what was presented to her as God's law. Her feelings denied what she was forced to believe. I think Ijeoma rejected those teachings after a time, as she grew and matured. Her relationship was exactly like that of so many children. She believed what she was told to believe but eventually came to her own understanding and nonacceptance. We are what our parents teach us until we gain the knowledge that forces us to either reject or continue to accept those teachings.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccal

Join Date: 06/16/16

Posts: 16

RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

Re: We are what our parents teach us until we gain the knowledge that forces us to either reject or continue to accept those teachings.

In general, I think this is so true. However, one of the strong traits that I found admirable in this author's writing was the strong sense of convictions and emotions she gave to Ijeoma. She respectfully listened to her Mother's reading of the Bible...but...there was always that quiet sense of questioning and doubt in her mind and heart. She flipped the coin and saw it from another perspective. I found myself cheering for her at that juncture. When I reached the Epilogue, I found that sense of "closing" that I was hoping for. On page 320-321, she quotes Mama saying " A bicycle has two wheels. Of course it does. Ndidi is one, and I am the other" -searching for that town in Nigeria where love is allowed to be love. Hoping that this place will be all of Nigeria. Then, the author concludes with the presentation of Hebrews 8 concerning the covenant God made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, i.e., change and revision. Ijeoma concludes that this is the lesson of the Bible, i.e., this affirmation of the importance of reflection, and of revision, enough revision to do away with tired, old, even faulty laws. "'Sometimes I sit with my Bible in my hands, and I think to myself that God is an artist and the world is His canvas." Perhaps this world can be like Mama (page 323) "God, who created you, must have known what He did. Enough is enough." I think the author sent her message and purpose for writing this book with the closing line : LET PEACE BE. LET LIFE BE.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

As with all children, we accept and believe what we are told. When Ijeoma returned from the school teacher's house and her mother began the Bible lessons, she began to question her mother's interpretation of the passages. She was beginning to see how things could be another way. She believed in God and wanted to trust, but grew up with stories of fear and anger and many superstitions.


Posted Sep. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 69

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RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

I think I would have felt similar to Ijeoma - she was kinda forced by her mother to undergo Bible teachings that said what she was doing with Amina was an "abomination." But then she would twist the words around to present another, opposite viewpoint. I liked this side of her. She definitely struggled with what she had been taught when she was younger, with what was in the Bible, but then she would find other Bible passages that would support what she felt. I have always felt that way about the Bible - you can find words that will support or negate your cause.


Posted Sep. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 16

RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

I think she is a woman of faith but struggles with organized religion. She was made to feel like a criminal by her mother's interpretation of the bible


Posted Sep. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lauriew

Join Date: 08/11/16

Posts: 15

RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

rebeccal I like your thought process and totally agree with it. The closing of the book does say it all: LET PEACE BE. LET LIFE BE. Isn't peace in life a chance for for Life to be?


Posted Sep. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 67

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RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

I agree with others that Ijeoma was respectful of her mother and struggled with her faith like young people do. And Ijeoma came to her own conclusions. I was very happy when she remembered Jesus' word: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone to her! She felt relief and I felt she would be ok with herself.


Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

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RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

I feel that she was very conflicted and had doubts about God, not just the gay lesbian issues but in general. Some of Okparanta's writing along this line gave root to my own questions.


Posted Sep. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
iread49

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 46

RE: How do you respond to Ijeoma's relationship with God and her faith?

Her religious beliefs are moored in her mother's beliefs . Her mother and the church believe she is guilty of "an abomination " , but she herself does not


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