..... Modern men speak about how participating in the care of their infants has changed them. The traditional male dominates.  This one participates.  His transformation is echoed in the large bull who stands behind.  In the Bible, there is no mention of animals being present, nor are we told the age of Joseph.  The old Joseph and the ox and the ass are figments of religious imagination.  This type of religious imagination aims to retain Mary’s virgin state (even though the brothers and sisters of Jesus are mentioned) or possibly to condone the male fantasy of the Old Man having a relationship with a much Younger Woman.  Either way this form of imagination is no longer helpful.  I offer a new telling of the story that might bring the distant God image down to earth.  There are many other ways to use the imagination to participate in these archetypal stories and symbols. (go back)