Only a handful of British Christians believe God is female

Ariana Grande as God in her video for 'God is a Woman'(Photo: YouTube/Vevo)

Ariana Grande might be sure that God is a woman, if her recent hit is anything to go by, but new research reveals most British Christians are less persuaded about that.

A survey by YouGov has found that only one per cent of British Christians believe that God is female.

Interestingly, it is Christian women who are more likely to believe God is male, while Christian men are more likely to believe that God has no human gender at all.

In the survey of over 3,000 British Christians, four in 10 women (41 per cent) said they believed that God is male, compared to 39 per cent of women who said God has no human gender at all.

Among men, just under a third (30 per cent) said God was male, while 42 per cent agreed that God has no human gender.

Identification with a male God was much stronger among Catholics (47 per cent) than Protestants, who were more likely to believe God has no human gender (33 per cent to 43 per cent).  Age was also a factor, with Christians over 65 being more likely to say that God does not have any human gender, compared to 37 per cent of 25- to 49-year-olds.

There have been some calls in recent years for Churches to become more reflective of both genders in their liturgy.

When the first women bishops were consecrated in the Church of England in 2015, some within the Church spoke of their desire to see a shift away from the traditional patriarchal language.

Hilary Cotton, chair of Women And The Church (Watch), which spent years campaigning for women bishops, called at the time for the Church to 'shift considerably towards a more gender-full expression in our worship.' 

While the YouGov survey suggests many in the Church of England are happy for now with a male or genderless God, popular culture has embraced the idea of God as a woman.

In her music video for 'God is a Woman,' Grande played the part of God in her own feminist re-creation of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Madonna then speaks as God in a brief cameo in which she quotes Ezekiel 25:17.

But it's not the first time God has been presented as a woman. Back in 1999, Alanis Morissette famously played God in the movie Dogma, starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.