Feminist Spirituality and Goddess Religion

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Feminist Spirituality and Goddess Religion Thousands of years ago, the Goddess was viewed as an autonomous entity worthy of respect from men and women alike. Because of societal changes caused by Eastern influence, a patriarchial system conquered all aspects of life including religion. “Furthermore, most feminists interested in goddesses are women who strongly reject western patriarchal theology”(Culpepper 51). Thus, there was this very strong feminist idea of women being the prime in the early part of the 17th and the 18th century. Today, the loss of a strong female presence in Judeo-Christian beliefs has prompted believers to look to other sources that celebrate the role of women. Men and women have increasingly embraced goddess religion and feminist spirituality as an alternative to the patriarchy found in traditional biblical religion of the past and the present. In this paper, I would like to discuss this whole issue of the uprising of women spirituality in the United States and also the formation of these so called Goddess Religions, and the ways in which these religions are changing the face of American societal believes. My argument will be supporting the central theme of the movie ‘Women & Spirituality: A Full Circle’, the one that was featured in the lecture. I would like to discuss the main ideas on which this religion is based, the way in which it has come back a full circle and also its adjusting to this modern American society full of many other religions having different ideologies. Within a few thousand years the first recognizable human society developed worship of the ‘Great Goddess’ or ‘Great Mother’. For these people, deity was female. The importance of fertility in crops, domesticated animals, wild animals and in the tribe itself was of paramount importance to their survival. Thus, the Female life-giving principle was considered divine and an enigma. This culture lasted for tens of thousands of years, generally living in peace. Males and females were treated equally. Their society was matrilineal--children took their mothers' names, but not a matriarchy (Christ 58-59). Life and time was experienced as a repetitive cycle, not linearly as is accepted today. Even the movie we saw in the lecture reflected this basic idea of women being the soul of every living thing on this earth and the gist of life was women. However, Eastern... ... middle of paper ... ...ind of religion that can save our mother nature and also our earth’s resources for our future generations and provide us all with a better and safer life ahead. Women in all cases should have equal respect and importance in society, or else this world and life on it would cease! Bibliography 1. Culpepper, Emily E. “Contemporary Goddess Thealogy: A Sympathetic Critique”, ed. Clarissa W. Atkinson and Margaret R. Miles. Michigan: U.M.I. Research Press, 1987. 2. Christ, Carol P. “Why Women Need the Goddess: Phenomenal, Psychological, and Political Reflections” in Woman Spirit Rising, ed. Carol. P. Christ and Judith Plaskow. San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1979. Pp276-285 3. Miles R. Margaret. “Violence against Women in the Historical Christian West and in North American Secular Culture: The Visual and Textual Evidence”. ed. Clarissa W. Atkinson and Margaret R. Miles. Michigan: U.M.I. Research Press, 1987. 4. Christ, Carol P. “Rebirth of the Goddess: Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality”. New York City: Routledge, 1997. 5. Corbett, Julia M. “Religion in America-4th edition”. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000. Pp 290-295.

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