Recounts the story of the grain protectress, an image that has persisted from the ancient Near East to the classical world and still survives in folksongs and village celebrations today.
In this book, you can see how the divine has been perceived in feminine form. Here are ten of the best known goddesses from a variety of cultures -- East and West, past and present. A wide range is presented, from the fierce Durga, to the gentle, but firm, Sita; from the erotic goddeses Inanna and Aphrodite, to the chaste figures of Mary and Athena; from goddesses closely associated with material wealth such as Laksmi, to ethereal goddesses such as Kuan-yin.Each goddess is treated separately in considerable detail to provide a distinct and clear portrait of her special "personality" and meaning within her own cultural context. At the same time, each chapter has a similar structure and style to enhance comparisons among the goddesses. An attempt is made in each case to draw upon both elite and popular sources of information. The Introduction and Conclusion consider important central questions closely connected with goddess scholarship, for example, the possibility of a prepatriarchal culture in which goddess worship was central, the difficulty of recovering female religious experience in goddess traditions that exist in male-dominated cultures, and the extent to which an overarching goddess theology can be implied in the goddess traditions that remain known to us.
Scholars of religion, women's studies, or both from a wide range of cultures explore what feminists have to contribute to the understanding and embodiment of good sex in a globalized world. Some of the essays have been published previously. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Restores to the forefront of the Christian tradition the importance of the divine feminine- The first complete English-language translation of the original Coptic Gospel of Mary, with line-by-line commentary - Reveals the eminence of the divine feminine in Christian thought - Offers a new perspective on the life of one of the most controversial figures in the Western spiritual tradition Perhaps no figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Also known as Miriam of Magdala, Mary Magdalene was considered by the apostle John to be the founder of Christianity because she was the first witness to the Resurrection. In most theological studies she has been depicted as a reformed prostitute, the redeemed sinner who exemplifies Christ's mercy. Today's reader can ponder her role in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew--the collection of what have come to be known as the Gnostic gospels rejected by the early Christian church. Mary's own gospel is among these, but until now it has remained unknown to the public at large. Orthodox theologian Jean-Yves Leloup's translation of the Gospel of Mary from the Coptic and his thorough and profound commentary on this text are presented here for the first time in English. The gospel text and the spiritual exegesis of Leloup together reveal unique teachings that emphasize the eminence of the divine feminine and an abiding love of nature over the dualistic and ascetic interpretations of Christianity presented elsewhere. What emerges from this important source text and commentary is a renewal of the sacred feminine in the Western spiritual tradition and a new vision for Christian thought and faith throughout the world.
There have been many studies of the women in the Gospels, but this is a new kind of book on the subject. Rather than offering a general overview of the Gospel women or focusing on a single theme, Richard Bauckham studies in great depth both the individual women who appear in the Gospels and the specific passages in which they appear.This unique approach reveals that there is much more to be known about such women than previous studies have assumed. Employing historical and literary readings of the biblical texts, Bauckham successfully captures the particularity of each woman he studies. An opening look at the Old Testament book of Ruth introduces the possibilities of reading Scripture from a woman's perspective. Other studies examine the women found in Matthew's genealogies, the prophet Anna, Mary of Clopas, Joanna, Salome, and the women featured in the Gospel resurrection narrative. A number of these women have never been the subject of deep theological enquiry. Unlike most recent books, Bauckham's work is not dominated by a feminist agenda. It does not presume in advance that the Gospel texts support patriarchal oppression, but it does venture some of the new and surprising possibilities that arise when the texts are read from the perspective of their female characters. Astute, sensitive to issues of gender, and written by one of today's leading theologians, Gospel Women will be of interest to a wide range of readers.
In this anthology by and about Jewish women, fifteen British rabbis discuss the changing role of Jewish clergywomen in the six decades since the private ordination of Regina Jonas, the first woman rabbi. Through personal testimony and scholarly inquiry, they take note of the legacy of their foremothers and grapple with what it means to be a Jewish woman on the eve of the twenty-first century.Delving into the interpretive process from which women have traditionally been excluded, the rabbis examine female role models found in the Hebrew Bible, biblical prophecy and the feminist vision, the authorship of the Song of Songs, and the matter of canonicity from a feminist perspective. They consider such questions as why Judaism has no "sayings of the mothers" and assess contemporary gender issues including Jewish feminist theology, inclusive language, segregated seating in synagogue, and the whole issue of the feminine in Judaism.
This best-selling book, now revised and updated, shares the work of many feminist biblical scholars who have examined women's stories for several years. These stories are powerful accounts of women in the Old Testament--stories that have profoundly affected how women understand themselves as well as men's perception of them. Here, Alice Bellis shares the research of feminist biblical scholarship during a quarter of a century, which renders a vast amount of refreshing, exciting, sometimes disturbing material.
A Benedictine cloistered nun visited by visions expressed in the beautiful illuminated manuscripts reproduced in this volume, the founder of a religious community, a musician and composer whose works have been rediscovered in our own time and are now enjoying tremendous popularity, a writer and poet, a naturalist and teacher, and a preacher and adviser to the Pope and his Bishops, Hildegard is essential to our understanding of the twelfth century. At age 43 Hildegard was instructed by a heavenly voice to record the visions that she had experienced since childhood. After ten years of work, her first book, Scivias, appeared to the approbation of Pope Eugene III and wide acclaim, launching Hildegard's career as a preacher and prophet and spurring her to write the encyclopedic studies of medicine, natural science, and the more than 70 musical compositions that are her legacy. Medieval historian Regine Pernoud draws on Hildegard's work and on her correspondence with saints, popes, emperors, and commoners to create a portrait of a woman that Matthew Fox has called, "one of the greatest artists and intellectuals the world has ever seen."
The fifteen hagiographies about holy women of the Syrian Orient collected here include stories of martyrs' passions and saints' lives, pious romances and personal reminiscences. Dating from the fourth to seventh centuries A.D., they are translated from Syriac into accessible and vivid prose. Annotations and source notes by the translators help clarify elements that may be unfamiliar to some readers. This collection bears witness to the profound contributions women made to early Chistianity: their various roles, their leadership inside and outside the church structure, and their power to influence others. A new preface discusses recent developments in the field and updates the bibliography.