WHEN GOD WAS A WOMAN by Merlin Stone


Email this review


Though more frankly speculative than von Daniken's specious case for ancient astronauts, Merlin Stone's feminist reconstruction of the religious origins of Western ""male-dominated"" society comes from the same school of history by selective evidence and reckless conjecture. A crusading amateur, she ""collates"" and ""correlates"" with innocent abandon a mass of documentary fragments (from secondary sources) to demonstrate the existence of a grand primordial religion of the Goddess as supreme being and creator. ""The female religion,"" regnant in matriarchal societies and possibly related to primitive belief that women alone create life, was violently destroyed by Aryan invaders whose phallic bias generated the religion and God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What Stone can't prove by legitimate argument which is almost everything--she concocts out of superficial connections and spiteful innuendoes (intimating, e.g., links between the Semitic word nasi [lord] and Nazis, the biblical Hittites and Hitler's choice of surname, the name Abraham and the Brahmin caste, etc.). For her, the sexist myth of Adam and Eve--a sore point since childhood--epitomizes the transition from Goddess-worship to the suppression of woman as temptress and servant. A maddening book, it betrays its subject and its cause; at best, it may spur experts more attuned to both religious meaning and feminism to explore fully the real sexual politics of religious history.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
ISBN: 015696158X
Publisher: Dial