CHANGING OF THE GODS: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions by Naomi R. Goldenberg

CHANGING OF THE GODS: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A loud ""Good riddance!""--doubtless premature--to Judaism and Christianity, and an eager welcome to their imagined replacements. Goldenberg teaches religious psychology at the Univ. of Ottawa, and she alms her broadside at Yahweh and Christ from a psychological emplacement: the patriarchal God must go, and is in fact well on the way out, because his worship is simply incompatible with the mental and spiritual needs of modern women. Not a novel argument, but Goldenberg gives it a clear and forceful articulation. Still, after boldly calling for a feminist breakout from the ""Oedipal prison"" of traditional belief, she limply proposes that women look for a richer and more life-enhancing set of ""mythic images"" . . . inside their own heads, in fantasies, dreams, and other psychic processes. She claims, flying in the face of all historical evidence, that one can build a religion entirely within the mind, without reference to some transcendent reality, and without firm roots in both a living tradition and a creative awareness of the present. For. tradition, all Goldenberg can offer is the screwball liturgy of Star-hawk, a leading contemporary witch (a.k.a. Susan Stern) who has the 20 (male and female)members of her coven celebrate the winter solstice by sitting naked in a circle and passing a mystical kiss around, with the greeting ""Thou art God,"" and ""Thou art Goddess."" For present creativity we get the revolutionary antics of hundreds of conferees at the first national convention on Women's Spirituality (held at a church in downtown Boston) chanting, clapping, and dancing ""bare. breasted on the pulpit and amid the hymnbooks."" Take that, Jehovah!

Pub Date: April 26th, 1979
ISBN: 0807011118
Publisher: Beacon