Bibliography: "Goddesses revealed in patriarchal myths."


Thanks to the generosity of members of this list, I received a number of leads for my friend to pursue in her "Goddesses Revealed in Patriarchal Myths" project. I haven't myself "run down" the leads that were a little vague, but I will include them here, anyway. If the poster annotated the selection, I have included the annotation. They are listed in order of how the print copies of posts got stapled together. (Can't get much more random than that!)

Stephen Benko, The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the Pagan and Christian Roots of Mariology.

Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth.

Lee Gibbs & W. Taylor Stevenson, eds., Myth and the Crisis of Historical Consciousness.

M. Esther Harding, Women's Mysteries Ancient and Modern, "attacks the very core of the Goddess being displaced by the male god."

Anne and Jules Baring, The Muth of the Goddess: Evolution of An Image, "focuses on Middle Eastern Mediterranean and Judeo-Christian myths."

Carolyne Larrington, ed., The Feminist Companion to Mythology, "cross-cultural."

Nicole Loraux, "What is a Goddess?" in History of Women in the West, v 1.

Charlene Spretnak's book on Greek goddesses, which "has a good bibliography."

Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade.

Carl Olson, ed., The Book of the Goddess, Past and Present, for exploring "syncretism/assimilation."

Pamela Berger, The Goddess Obscured, "rough but thought provoking; describes the way the Grain Goddess survives into European Christianity."

Peggy Beemer offered as a possibility the first section of her diss., "Godly Interchange: The Appropriation of Nonchristian Symbols in the Development of Christianity in Spain and the Valley of Mexico," UCLA 1988. She does make a caveat about how "great" the Mexica goddess is by the time of conversion, since "the Mexica system is patriarchal long before the influx of Spaniards." (Which looks pretty interesting in itself!)

Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon and The Firebrand, both fictional "Feminist retellings of the Arthurian and Trojan War stories, respectively, from the p.o.v.'s of Morgan le Fay and Cassandra."

Mary Condren, The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion, and Power in Celtic Ireland. From the jacket blurb: "a startling account of the decline of matriarchal power in Western civ....From the age fo Eve to the Age fo Brigit to the Age of Mary, Condren traces the rise of patriarchal consciousness."

Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman, and Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood, x-cultural "African, Eastern, Celtic/Irish -- predating the classical Greek by several thousands of years."

Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth. "Verses taken from tablets, dated 2,000 BCE, Sumer, that revial conflict between the ancient goddess Inanna and her good-for-nothing (and human) mate, Dumuzi; she also battles various challenges to her power. . ."

The Tain, see "any translation of the ancient Irich epic Tain bo Cuilagne [here, Melanie Armstrong suggests Thomas Kinsella's translation], in which the goddess Medb battles Cu Chulainn; the triplicate Morrigan and Macha also appear in the myth, thought by many scholars to metaphorically depict the struggle between woman-centered [matriarchal] and man-centered [patriarchal] god worship."

Olson's The Book of the Goddess "offers VERY revealing readings of biblical goddesses."

Luce Irigaray, Thinking the Difference "gives a theoretical approach."

"Gimbuta's The Civilization fo the Goddess and "The Language of the Goddess" provides some persuasive archaeological evidence for early goddess worship, if you don't mind her occasional 'leaps' of faith."

Mary Daly, Gyn/Ecology and Pure Lust [not sure if this is a single title], as "one of her main themes is that men took over gynocentric mythic material and revised it to suet patriarchal ideological purposes..."

Barbara Walker, Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets "as a super starting point for research in this area."

Susan Cady, Marian Ronan, Hal Taussig, Wisdom's Feast: Sophia in Study and Celebration.

Jane Ellen Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, Alpha and Omega, Ancient Art and Ritual , and other works; "an early challenge to patriarchal mythology."

Tikva Grymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Trasformation of Pagan Myth; "she offers some interesting observation on the gender-based roles of gods/goddesses found in Mesopotamian (Sumerian) polytheism and the consequences of the absence of the goddess in the Bible."


I think that's everything. Any omissions are inadvertant, and of course, typos, etc., are mine. In some cases I reworded annotations slightly, and it was my intention, at least, to preserve the original meaning.

Jocelyn Miner <jjminer@sfsu.edu>


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