I didn't finish this- it was somewhat interesting, but because it was so academic it's better for people who are more knowledgeable of Hinduism to rea...moreI didn't finish this- it was somewhat interesting, but because it was so academic it's better for people who are more knowledgeable of Hinduism to read. Since I only know the basics of the religion, I didn't understand a lot of the terminology used. Still, there were some interesting perspectives on feminism and cultural appropriation, and how Indian women view feminism themselves. Not necessarily a bad book, just not very useful to me personally.(less)
In this book, Spretnak claims that before northern "barbarians" invaded Greece, idyllic matriarchal civilizations worshipped Greek goddesses. Then the awful warlike men demoted the peaceful mother goddesses and distorted the original mythology.
She includes myths about Gaia, Pandora, Themis, Hera, Artemis, Selene, Hecate, Athena, Demeter and Persephone. She says the myths are based on research about the goddesses, but since there is limited information she took some "poetic license". Spretnak said she didn't footnote them as it would take away from the power of the myths. Right, sure. Some of the stories are kind of pretty and might be spiritually inspiring but I wish I knew more of where she was getting her ideas.
I think matriarchal theorists take things to one extreme and those that reject them take it to another. I do think some ancient cultures were more *egalitarian (not matriarchal) before becoming patriarchal, I don't buy that they exclusively worshipped goddesses. Real feminism is not about denigrating men or on a spiritual level male deities while women and goddesses are promoted above them.(less)
So far- Reif has done a lot of great research on Demeter, Persephone and the Eleusinian mysteries and put together some lovely rituals, prayers and ot...moreSo far- Reif has done a lot of great research on Demeter, Persephone and the Eleusinian mysteries and put together some lovely rituals, prayers and other resources. However, I do not buy her argument that rape (abduction) was not a part of the original myth of Persephone. It's possible maybe it wasn't but it is in the oldest surviving form we have- the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. She bases her argument on the Orphic literature which makes no sense considering they were a much later sect. I think her feminist revisionism is distorting her view & presentation of ancient history and religion. Mythology is not always politically correct- sorry that's the way it is!
(And I say this as a feminist myself- I just believe in being honest about history.)(less)
A traditional Southern Baptist wife and mother, Sue Monk Kidd had never really questioned her role as a woman in the church or society as a whole. Yet...moreA traditional Southern Baptist wife and mother, Sue Monk Kidd had never really questioned her role as a woman in the church or society as a whole. Yet a series of incidents led her to realize all was not right, and that she needed to look for spirituality outside of mainstream religious institutions. Whereas before she was taught that authority was only in the Bible, she came to see her own experiences as valid- that she was her own authority. I found the book to be an inspiring source of ideas for developing one’s own personal spirituality- creating ritual, sacred spaces and concepts of Deity.
One thing I found refreshing about this book, is that Kidd does not bash men or blame them as a group for inequality. She acknowledges that both men and women are hurt by patriarchy- that men need the Divine Feminine as much as women do. Nor does she say mainstream Christianity is wrong per se, only that it has its limitations and needs to strive towards balance in matters of gender as well as between human beings and the natural world.
The main criticism I do have of Dance, is that I question the accuracy of some of the information on ancient religions and cultures she presents as facts. However this is a memoir, not a scholarly work so I’m going to cut the author some slack in that area.(less)