When God was a Woman

Merlin Stone

265 Blz., ISBN 978-0156961585     
Dorset Press, 1976     

The question most pressing - perhaps the one that has most insistently caused this book to come into being - is this: What effect did the worship of the female deity actually have upon the status of woman in the cultures in which She was extolled?

Merlin Stone     

Here, archeologically documented, is the story of the religion of the Goddess. Known by many names; Astarte, Isis, Ishtar, among others, she reigned supreme in the Near and Middle East. Beyond being worshipped for fertility, she was revered as the wise creator and the one source of universal order. Under her, women´s roles differed markedly from those in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures. Women bought and sold property, traded in the marketplace, and the inheritance of title and property was passed from mother to daughter.

How did the change come about? By documenting the wholesale rewriting of myth and religious dogmas. Merlin Stone details a most ancient conspiracy: the patriarchal re-imaging of the Goddess as a wanton, depraved figure. This is the portrait that laid the foundation for one of culture´s greatest shams; the legend of Adam and fallen Eve.

Merlin Stone has taught art and art history at the university level and from 1958 tot 1967 worked as a sculptor, exhibiting widely and executing numerous sculpure commissions. She became interested in archeology and ancient religion through her art and researched this book for more than ten years. She currently divides her time between the United States and England.

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