When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone
"What… might we expect in a society that for centuries has taught young children, both female and male, that a MALE deity created the universe and all that is in it, produced MAN in his own divine image- and then, as an afterthought, created woman, to obediently help man in his endeavors?"
When God Was a Woman sets out to explore this question, as well as to explore what Goddess-worshiping societies looked like. Using archaeological evidence, Stone argues that when much of humanity practiced the religion of the Goddess, the status of women was much higher than in male-deity worshiping Judeo-Christian societies. Accordingly, the rise of the Judeo-Christian religion, she argues, coincided with the decline of the the status of women in society. …
The study of comparative religion is beneficial in that it allows us to observe how religious beliefs are “coincidentally” related to who holds power in a society. …
Yet, even though her book is an exploration of the role of women in Goddess-worshiping as compared to God-worshiping societies, I think it would be erroneous to assume that Stone is suggesting that we revert back to a Goddess-worshiping religion. In fact, Stone ends her book by suggesting that not until humans are able to “regard the world and its riches as a place that belongs to every living being on it, can we begin to say we have become a truly civilized species” (241).
(Full Review @ Fannie’s Room)
Full/Free .PDF on Scribd (though the quality isn’t the best)