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)

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)