Dignity of Women Across the World’s Wisdom: Parliament of World Religions Webinar by Carol P. Christ

I have been asked to post my contribution to the Parliament of World Religions Webinar: Dignity of Women Across World’s Wisdom. 

I am participating in this discussion as a representative of women who are on a Goddess path. I do not represent any established or newly formed religious or spiritual tradition. Rather I speak for an increasingly large number of women who are seeking alternatives to established traditions that celebrate and legitimate male power as power over or domination. We do not follow leaders or gurus and we place no trust in any sacred texts.

Most of us have grown up in cultures where the most prominent religious traditions feature male Gods, male teachers, and male religious leaders. We agree with Mary Daly who said that when God is male the male is God. In traditions where God is male, male teachers and religious leaders are viewed as reflecting or being in the image of the male divinity. We do not assume that images of God as male are never valid, but we do assert the need for images of God as female.

As I said in my often re-published essay, “Why Women Need the Goddess,” the most important meaning conveyed by the symbol of Goddess as the ultimate creative power in the universe is that female power is legitimate and good. This does not mean that female power is always good, but it clearly undermines the widely held view that female power exercised apart from male control is always evil or bad. This view is reinforced by images of women as evil in religious traditions, for example, Eve seduced by the snake. Continue reading “Dignity of Women Across the World’s Wisdom: Parliament of World Religions Webinar by Carol P. Christ”

Religions and the Abuse of Women and Girls by Carol P. Christ

At the 2009 meeting of the Parliament of World Religions, former US President Jimmy Carter called the worldwide abuse of girls and women the greatest unaddressed human rights crisis of our time. He stated that this problem is “largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare.” Carter discussed these issues in A Call to Action.

In my address to the Parliament of World Religions on November 5, I will agree with Carter that religions play a major role in the abuse of women and girls, but I will question his view that religion’s contribution to the abuse of women and girls stems from the misinterpretation of a few selected texts. Rather I will argue that patriarchal ideas permeate most of the so-called great religions. Continue reading “Religions and the Abuse of Women and Girls by Carol P. Christ”

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