Some feminists argue that it is not enough to use feminine images for God; we must also alter names for God. Consider these claims:

• The word play of Genesis 49:25 between El Shaddai (God Almighty) and shaddim (breasts) demonstrates that the Deity should aptly be named “the God with Breasts.”

• The Eucharist is “a drinking at the breast of God the Mother.”

• When we proclaim that people “must be born again,” we are “urging them to experience the womb and birth canal of God the Mother.”

Some feminist theologians even call for a return to goddess religion. Mary Daly writes of “cutting away the Supreme Phallus,” explaining that the son of a divine patriarch (Jesus) is the one who cannot save women from the horrors of patriarchy. Some biblical revisionists call for a return to deistic terms for God such as Creative Process and Divine Eros. Such terminology so depersonalizes God that he no longer can hear personal prayers or respond to supplications.

Daly’s revision is greater than this, though. She claims that there will be no second coming of Christ, but instead a “surge of consciousness” realized in the Second Coming of Women. It is this men have been dreading, for they will be robbed of their power. She demands that we move beyond the patriarchalism that has resulted in what she calls “Christolatry” (worshiping Christ because he is divine).

An old religion in new clothes

The call for goddess worship is no mere corrective to the worship of Yahweh; it is a call to a new religion. More precisely, it is an old religion in new clothes. In it, the goddess dwelt with a male god as his consort. Pantheons of male and female deities were, like humans, sexually active. The fertility of humanity and the earth was thought to depend on the fertility ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: