Divine Goddess "bad news for women"

Here’s something I had intended to blog some time ago, but didn’t get to it. I only remembered it last night when I was giving my presentation about the Da Vinci Code to the good folks at St Paul’s Lutheran Church.

As a part of my work, I listen to most of the ABC Radio National religious programs. One recent edition of “The Ark” with Rachel Kohn was entitled “Sex in Hinduism”.

[Reader: I thought you said you did this as part your work?
Schütz: Yes. What’s your point?]

The guest of the program was one Dr Wendy Doniger, Director of the Martin Marty Center and Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. She was in Australia at the invitation of the NSW Art Gallery to prepare an exhibition entitled “The Divine Goddess”.

[Reader: Ah. Once again, you’re back on your favourite theme.]

I was completely bowled over by Dr Doniger’s closing comments. I listened again to the podcast (there is no transcription on the website) and transcribed her comments as follows:

Kohn: “So in this tradition which has God as both male and female, and which is quite free and open in expressing its sexuality, why do women come off as inferior? Why are they the curse?”

Doniger: “I am always surprised that feminists in particular and people in general think that a country that worships a female divinity would be good to women. It’s just the opposite…

“The more powerful women are deemed to be—they have something called “shakti” which is a feminine power—when men think of women being powerful, being the embodiment of a sort of goddess–well, they’re scared of them! You’d better lock them up! What if they also became lawyers or politicians? The world would not be a safe place.

“So it is precisely the recognition of a female divinity or a divine female power which ever way we want to think of it which leads to a totally regressive legal system when it comes to women and the keeping of women down, of keeping them locked up and so forth.

“I’m always surprised that feminists think that goddesses would be good for women. In one of the few countries we know where Goddesses are widely worshipped, women have a very rough time of it to this day.”

Read that again, and let it sink in. Then think about Dan Brown and his so-called “sacred feminine”. Think about all those who want to call God “Mother” as well as or instead of “Father”. Think about all those who want to worship “Sophia”, the goddess of wisdom. Just think about it.

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2 Responses to Divine Goddess "bad news for women"

  1. Arabella-m says:

    The guest presenter at a recent in-service for diocesan priests, here in Victoria, calls God ‘her’.

    A 2005 ‘sermon’ on Church unity by Sr Barbara Reid OP concluded with “we have seen God: in the beauty and pain of her cosmos,…… in the power of her Word, proclaimed by her preachers. For the Risen One is with us and in us, drawing us all into ONE.”
    See: http://www.dominicans.us/Articles/index.cfm?article_id=25

    Interesting choice of presenter! Now these priests could have been truly counter-cultural and chosen someone like Dr Wendy Doniger.

  2. Schütz says:

    Truth is one, Arabella, and we should not be surprised when academics who rigourously investigate phenomena and ideas such as “the divine feminine” come to conclusions that support what Christianity has been saying all along. Unfortunately, many who adopt modish feminine language for the Christian God have very little awareness of what they are doing.

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