From Library Journal
Davis (religious studies, Univ. of Prince Edward Island, Canada) has written a comprehensive and revealing study of the history and development of modern Goddess spirituality. His examination of archaeological, historical, and literary evidence has lead him to conclude that the roots of Goddess spirituality lie not in prehistoric matriarchal societies, as exponents of Goddess beliefs have claimed, but rather in Western esoteric traditions and in the Romantic movement of the 19th century. Davis presents an abundance of evidence along with excellent documentation to support his theory and to point out the skewed historical paradigm presented by modern writers within the Goddess movement. While Davis's conclusions are likely to generate controversy, his work provides a thorough, well-researched, scholarly study of a new religious movement. Recommended for academic and theological libraries with collections on feminist spirituality.?Elizabeth Anne Salt, Courtright Memorial Lib., Westerville, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
As a vibrant new faith, goddess worship has excited the hopes of millions weary of the repressive doctrines of traditional churches. But before he discards his Bible, Davis insists on a careful investigation into the claims made by goddess missionaries. Under his sharp scrutiny, these claims break apart, revealing the dubious motives and dishonest scholarship of some goddess-movement founders. Neither archaeology nor anthropology can substantiate the whole-cloth history of an ancient goddess spirituality brutally swept away by patriarchy. And goddess rites that celebrate a link with universal harmonies, he argues, are actually connected with nothing but the fevered fantasies of nineteenth-century occultists. Yet Davis shows that goddess worship, despite its doubtful origins, is rapidly seeping into mainline seminaries and even state universities, fostering utopian illusions and credentialed irrationality. Timely and cogent, Davis' analysis will help set the terms for the theological and cultural debates of the coming decade. An excellent resource with which to represent one side of a controversial issue. Bryce Christensen