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When God Was a Woman Hardcover – June 1, 1990


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Marboro Books (June 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880295333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880295338
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Merlin Stone (September 27, 1931 – February 23, 2011) was an American author, sculptor, and professor of art and art history.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

This book is an eye-opener, coherent and well researched.
Lisa
Merlin Stone has written a very good book about the history of gender roles in Western society and the part religion plays in forming these roles.
Jon Norris
I urge all young adults to read this book and make a difference in the world by presenting the truth of the equality between women and men.
Elden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

279 of 289 people found the following review helpful By Jon Norris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
The history of our society, our religions, and our gender roles is vital to understanding ourselves and our world. Things are not the way we have been told they were. The truth may well shock and anger you.
We are becoming used to conspiracy theories and revisionist history surfacing in an almost constant stream these days. Much real history has been destroyed or distorted, and much we simply never knew. Spin doctors throw an immense amount of PR garbage in our faces to try and manipulate us into their camps. It is difficult to know whom to trust, particularly regarding emotionally loaded issues like religion and sex.
Merlin Stone has written a very good book about the history of gender roles in Western society and the part religion plays in forming these roles. She also gives us insight into the nature of laws regarding sexual behavior and marriage, a subject of considerable interest right at the moment.
The book is very well documented with quotes attributed and citations listed in the bibliography. While the subject of populations in remote historical times can be quite dry when treated in detail, Stone manages to mantain a high degree of academic depth while remaing very readable and accessible.
The book is well organized and leads one through the evidence to her very rational conclusions. She draws on vast amounts of archelogical and historical data, and her arguments are convincing. The information in this book correlates well with information I have seen from other sources in my investigation of why religions and governments put so much time, money, and energy into criminalizing sexual behavior.
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144 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on July 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
WHEN GOD WAS A WOMAN by Merlin Stone explores the controversy surrounding Eve by examining the links between the Old Testament text and archeological and linguistics research conducted in the 20th century. Although you may not agree with Stone's premise, interpretation of the Old Testament text, or conclusions, if you are one of Eve's daughters you owe it to yourself to learn more about her and how she may have been maligned by the ancient Levite priests when they constructed text such as Genesis, Deuteronomy, and other Old Testament books.
Stone's work has been referenced by feminist writers Margaret Starbird, Sue Monk Kidd, and Lynn Picknett, and her chapter "Unraveling the Myth of Adam and Eve" presents a compelling argument and an interesting perspective, especially when contrasted with Elaine Pagels' ADAM AND EVE AND THE SERPENT, and Joseph Campbell's mythology works.
I enjoyed this book very much. As one who studied the Bible many years and found the murder and mayhem in the Old Testament quite disturbing, I was intrigued by Stone's insights which caused me to reflect on the folks the Hebrews fought. Perhaps they were not nearly so wicked as we were taught to believe ages ago. On top of that, the criticism of women in the Old Testament may be totally unjustified as it was directed towards non-Hebrew women who were forced marry the male Hebrew victors after they had killed their kinsman. In other words, when the walls of Jericho fell, who died?
This book is so stunning, I am amazed that Stone had the courage to write it, let alone that a publishing house published it. If nothing else thia book is an example of having the intellectual courage to address a verboten subject that could lead to a Christian fatwah if Christians did such things.
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Heckart on April 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the beginning God was a woman...

[...]

I remember picking up the Bible as a young girl, and knowing that something was wrong with the content, especially the lowly status assigned to women. For this reason, I never connected with the Bible. Now I know why. Even without the extensive archaeological evidence that Ms. Stone discovered on the Goddess religion, I know this to be the truth--for thousands of years the Goddess reigned as Queen of the Heaven until Indo-European invaders, who worshiped a thunderbolt wielding war god, wiped it out. Everyone should read this book. Is our world a better place without the Goddess?

The final assault on the Goddess religion by the Levite priests was the most horrifying event in history. The mass murder of women, children and anyone who refused to denounce the Goddess-whole towns were slaughtered-it's all recorded in the Bible. Ask yourself-would a kind and loving God allow that to happen? The civilization that worshiped the Goddess for thousands of years, bringing with them in the earliest times knowledge of agriculture, medicine, architecture, metallurgy, wheeled vehicles, ceramics, textiles and written language were gradually stamped out because the northern invaders wanted to control the paternity of children, and land that the priestesses of the Goddess temples controlled. The legends were re-written to disgrace the sacred sexual customs of Goddess worship, and because of that, all females were regarded as sinful and blamed for the downfall of man in the Bible.

The key to a harmonious world is for both sexes to respect each other and not place one sex above the other-what we need in the world is balance.

I highly recommend this well-researched and well-written account of the murder of the original deity-the Goddess. Ms. Stone did a wonderful job of organizing the information so that it is easy for everyone to understand.
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