Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Amore, R.

Keywords

Religion, General.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The Great Goddesses held real power in the Ancient World, whether in goddess-dominated religions or god-dominated religions, where the goddesses played subordinate roles. The feminine principle was always present, unlike in the three patriarchal religions under study: Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. What happened to the Goddesses in these religions? The gods and male founders of these religions appropriated the Great Goddesses' powers of creating and sustaining life, and the Great Goddesses' powers over the process of death and renewal/regeneration/rebirth. They debased or subordinated the Goddesses' key symbols--the serpent, the tree, the earth, and the moon. By comparing goddess-dominant myths or religions with Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism it becomes clear that a gender shift occurred in the dominant deity, and that the new male deities or religious founders assumed the Great Goddesses' powers, while at the same time attempting to exclude the Goddesses and a feminine principle from the new religions. Upon close examination, vestiges of these Great Goddesses can be discovered in Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism.Dept. of Religious Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1997 .O77. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 37-01, page: 0079. Adviser: Roy Amore. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1997.

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