Feminist Spirituality and Goddess Religion in the United States

1999 WordsNov 12, 20008 Pages
Thousands of years ago, the Goddess was viewed as an autonomous entity worthy of respect from men and women alike. Because of societal changes caused by Eastern influence, a patriarchical system conquered all aspects of life including religion. Today, the loss of a strong female presence in Judeo-Christian beliefs has prompted believers to look to other sources that celebrate the role of women. Goddess religion and feminist spirituality have increasingly been embraced by men and women as an alternative to the patriarchy found in traditional biblical religion. Within a few thousand years the first recognizable human society developed worship of the Great Goddess or Great Mother. For these people, deity was female. The importance…show more content…
It has been referred to as "eco-feminism" to reflect this increased emphasis. This stems from the Wiccan ideology that people have a unique responsibility toward the environment because of our ability to make conscious choices (Corbett 292). Goddess worship broadened to include African, Asian, and Native American ideals beyond the classic Wiccan deities. It became"politically correct" by beginning to include gays and lesbians (formerly neglected with the emphasis on male-female fertility) as well as the ecological movement and an openness to people of color and other minorities. Now considered the fastest growing religion in America by some scholars, neo-Pagans were represented at the World Council of Religions in 1993. Despite the spread of feminist and goddess belief, many witches still face discrimination because of their faith. People outside the neo-Pagan community still often confuse Wicca with Satanism, feeling that witchcraft is not a valid religion and should not be afforded the same protections as more 'mainstream', consensus religions. However, Wicca and other goddess religions are not Satanistic. Satanism focuses on the Christian idea of the devil, whereas these spiritualities predate Christianity and have no link to those beliefs (Corbett 292). Another common misconception is that witches cast spells in order to hurtothers for their own or someone else's

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