When God Was a Woman

by Merlin Stone

Paperback, 1978




Mariner Books (1978), Edition: First, 265 pages


History. Religion & Spirituality. Nonfiction. Here, archaeologically documented,is the story of the religion of the Goddess. Under her, women�s roles were far more prominent than in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures. Stone describes this ancient system and, with its disintegration, the decline in women�s status.


½ (161 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member keylawk
Analysis of the POV of story. Deifications. "Fertility cults" of the past of degenerated into "sterility-cults" [155] which associate shame with every aspect of reproduction. The entire work is filled with gems for people who love the study of the Bible. [Abraham was a prince of the Hittites (!)
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and the Levite prophet Ezekiel tells Israel "Your father was an Amorite, your mother a Hittite" 107].

The highlight for me is Chapter Ten--"Unraveling the Myth of Adam and Eve". Starting with 'Innana, the Divine Mother who reveals the Laws', at the threshhold of the earliest Sumerian period. She was a Serpent Goddess! Interpreter of dreams of an unrevealed future. Then Ishtar of Babylon, through the Pythias, and krait-bitten seers. Then the most important symbol in the story, the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil drawn from the golden rolling apple tree of Hera (Egyptian Hathor - Eye of Wisdom/Serpent Lady, to eat of her flesh is to share communion) about which the serpent Ladon coiled. Despite the warnings of the Levite priests--who had to keep re-asserting the warnings for a thousand years--Jewish women continued to participate in what were essentially Sumerian Goddess rituals surrounding procreation. A male priesthood denigrating a religion with female priests/zonah=meaning both "prostitute" and "prophetess".
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LibraryThing member mykl-s
When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone (1978)
LibraryThing member Loptsson
An overly feminist book to say the least, at the beginning and cropping up from time to time, but besides that I did enjoy it to a degree. There are many things which I definitely don't agree with her on and I can say I marked the book up pretty good while reading it. She tries to present goddess
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worshipping peoples as the pinnacle of achievement and present the Indo-European "invaders" as warmongers and the bringers of patriarchal society. She doesn't show you that these goddess worshippers were just as bloody and savage as the rest of the peoples yet any perusal of history books out there will verify it. She cries quite a bit about woman loosing their status and how the "evil patriarchs" crushed them down. Her thoughts on the origins of the tree from the Garden of Eden where interesting and I think possibly worthy of looking into as well as some of her thoughts on Indo-European religion and how it influenced Judaism and Christianity are very interesting and are worth thinking over, particularly the Levites and their possible origin. I will definitely re-read this book at a later date after going through some history books of the time to see how well it holds up.
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LibraryThing member kristennicole
I really enjoy Stone's approach to Goddess worship. The one problem I have with the book is that it provides a lot of information in a short amount of space, and I have a hard time keeping it all straight, especially as I am unfamiliar with many of the places she is describing. Her book, however,
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is wonderful, and it provides a different look at what people worshiped before the Judeo-Christian God took over.
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LibraryThing member hailelib
Merlin Stone wrote about an interesting topic: how the goddess-centered religions of early peoples in the area from Egypt and Greece to India gave way to the male god-centered religions that came to predominate in these areas and what the change did to the status of women. This is a book first
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published in 1976 and has a definite feminist flavor. Also, if written today there would be later archaeological evidence for her to cite. Nevertheless, the author did hold my attention although occasionally I felt that she was pushing a bit too hard to make her points. The material on the origin of Biblical stories was very interesting, especially the Creation and events in the Garden of Eden.
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LibraryThing member librisissimo
I wasn't terribly impressed, but there is some interesting historical information.


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Physical description

8 inches


015696158X / 9780156961585

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