||Open Sea Press
Goddess Matters, recipient of two awards from the International Book Awards 2012,gives an in-depth look at today's trends in Goddess spirituality and emerging Goddess religions.
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Goddess Matters page
Goddess Matters: The Mystical, Practical, & Controversial by Judith Laura provides an intense look at today’s global trends in Goddess spirituality and emerging Goddess religions. The book has received finalist awards in the "Spirituality" and "Women's Issues" categories of the International Book Awards 2012.
Goddess Matters covers a wide range of subjects, some of them rarely discussed in other books. These include contemporary Goddess temples and conferences, Goddess ethics, relationship of gender to sexual risks, responses to natural disasters, accommodating people with physical disabilities, emerging Goddess figures in Judaism and Christianity, various controversies, and cutting edge thought that relates Goddess and science. Also included are chapters on intuitive and psychic work, including a chapter defining words used to discuss this subject; death and the possibility of “afterlife”; various approaches to spirituality and religion; a look at the probable future of Goddess spirituality, and a chapter with definitions of terms used to discuss religion.
Goddess Matters is fascinating reading both for those within and those outside of the Goddess movement.
Review from Goddess Pages
This is a lucid, well-written and engaging book, and a timely one, bringing together many different aspects of the current Goddess movement and doing so in a way that encourages thought and discussion. . . I dare say the book will become even more useful as the years pass. . . .there’s discussion of thealogy, usefully giving us definitions and ways to understand “Goddess” both theologically and sociologically.
Judith Laura isn’t afraid to deal with controversial material and meet challenges and I’m grateful for that. For a Goddess beginner this could save some heartache in trying to identify one’s path…and what to call oneself!. . . There's a very useful discussion of the term “Goddessian”, which I must admit I didn’t take to on first coming across it – the word seemed awkward, a made-up word (not that there’s anything wrong with making up words, feminists have done it for decades, and come to think of it, Shakespeare was a dab hand.
But I’m growing to like the term and it certainly fits better than pagan, for me.
Once again, Goddess Matters gives us a full discussion and makes it easier for us to identify ourselves. . . .
I particularly enjoyed the section on immanence vis-ŕ-vis transcendence, but for me the most exciting section is that entitled Goddess as Flow. I’ve a strong left-brain bias, which has often seemed a disadvantage but here my scientific side comes into its own. The author says that the ancient Goddess epithet: “She who flows through all” connects us both to the past and opens the way to the future, and that is beautifully true. So while we have our precious ancient statues and other remains, our mythologies and stories, the concept of Goddess as Flow fits in beautifully with modern concepts in science. . . .
For anyone new to Goddess ideas, there are many more useful definitions, not given dogmatically but with plenty of room for people to choose their own interpretations within them. There’s much more to the book than the few sections I’ve highlighted and I’d recommend it to all kinds of people – anyone studying Goddess, who wants to understand the past and learn how the current Goddess spirituality movement got started, but even more so to anyone who wants to think about where we’re going, and how we can all influence that direction.
~Geraldine Charles, Goddess Pages, Winter 2012
(this is excerpted from a longer review by Geraldine Charles, which can be found on the website of goddess-pages.co.uk Since the review page has a long url, here's a shortened one: http://tinyurl.com/gp2012gm
Review from SageWoman magazine
This book is an excellent readers’ guide for women to discuss women’s spirituality, identity, and empowerment. The author, who has long experience in the Goddess movement as both a participant and a writer, has written a forward-thinking text about what Goddess spirituality is and what it can become in the next few decades. Laura champions the evolution of Goddess spirituality into a legitimate religion with a concern for inclusiveness in language and practice.
One of the many catalysts in the awakening to Goddess spirituality in the last half-century was the Unitarian Universalist adult education program, “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.” When published in 1986 this program encouraged participants (and independent readers) to become openly aware of the misogyny in the Abrahamic religions, thus opening to the door for considering the establishment of female-centric traditions. But establishing a new religion requires development of an identity and that is based, in part, on naming. Ms. Laura understands the complexity of this issue — and the necessity of grappling with it — implicitly. She writes, “To not name ourselves is to risk becoming invisible — both to ourselves and to others.” Laura proposes the adoption of the name “Goddessian” to describe the path of female spirituality, as well as its adherents.
One of the lovely metaphors Laura uses to describe Goddess is Goddess as flow. She lyrically describes, “Goddess is the flow of rivers to the sea, the flow of our blood, the flow of love between people, and the flow of air in breeze, hurricane and jet stream. She is what connects us, not only like a link in a chain but also like an electrical current.” This characterizes Goddess as natural, kinetic, and dynamic. She is part of All, and All is part of her. What an empowering, joyful feeling that evokes!
~Linda Kerby, SageWoman,Spring 2012 (url for website of this print magazine: http://sagewoman.com)
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