Feminist Theology - Within Specific Religions - Neopaganism

Neopaganism

Some currents of Neopaganism, in particular Wicca, have a ditheistic concept of a single goddess and a single god, who in hieros gamos represent a united whole. Polytheistic reconstructionists focus on reconstructing polytheistic religions, including the various goddesses and figures associated with indigenous cultures.

The term thealogy is sometimes used in the context of the Neopagan Goddess movement, a pun on theology and thea θεά "goddess" intended to suggest a feminist approach to theism.

The Goddess movement is a loose grouping of social and religious phenomena growing out of second-wave feminism, predominantly in North America, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand in the 1970s, and the metaphysical community as well. Spurred by the perception that women were not treated equitably in many religions, some women turned to a Female Deity as more in tune with their spiritual needs. Education in the Arts became a vehicle for the study of humanitarian philosophers like David Hume at that time. A unifying theme of this diverse movement is the femaleness of Deity (as opposed and contrasted to a patriarchal God).

Goddess beliefs take many forms: some people in the Goddess movement recognize multiple goddesses; some also include gods; others honor what they refer to as "the Goddess," which is not necessarily seen as monotheistic, but is often understood to be an inclusive, encompassing term incorporating many goddesses in many different cultures. The term "the Goddess" may also be understood to include a multiplicity of ways to view deity personified as female, or as a metaphor, or as a process. (Christ 1997, 2003) The term "The Goddess" may also refer to the concept of The One Divine Power, or the traditionally worshipped "Great Goddess" of ancient times.

In the latter part of the 20th century, feminism was influential in the rise of Neopaganism in the United States, and particularly the Dianic tradition. Some feminists find the worship of a goddess, rather than a god, to be consonant with their views. Others are polytheists, and worship a number of goddesses. The collective set of beliefs associated with this is sometimes known as thealogy and sometimes referred to as the Goddess movement. See also Dianic Wicca.

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