ABSTRACT: This paper argues that Jewish Goddess feminism illustrates the complexity of alternative religious identities and their fluid, ambiguous, and sometimes intimate historical, cultural, and religious connections to mainstream religious identities.1 While Jewish Goddess feminists find contemporary Judaism theologically and politically problematic, thealogy (feminist discourse on the Goddess and the divinity of femaleness) can offer them precisely the sacralization of female generativity that mainstream Judaism cannot. And yet the distinctions between present/former, alternative/mainstream religious identities are surely ambiguous where the celebration of the Goddess can at once reconstruct Jewish identity and deconstruct the notion of religious identity as a single or successive affiliation. It would seem that Jewish Goddess feminism epitomizes how late or postmodern religious identity may be plural and inclusive, shifting according to the subject's context and mood and according to the ideological perspective of the observer.
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Research Article| April 01 1998
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Melissa Raphael; Goddess Religion, Postmodern Jewish Feminism, and the Complexity of Alternative Religious Identities. Nova Religio 1 April 1998; 1 (2): 198–215. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.19184.108.40.206
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