Why “God” as “She” Provokes us:Semiotically Speaking --The Significance of the Divine Feminine
Keywords:goddess spirituality, paganism, alternative cosmologies
AbstractWhy does the idea of the divine feminine result in such intense fear in some people and excitement in others? Writings on the Goddess movement consistently document that adherents sense the power of symbols and use them intentionally to create something profoundly different. My approach employs semiotic theory to offer a terminology and established theoretical base that imparts an understanding of “what” and “how” Goddess spirituailty and its alternative cosmology pose for some such a risk and for others such promise. Replacing the established transcendental signified of “God” with “Goddess” ruptures and displaces the systemic and totalizing structure of Western metaphysics. This is why, I believe, reactions to the idea of the feminine divine can be so pronounced. For some, the Goddess promises to solve Western culture’s problems by creating a new, more female-valuing symbolic structure. For others, She threatens the very core of the current system of signification and everything within it.
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