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Q4 2006 Nonfiction Book Suggestions 
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Post Goddesses and the Joy of Philosophy
Here's one by a premier scholar and historian in feminist theology and comparative religion, Rosemary Radford Ruether.

Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History by Rosemary Ruether
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From Publishers Weekly
Ruether charts a medium between, on the one hand, historically male-centered Western religious traditions and, on the other, the 1970s assertion (courtesy of Marija Gimbutas, Riane Eisler et al) that prehistoric societies were matricentric and matrilinear. It is possible, Ruether says, to support ecofeminism and beliefs in the divine feminine "without embracing theories about gender in human social evolution that are not historically tenable. One can affirm the validity of alternative Goddess spirituality in the contemporary context without insisting that everyone accept the thesis of a literal 'feminist Eden' in prehistoric human existence." Ruether adopts a roughly chronological approach, opening with an anthropological and archaeological look at what we know about gender in prehistory (which, it turns out, is not a lot), and about goddesses in the ancient Mediterranean world. She then examines gender and the divine feminine in Hebrew scriptures, ancient mystery cults, the New Testament and medieval Christianity before turning her attention to a particular case study of gender in the cultural contact between Aztec religion and Christianity in Mexico. The final chapters explore possible reasons for the popularity of the idea of matriarchy, with Ruether raising the overarching question: Do we need a myth of matriarchal prehistory today? Scholars and educated lay readers who are looking for a fair, comprehensive assessment of what is at stake in the debates about the divine feminine will read this with great interest. Ruether is an informed and lively guide, and her book (complete with nearly four dozen illustrations) manages to be both opinionated and balanced.
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Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:55 am
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Post Re: 4th Quarter 2006 ~ NONFICTION Book Suggestions!
Ok, thanks for all the suggestions. We've got enough to narrow it down to three or four. ::80




Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:18 pm
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Post Re: 4th Quarter 2006 ~ NONFICTION Book Suggestions!
Wait, one more! Consider Shermer's new book: Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design . This sounds great. It would provide interesting discussion. Also, one of his books have been read here before and the discussion went well. He would probably do a live chat too.

From Publishers Weekly
Shermer (The Science of Good and Evil), founding editor of the Skeptic and Scientific American columnist, thoughtfully explains why intelligent design is both bad science and poor religion, how a wealth of scientific data from varied fields support evolution, and why religion and science need not be in conflict. Science and religion are two distinct realms, he argues: the natural and supernatural, respectively, and he cites Pope John Paul II in support of their possible coexistence. Shermer takes the "ten most cogent" arguments for intelligent design and refutes each in turn. While on the mark, the arguments' brevity may hamper their usefulness to all but those well versed in the debate. Looking for converts, Shermer offers a short chapter entitled "Why Christians and Conservatives Should Accept Evolution" (i.e., it "provides a scientific foundation" for their core values). His overall message is best summarized when he writes, "Darwin matters because evolution matters. Evolution matters because science matters. Science matters because it is the preeminent story of our age, an epic saga about who we are, where we came from and where we are going." Although there's not much new here, Shermer's wit and passion will appeal to many but won't convince believers.

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 9/10/06 1:47 pm



Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:37 pm
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