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Eller tells the stories these men told, analyzes the gendered assumptions they made, and provides the necessary context for understanding how feminists of the s and s embraced as historical "fact" a discredited nineteenth-century idea. Matriarchal Myth before Bachofen. J J Bachofen and Das Mutterrecht. Anthropology Finds Mother Right and Itself.

Communists and Feminists Discover the Mother Age. Don't take that as typical behaviour of supporters for matriarchal theories of history. She is the author of The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America.


  1. Gentlemen and Amazons: The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, 1861–1900.
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  3. The Copycat Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries).
  4. Gentlemen and Amazons by Cynthia Eller - Paperback - University of California Press.
  5. Gentlemen and Amazons by Cynthia Eller - Paperback - University of California Press!

Cynthia Eller explores the intellectual history of the myth, which arose from male scholars who mostly wanted to vindicate the University of California Pr Bolero Ozon. Before the reader can adjust her chaise longue and slather on her sunscreen, our hero, Dr. Robert Langdon, is falsely accused of a heinous crime at the world-famous Louvre Museum in Paris.

A beautiful, intelligent Frenchwoman-Sophie Neveu-appears and helps Langdon escape. At first, he does not even realize that he is the intended prey of the authorities. Chases ensue, on foot, by automobile, and by airplane. Our hero, a Harvard "symbologist," does not have the leisure to sit and cogitate, as he is undoubtedly accustomed to doing back home in the Widener Library stacks. No, he has to run fast and think faster. Not only must he be clever and quick, he must also be physically agile-even forceful-and attuned to the twisted channels of the minds of criminals, religious fanatics, eccentric historians, cunning priests, and corrupt officials Whom can he trust?

As Western Christian history unravels before him, the apparently good turn out to be evil, and vice versa. Jesus, Christian readers may be relieved to learn, is good, very good. So is his mother, the Virgin Mary. Don't start to genuflect yet! Yes, Jesus is good, and his mother is good, but so is his wife! That's right, Jesus's wife, Mary Magdalene.

The Shadow Of The Panther

If you've never heard of Jesus's wife-or you had, but thought she was a reformed prostitute and devoted disciple, but not a "special friend" of our Lord-don't feel bad. It's a news flash for most of us, because the world's most powerful and secretive institution the Catholic Church, naturally has conspired to keep this information from Jesus's flock for nearly two thousand years.

Only a few, the elect, the Leonardo da Vincis of the world, have kept the flame of truth alive for future generations, hoping that one day all Christians will be able to accept the full humanity of the Christ.

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After The Da Vinci Code raced to the top of the best-seller list, it prompted a culture-wide discussion, from Internet opinion-fests to sermons and Sunday school lessons. It was a boom time for New Testament scholars, who were abruptly handed an audience clamoring to know if any of the novel's revelations could possibly be true.

Had Jesus been married? Did he have children? Had the Knights Templar carefully preserved secrets too combustible to be acknowledged by the Catholic Church for thousands of years of Christian history? Was there a secret society called the Priory of Sion dedicated to protecting the truth about Jesus and his bloodline? Could the Catholic Church-which everyone seemed ready enough to believe was sufficiently conniving to hide inconvenient truths from its lay members-successfully keep something like that secret? And if it were true that Jesus had been married and had children, what would it change?

Or only a few details, none of them faith shattering?

About the Book

Indeed, was it possible that the new Jesus, the post- Da Vinci Code Jesus, could be even better suited to modern sensibilities than the old one? The Da Vinci Code broke upon the consciousness of most readers not only with the predictable force of a fast-paced thriller, but with the bracing air of unanticipated iconoclasm. And yet part of the appeal of The Da Vinci Code 's plot is that it is not really new at all: The main fixtures of The Da Vinci Code are familiar. With the exception of the alluringly subterranean elements of Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion, they are drawn from Christian high culture: All these people, places, symbols, and organizations are ones we feel proud to be aware of, to embrace as our cultural heritage.

Dan Brown tosses them into the air for the action of his novel. But when they come down, they do not form the old familiar picture. Nor do they end up as a heap of unrelated scraps. The puzzle pieces that seemed to admit of only one possible configuration emerge, after a twist of the kaleidoscope, in another light, forming a new, equally symmetrical, and appealingly fresh pattern. It is the Christian story retold, but with a few key changes.

First, the Catholic Church is not the body of Christ on earth. It is wealthy, powerful, sneaky, and bent on retaining its paternalistic authority over its flock by doling out Christian truth in the bite-size servings it believes its children are capable of swallowing a very Protestant view of Catholicism!

Second, on the fully human, fully divine spectrum debated by the early church councils, Jesus swings dramatically toward the fully human. And he does so in a very significant way: From this one deft fictional device toyed with earlier in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar and Nikos Kazantzakis's novel The Last Temptation of Christ comes a river of theological innovation, all apparently quite intriguing to the modern mind.

Christianity is redeemed from its ascetic moralism. We get to keep Jesus, but throw out everything we as a culture have come to find distasteful about Christianity: The Holy Grail, sought after by zealous Christians for centuries, turns out to be the sexual, reproductive body of a woman. Sex is good; women are, at the very least, equal to men; and Christianity has its Goddess again. Now that's not something I learned about in Sunday School.

Even if Jesus was married, as the novel contends, where does "the Goddess" come in? Jesus's mother, the Virgin Mary, has been knocking pretty hard on the door of deification for the past thousand-plus years of grassroots Christian culture, but she is still not regarded as a goddess by people who want to keep their Christian nose clean. To complicate matters, the popularity of the Virgin Mary was waxing strong in Western history at the same time that, according to Dan Brown's novel, "the sacred feminine" was being ground under the boot heels of the cassocked gentlemen of Rome.

It doesn't seem likely that they would have extended so much ecclesiastical and theological support to the Virgin Mary if she was the secret Christian Goddess. And if the Virgin Mary does not qualify as the "lost Goddess" of Christianity, it is not immediately clear how Mary Magdalene could so qualify in her stead.

The Da Vinci Code is never very precise on this point. Its theological vision is somewhat muddy perhaps forgivable, given the genre. Throughout, The Da Vinci Code stresses the presence of pagan symbols and elements in Christianity, which are gleefully discovered in famous cathedrals all over Europe by the novel's hero.

In this Book

It describes a pre-Christian, "ancient" religion of nature worship and gender balance, "yin and yang," that assures "harmony in the world. This gender balance is the official line, but from the outset, the novel emphasizes the "feminine" at the expense of the "masculine.

Langdon is writing a book titled Symbols of the Lost Sacred Feminine. It is a, even the, "pagan goddess worship cult. And the central tragedy of Western history is the church-driven conversion of the world, in Dan Brown's phrase, "from matriarchal paganism to patriarchal Christianity. Jesus's humanity and Mary Magdalene's central role in early Christianity is positioned as a rediscovery of true Christian history, a redressing of the Christian church's gender imbalance and a long overdue correction to its anti-sex morality. But The Da Vinci Code actually goes further than this: Once "bad" Christianity-essentially, the Catholic Church-is separated from "true" Christianity, all that's really left is the person of Jesus.

Project MUSE - Gentlemen and Amazons

This Jesus does not emerge as the Christ, the Messiah, or even as a particularly astute rabbi. Rather, he is the sacrificed pagan hero-king, the consort of the Goddess, who appears in the person of his wife, Mary Magdalene. The Judaism of Jesus and his bride never appears in any guise other than as a variant of paganism, yet another of the many ancient religions devoted to fertility and goddess worship, the mating of male and female in sacred sexual union.

Indeed, the Star of David, which we are told is ignorantly read as the central symbol of a monotheistic Judaism, turns out to represent two deities. It is a superimposition of male and female signs "marking the Holy of Holies, where the male and female deities-Yahweh and Shekhinah-were thought to dwell. To me, this is what makes The Da Vinci Code so fascinating as a cultural phenomenon: Even more striking to me is that this novel was received with incredible enthusiasm by a twenty-first-century, nominally Christian audience. People loved this book, as gushing commentary all over the Internet attests.

In what did its appeal lie? Whatever the appeal of The Da Vinci Code was to its readers, it is something that has been appealing for quite some time now. We are starting to sense the dangers of our history We are beginning to sense the need to restore the sacred feminine You mentioned you are writing a manuscript about the symbols of the sacred feminine, are you not?

The world needs modern troubadours. And the world has them aplenty, most of them not making any pretense of hiding behind a fictional narrative, as Dan Brown does. For the past forty years, matriarchal myth has had quite a hearing, especially among feminists and neopagans. Feminists have found in matriarchal myth license to hope that just as male dominance had a beginning in ancient times, it can have an end too: Neopagans have relished telling a countercultural myth that reverses many of the value signs of Western culture, counting polytheism, magic, nature, sex, the body, and women among its greatest goods.

Others have also found succor in matriarchal myth. In Africa, they say, benevolent matriarchs presided over the birth and long, peaceful history of humanity. It was in the north, in Asia and Europe, where warlike, patriarchal cultures emerged, viewing woman as "only a burden that the man dragged behind him. Mason's central concern is animal rights, but significantly, his story is also gendered: A few even quirkier takes on matriarchal myth emerged in the last decade of the twentieth century, each with its own peculiar focus.

In Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna reminisces about the good old days, with their good old drugs primarily marijuana and psilocybin , which made woman-centered prehistory a blissful place to hang out and get high. He laments the rise of patriarchy and its use of bad drugs alcohol, cocaine, and sugar that make people fretful and make men nasty and domineering.


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