Beyond God the Father: Goddess Spirituality as a New Form of Empowerment for Women?
Drawing from an exploratory study carried out in Italy, this article analyses the phenomenon of Goddess spirituality, based on the re-interpretation or re-creation of spirituality centered on the worship of female divinities. The article first analyses the main drivers for the insurgence of the Goddess movement in relation to feminist theology and to archaeological and anthropologic studies. Second, it contextualises Goddess spirituality in relation to second wave feminism. Third, it presents the results of the study by asking to what extent these experiences can lead to women’s empowerment or whether they risk essentialising women around the concepts of care and maternity. The translation of these spiritual experiences into the political and social sphere is also explored. This article argues for the relevance of Goddess spirituality both in relation to the study of gender and religion and to feminist theories and practices.
Keywords: Goddess spirituality, second wave feminism, religion, gender roles, eco-feminism