February 7, 2024
Today is the seventh (and last) of our daily reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. We hope you have enjoyed them! (If you missed any of the other days, you can find them in the blog section of our website, interfaithpeaceproject.org .) The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to offer you these reflections for each day of Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7, 2024.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
Adobe Stoch #653358243 By Алина Бузунова
THE GODDESS RISING
Interfaith Harmony Week
February 1-7, 2024
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The Goddess is a woman who knows her power,
who lives her truth and speaks it.
The great debate concerning women in many political and religious sectors is, in many ways, the essence of Interfaith dialogue.
The question is crucial. Should women have agency over their own lives, or should convention, custom, tradition, and the State govern and control women and their lives?
It is more than fair to ask why the oppression and regulation of women have been so pervasive and extreme. What constitutes this fear of women and the aggression so many women experience?
Two perspectives have been put forth in the history of religion to account for this situation. First, the female body’s ability to give life evokes the power and majesty of the Divine. Such an ability creates a sense of fear and inadequacy on the part of others. Second, ancient matriarchal societies seem to have been inclusive and egalitarian. Such openness confronts the more warlike tendencies born of possession, competition, and estrangement.
I would suggest a third perspective. The integration of the feminine into the full consciousness of a human person invites a radical transformation of human society. The Goddess rises without regard to gender, nationality, or other boundaries. This threatens the traditional status quo and so-called gender roles.
Religion is often used unscrupulously to maintain oppression and fear. In our time, the Goddess is rising anew. This is the mythic way of stating the obvious. Women and their allies the World over are creating new societies and structures of justice by which the human rights of all will be assured and enhanced.
As women struggle to create a new culture in which women’s power, bodies, will, and bonds are celebrated, it is natural the Goddess would reemerge as symbol of the newfound beauty, strength, and power of women.
Why Women Need the Goddess
Carol P. Christ
If I am a woman, I will honor myself with love, respect, and acceptance of myself as I am.
If I am a man, I will pledge to honor and respect all women in my life.
No matter how I identify as a person, I will evoke the Goddess of my higher consciousness and love fiercely, courageously, and without compromise. I will work for the full human rights of all people.
We thank Randy Thomas for all his efforts to help formulate the reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. Susan Batterton edited and reviewed the texts and format and is responsible for sending them to you. We offer our gratitude and love to both Randy and Susan.
Thank you for taking the time to consider these reflections.