The Concept of the Goddess edited by Sandra Billington and Miranda Jane Aldhouse-Green


The Concept of the Goddess is a book that houses a group of essays.  The subjects (Different Goddesses from different cultures) vary depending on the specialties of the authors of the essays.  Each author has his or her own approach to the subject matter and these approaches include anthropology, archeology, mythic literature, and folklore.  The whole book is a look at the place of the goddess in past and present belief systems and mythologies.  The goddesses discussed come from a variety of cultures like the Celtic, Norse, Roman, Caucasian, and Japanese.

The preface is a celebration of the life and works of Hilda Ellis Davidson.  I’ve read two of her books and was very interested in learning more about her, which I did.  Sandra Billington wrote the preface.

The introduction is a presentation of the volume.  In this introduction Miranda Green (the second of the two editors of this volume) gives us a summary of each of the essays in the book.  She also draws your attention to simple yet surprising conclusions (general though they are) she came too.  She talks about the approach of each writer takes in being non-biased towards or against the feminine and how we shouldn’t take a conclusion from one era and culture and apply it to another.

The essays themselves were a little dry but certainly enjoyable.  I liked learning about the other cultures and Goddesses and what the different approaches meant when writing these essays.  I think this is a book that I might returned to at a later date, I just don’t feel like I got out of it all that I should have.  It is not a problem with the book but rather with me I think.

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