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Special Issue "The Divine: She/Her/Hers—Global Goddess Traditions"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2023) | Viewed by 6714
Special Issue Editors
Interests: Goddess Tantra; yoga; religion and ecology; world religions; method & theory
Interests: Goddess Tantra; yoga; classical & ancient Near Eastern Goddess traditions & mysteries; method & theory
Special Issue Information
We invite you to contribute to what we hope will be a groundbreaking volume on global goddess cultures. True to the spirit of the religious studies tradition in which we are both trained, we envision the papers in this volume as combining breadth in perspective with depth of understanding. We aspire for methodological and theoretical diversity grounded in critical thought that is neither reductionistic nor blinded by faith. Who and what is a ‘goddess’? The answers to this question take one down a deep, fertile cosmic rabbit hole. This call is an invitation to join us in that hole.
This Special Issue of Religions will focus on Goddess cultures and traditions in a global and comparative context. One goal of this Special Issue is to unify diverse voices across the study of goddesses. Medieval goddess traditions still flourish in contemporary life around the globe; revival traditions among Neo-Pagans and other new religious movements have resurrected ancient goddesses for their own visions of religious life; Feminists, Environmentalists, and other social activists reflect on the planet as a mother and other gendered and social implications of the Divine as Female—where it is present or when and why it is conspicuously absent—and these conversations are not always in dialogue.
Human societies have produced influential and long-lasting goddess traditions in which significant powers of nature, cosmos, and society are ultimately conceived as female: they are mothers, queens, daughters, lovers, virgins, hags, nurses, stepmothers (sometimes joyous or others malignant). One might wish that this might directly lead to a harmonious balance of social roles between women and men or to a kind of empowerment for human maidens, mothers, lovers, or crones. It is decidedly complex, and responding to these questions raises issues of gender, sexuality, identity, age, and social class.
It might be that sometimes these female divinities directly improve the lives of their daughters and sons in unmistakably empowering ways. However, there are other times where the gatekeepers for these awesome divinities are male priesthoods or divine royalty, or in modern settings they can be just another marketing strategy or media trope. Whatever the case: nuanced and symbolically rich representations of the Divine Feminine or not have always reflected directly into Her mortal children’s lives. Whether reflections, distortions, or caricatures, these representations merit scholarly contemplation directly of their femaleness. They are goddesses and their sexuality and gender are deeply embedded in their symbols and meanings.
From Homer’s Muse, from the descent of grace that kindles Śakti within the human body of practitioners of yoga, to the sacred sexual arts of religious or ritual consorts and concubines, to oracles possessed by spirits or deities, or even Caribbean conceptions of the Holy Spirit, goddess power finds its way into the world, it gets into people, it lives, it flows. It is the sap in trees and the mysterious force and source of vibrant life in the cosmos.
We are looking for scholars to engage with the embodied and manifest power of goddess traditions and cultures. These powers might be found in the refined philosophy and poetics of Sanskrit Śākta Tantrikas or other longstanding traditions of goddesses, demigoddesses, and saints (such as Mary, Amaterasu, Guanyin, or women gurus, mediums, and priestesses). They might be manifest in the traditions of contemporary activists for clean water found around the world (led by Native American women—or other indigenous leaders who possess very clear ideas about how exactly the planet Earth (its forests, its waters) is our mother, or, alternatively, in the cross-cultural traditions of medicine goddesses who watch over the health of children, the fertility of women and men, and the deities and spirits who threaten that health as well. Study and reflection on any goddess traditions are welcome, and the unifying theme is the ways in which these traditions are manifest and engaged in the lived lives of their practitioners.
Prof. Dr. Jeffrey S. Lidke
Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Clark Ruff
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Earth Mother
- women’s empowerment
- sacred sexual arts
- Neo Paganism
- Guan Yin
- Virgin Mary