Feminine Power – The Divine to the Demonic

Belinda Crerar

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  • The British Museum
  • 2022
  • ISBN 9780714151304
  • 272 pages
  • Softcover
  • 25 × 19 × 2.3 cm

The accompanying paperback catalogue to the British Museum exhibition Feminine Power: the divine to the demonic.

Divine women – in many guises – have featured in every world faith, from deep history until the present day, inspiring people and cultures across the world. In a cross-cultural and global approach, this book discusses Eve alongside Inanna, Radha and Aphrodite in the context of sex and desire, while in the chapter in evil, witches and Hecate are compared with other deities like Lamashtu and the Cihuateotl, as well as monstrous women such as Taraka, Medusa, Rangda and Lilith. Ideas of justice and defence are explored in the figures of Athena, Sekhmet and Kali, and the final chapter on compassion and salvation uncovers links between Isis, Mary, Tara and Guanyin.

The publication concludes with a discussion of contemporary art and modern interpretations of goddesses. Until the mid-twentieth century, the disciplines of theology, archaeology and history were heavily dominated by male academics, resulting in the under-representation of women’s experiences and fewer studies on female divinity. This timely book, which is packed with fascinating insights into different cultures and beliefs, seeks to redress that balance.

 

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