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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Daughters of Yahweh: Recovering the deep feminine from the Yahweh complex
by Stockman, Susanne Beth, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 279; 3716638
Abstract (Summary)

From a reading of the Hebrew Bible itself it would be difficult to determine that a goddess culture existed for thousands of years prior to the appearance of the monotheistic Father God of Hebrew Scripture. As such, the repression of the Goddess during the Iron Age and the implications of this repression in our own Western culture have been evaluated throughout this dissertation. This hermeneutic study weaves together a broad range of topics that begins with an exploration into the roots of the Hebrew God-image as it emerged out of a polytheistic context that included powerful female deities. The study reveals that Yahweh once had a divine feminine consort and together they were known as Yahweh and his Asherah. Over time the feminine aspect of the Godhead was torn asunder and the divine feminine was submerged and repressed into the unconscious. The research explores the effects of this repression within the feminine psyche and the ways in which the one-sided masculinity of the Western God-image has become incorporated into the individual psychology of women. This study seeks to reclaim the deep feminine repressed by the Father God complex through an amplification of serpent symbolism that leads towards the recovery and redemption of the feminine principle in her creating, preserving, and destroying aspects.

Additionally, the research addressed the development of the God-image by examining the relationship between a negative father complex and the traditional God-image of Western culture through a psychoanalytic object relations perspective. The research shows how early object relations can color the ways in which we perceive the divine. The study suggests that when we can withdraw our infantile projections onto a God-image we are able to develop a more mature spirituality that no longer reflects a parent-child relationship. Jung devoted attention to this evolutionary process, that he refers to as the transformation of God, leading to the birth of a new God-image.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Corbett, Lionel
Commitee: Downing, Christine, van Loben Sels, Robin
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Counseling Psychology, Judaic studies
Keywords: Biblical monotheism, Contemporary jewish feminism, God-image, Goddess traditions
Publication Number: 3716638
ISBN: 978-1-321-95538-5
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