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The Past is a Foreigners' Country: Goddess Feminists, Archaeologists, and the Appropriation of Prehistory

The Past is a Foreigners' Country: Goddess Feminists, Archaeologists, and the Appropriation... Feminist archaeologists and others have criticised the Goddess movement, and Marija Gimbutas in particular, for producing 'Golden Age' theories about the past, claiming that there is no convincing archaeological evidence that Old Europe was universally peopled by matrifocal, peaceful, egalitarian societies who worshipped a Great Goddess. Goddess feminists are accused of appropriating and mythologising the past to serve their contemporary political agenda. This paper considers such criticisms and argues that archaeologists, too, can be shown to have agendas of their own in relation to the past. Following a theoretical discussion, the issues of appropriation and colonisation are considered with respect to Malta's neolithic 'Temple Culture', and the agendas and activities of Goddess feminists in relation to it. The discussion is based on recent anthropological fieldwork in Malta. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Contemporary Religion Taylor & Francis

The Past is a Foreigners' Country: Goddess Feminists, Archaeologists, and the Appropriation of Prehistory

Journal of Contemporary Religion , Volume 16 (1): 23 – Jan 1, 2001
23 pages

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References (76)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1469-9419
eISSN
1353-7903
DOI
10.1080/13537900123321
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Feminist archaeologists and others have criticised the Goddess movement, and Marija Gimbutas in particular, for producing 'Golden Age' theories about the past, claiming that there is no convincing archaeological evidence that Old Europe was universally peopled by matrifocal, peaceful, egalitarian societies who worshipped a Great Goddess. Goddess feminists are accused of appropriating and mythologising the past to serve their contemporary political agenda. This paper considers such criticisms and argues that archaeologists, too, can be shown to have agendas of their own in relation to the past. Following a theoretical discussion, the issues of appropriation and colonisation are considered with respect to Malta's neolithic 'Temple Culture', and the agendas and activities of Goddess feminists in relation to it. The discussion is based on recent anthropological fieldwork in Malta.

Journal

Journal of Contemporary ReligionTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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