Chapter

No Father in Heaven Androgyny and Polydeism

Susan Starr Sered

in Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister

Published in print December 1996 | ISBN: 9780195104677
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853267 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195104677.003.0009
No Father in Heaven Androgyny and Polydeism

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Notions of the supernatural are what differentiate religious from secular belief systems. Given the importance that religious devotees accord their deities, this chapter looks at the gods and spirits of each of the key examples of women's religions. The previous chapters argued that the rituals of women's religions are concerned with interpersonal relationships and reflect an essentially this-worldly, immanent orientation. Concern with relationships and this world also characterize the supernatural beings who are worshipped and addressed in women's religions. Unlike both the spirits of Spiritualism and the nats of Burma, Ryūkyūan kami (loosely translated as gods) generally do not have myths associated with them, nor are they highly differentiated among themselves. The various Afro-Brazilian religions have somewhat different theological approaches and posit somewhat different pantheons. In the case of the Black Caribs of Belize, prayers are addressed to God, the Virgin Mary, and deceased ancestors. This chapter examines androgyny and polydeism in women's religions, focusing on Christian Science, Shakers, and Spiritualism.

Keywords: Black Caribs; women; religions; androgyny; polydeism; spirits; gods; supernatural beings; Christian Science; Spiritualism

Chapter.  9179 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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