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ANAHITA  July 1997

ANAHITA July 1997

Subject:

Re: No Subject (women and the spiritual)

From:

Lisa Auanger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Jul 1997 22:26:41 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (73 lines)

  Definition of the "spiritual" within different ancient societies
certainly would be appropriate, and then definition of "leaders."  Dumezil
saw different levels of society which each had their own cult apparatus,
to sum up rather coarsely. That some matters were under the
control/authority/leadership of men, others of women seems to hold true of
many societies at different times.  Might be a good idea to have a look at
Durkheim's *Division of Labor in Society* and *Elementary forms of
religious life*.  Of course these also are "theoretically-laden" and are
reflectors of a particular time, place, and perspective.

  Can archaeology show "egalitarianism"?  From a closed-since-point-of-
destruction-deposit (or site) perhaps.  Images and artefacts can certainly
suggest that some societies/cultures had more or less egalitarian ways
than those to which we are accustomed or those of other societies.
Some simple examples are the depiction of women eating with men in
familial funerary contexts, the representation of women in public arts,
the participation of women in public building, et sim.
  Yet the evaluation and interpretation of much of this and the other
so-called data is problematic and subjective.  The evidence often is in need of
quantification and its later history (in need of) consideration.  Counter
Durkheim and further, I would assert that one religion, one society, one
culture, one time and place, do not provide evidence from which one can
generalize effectively and accurately, at least not without standing in
support of one ideology or another.

..............................................................
Lisa Auanger
Ph.D., Art History and Archaeology (commencement 8-1-97)
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

email: [log in to unmask]

On Tue, 8 Jul 1997, Susan Kray wrote:

> about vanished matriarchies.... and how do you know they existed?
>
> yes, and come to that, what is your evidence that "men were spiritual leaders
> in order to keep women repressed?" and what about female spiritual leaders in
> the Bible? don't they count? (Miriam, Huldah, Deborah, etc.)
>
> Susan Kray
>
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