Top positive review
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For smart people who "worship" nature
on December 24, 2003
I'm a 36 year old male who has (intellectually and spiritually) inhabited just about every "headspace" one can imagine -- from New Age kook to cynical academic. I know bad scholarship when I read it, I know opinion stated as fact, and I know the red flags of junk science, because I've experienced this stuff from both sides of the intellectual divide, both as believer/consumer and critic.
Are there unsubstantiated claims and questionable conclusions in "Cosmic Mother"? Yes. There are also many opinions stated as fact. This problem is endemic in social science writing -- it's called THEORY, and if you object to the way these women researched and wrote this book (competently, for the most part), you'd better not look at your college sociology, psychology, or anthropology texts too closely. "Truth" in the social sciences depends on where you start the clock and who's telling the story.
You do NOT have to be slavishly devoted to the notion of prehistoric matriarchies to gain insight and knowledge from this important book. To me, more than anything else, "Cosmic Mother" is a critical examination and radical deconstruction of patriarchal religion and the devastating effects it has had on humanity and the natural world, as well as a precious and rare source of validation for 'smart" neopagans and earth/mother/goddess worshipers of all stripes.
I originally bought "Cosmic Mother" because I realized that I experience the presence of god/dess almost solely in nature. So-called "holy" books and churches do nothing for me except make me wonder at the stupidity of man -- the night sky is my catherdral. I thought this book would help me understand why this is so, why the ocean, the forests, the mountains, the moon, the seasons heal my soul. I wasn't disappointed.
Final words -- this book is intelligent, lovingly written, insightful, well researched, and remarkable in the interdisciplinary nature of its scholarship. The authors seemlessly integrate every branch of the social sciences (drawing heavily on anthropology), biology, history, comparative religion, cultural criticism, you name it. If you are a smart person -- an academic, a critical thinker, a theory wonk, whatever -- who is also aware of spirit and "worships" nature, the earth, the sun, moon, and stars, this book is essential reading.