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Week #5 Reading Discussion Questions

Creating New Traditions Questions (skip or skim Daly, Budapest and the first Carol Christ article on Martha Quest)

Introduction:
*** What are some important themes in women's spirituality mentioned in the introduction?
*** Why did some early feminists find positive value in earth-based religious practice? Why did some of them choose to call themselves "witches"?

Plaskow:
*** Plaskow records an experience very early in the women's movement rising out of women’s group "consciousness raising." Have you had any such experiences?
*** Do you think an experience of transformative and mutually affirming group intimacy like the one described could include both women and men together?
*** How did you respond to the new Lilith story? Does it still seem relevant to women's experience?
Goldenberg: From this reading, how can Jungian practices be helpful for women in redefining their sense of self and of the sacred?
*** What do you make of the fact that Goldenberg's original dream figure was male?

Washburn:
*** From your experience and this reading, what are some of the major transitions in women's lives?
*** Why is it important to mark them with ritual?
*** What is lost if these transitions go by without celebration and communal validation?

Starhawk.

*** Please read the footnote on p. 268 right away (connects to page 260). What do you make of the "invented" nature of witchcraft/Wicca? What problems could arise by having a remembered/invented tradition?
*** What aspects of this emerging tradition as described here feel positive to you? Are there any that feel uncomfortable to you? If so, why?
*** What are some of the ways Starhawk argues that "the craft" is useful to women?

Christ (Why Women Need the Goddess):
*** According to Christ, why do women need new religious practices to achieve personal and social change?
*** What were some of the resources she identified for women (at the time of the article) to use in creating new forms?
*** What are some specific ways that women can benefit from Goddess spirituality, especially related to body experience and women’s community?
*** How might Christ answer the objection that a female Goddess will lead to reverse discrimination, or a woman-ascendant hierarchy?
*** In the discussion of Goddess spirituality and will, how is "will" or "willfulness" portrayed in traditional Biblical faiths? Why does Christ argue that it is important to affirm women’s will in Goddess spirituality?