Sunday, May 09, 2021

SMS/SMU: Asherah


So Many Silenced, So Many Unnamed

"Asherah, along with Astarte and Anath, was one of the three great goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon. In Canaanite religion her primary role was that of mother goddess." Susan Ackerman, Jewish Women's Bible.

"Then some of the learned folks in the city decided she was made up, that she wasn't real. 'Yahweh is the only God,' they said, and the good kings tore down her high places and the sacred poles and tress dedicated to her. They had nothing good to say about her followers in Deuteronomy, Judges, Kings and Chronicles. Not a single good word. Gideon destroyed her high places at night under a cloak of darkness. King Josiah, that righteous man, didn't just cut down the poles, he burned them. He didn't just destroy the altars, he crushed them into dust. And he dug up the graves of the people there on the high places and set their bones on the dust of her altar and burned them too. Strong actions against someone who didn't exist." Alice Connor, Fierce: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Violence, Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, Sex and Starvation, Fortress Press, 2017.

Connor goes on to mention women who have been forgotten

"By prioritizing male accomplishments, female accomplishments become collateral damage. This approach to recording history must end. Denying acknowledgment of female achievements leads to cultural and individual identity loss. By diminishing their legacies, society reduces women to mere “ghosts.” In general, inadequate female representation in history derives from a patriarchal social construction that accredits the primary powers in our system to men, be it economic power, moral jurisdiction, political guidance, or social privilege." Melanie Michel, Cultural Erasure of Women: How Women Are Remembered in History."

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