Marlboro College

NewsMarlboro's Registrar Publishes Book

Marlboro, VT (Feb. 15)- Marlboro College’s Registrar and Associate Dean for Academic Records Valerie Abrahamsen’s book, Goddess and God: A Holy Tension in the First Christian Centuries, is now available through Shangri-La Publications.  It examines the role and significance of female deities throughout history and particularly in the early Christian era.


Using the work of the late anthropologist Marija Gimbutas, Abrahamsen
evaluates evidence from archaeological digs in Europe that demonstrate a
high degree of civilization and artistic achievement by people over a 25,000-year time. These people also worshipped a female deity.

According to Abrahamsen, female diety worship “was stifled and almost destroyed around the time of the Bronze Age when male deities came to ascendancy, often by physical force and violence.”

The book looks at the various female deities that survived through the centuries in the forms of Artemis, Athena, the Great Mother, Demeter and Persephone, among others. It also explores the Roman catacombs as well as the cities of Corinth and Philippi, explaining the significance of the Goddess in each location.

Abrahamsen then analyzes the role, representation and influence of female deities in Christianity. She explores the ways in which Christians perceived God and carried out their worship practices and refutes the notion that Christian deities have been exclusively male.


Goddess and God: A Holy Tension in the First Christian Centuries is Abrahamsen’s second book. Her first book, Women and Worship at Phillipi: Diana/Artemis and Other Cults in the Early Christian Era, is a rewrite of her doctoral dissertation and was published by Astarte Shell Press in 1995.


For more details, call Kathy Reynolds in the Marlboro College Public Affairs Office at (802) 251-7644.

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