© 1978

Women in Ritual and Symbolic Roles

  • Judith Hoch-Smith
  • Anita Spring

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    1. Judith Hoch-Smith, Anita Spring
      Pages 1-23
  3. Women and Divinity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Daniel N. Maltz
      Pages 27-44
    3. Marigene Arnold
      Pages 45-53
    4. Ruth Borker
      Pages 55-73
    5. Riv-Ellen Prell-Foldes
      Pages 75-99
    6. Lorna Rhodes AmaraSingham
      Pages 101-126
  4. Dual Aspects of Women Archetypic Nurturance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Molly C. Dougherty
      Pages 151-164
    3. Susan Middleton-Keirn
      Pages 191-205
    4. Barbara Myerhoff
      Pages 207-241
  5. Dual Aspects of Women Archetypic Destruction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 243-243
    2. Judith Hoch-Smith
      Pages 245-267
    3. Patricia Cleckner
      Pages 269-285
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 287-289

About this book


This volume of essays grew out of a symposium organized by Judith Hoch-Smith and Anita Spring for the 1974 American Anthropological Association meetings in Mexico City. The two-part symposium was enti­ tled "Women in Ritual and Symbolic Systems: I. Midwives, Madonnas, and Mediums; ll. Prostitutes, Witches, and Androgynes. " The sym­ posium participants were asked to explore theological, ritual, and sym­ bolic aspects-both positive and negative-of the feminine cultural do­ main, using ethnographic materials with which they were familiar. The resulting papers have been revised, edited, and gathered together in Women in Ritual and Symbolic Roles. The theoretical importance of these papers for the study of women's participation in culture and society rests on the assumption that reli­ gious ideas are paramount forces in social life, that relationships be­ tween the sexes, the nature of female sexuality, and the social and cul­ tural roles of women are in large part defined by religious ideas. That this proposition remains valid long after religion itself has ceased to be a living truth in the lives of many people can be seen from the tenacious­ ness of Judeo-Christian ideas about women in the contemporary West­ ern world. Both the expansion of life options for women and the creation of more positive cultural images of the female are intimately related to changes in the my tho-symbolic portraits that people carry around in their heads. These portraits are almost exclusively constructed from mythological and religious conceptions inherent in all facets of culture.


Generation Integration Nation Sex culture gender interaction nature religion ritual women

Editors and affiliations

  • Judith Hoch-Smith
    • 1
  • Anita Spring
    • 2
  1. 1.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Women in Ritual and Symbolic Roles
  • Authors Anita Spring
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1978
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-306-31067-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4684-2402-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4684-2400-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 290
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Sociology, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site