• Judith Hoch-Smith
  • Anita Spring


Female religious participation, female religious metaphors, and beliefs concerning female sexuality have similarities cross-culturally and historically. Women in Ritual and Symbolic Roles brings together a group of articles discussing the relationship of dominant female metaphors and ritual roles to ideas and practices concerning female reproductive and sexual energies in a variety of cultures and religious systems. The articles include discussions of Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist representations of women in sacred scriptures and ritual roles for women within those religions; feminine ritual participation in midwifery and possession cults in South Africa, Zambia, the southeastern United States, and Latin America; and negative feminine metaphors such as the witch and the prostitute from Ceylon, Africa, North America, and Europe. Most of these negative metaphors are based on ideas derived from mythology concerning female sexuality.


Female Sexuality Female Image Spirit Possession Symbolic Role Sexual Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

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

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