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The Living Goddesses

The Living Goddesses crowns a lifetime of innovative, influential work by one of the twentieth-century’s most remarkable scholars. Marija Gimbutas wrote and taught with rare clarity in her original—and originally shocking—interpretation of prehistoric European civilization. Gimbutas flew in the face of contemporary archaeology when she reconstructed goddess-centered cultures that predated historic patriarchal cultures by many thousands of years.

This volume, which was close to completion at the time of her death, contains the distillation of her studies, combined with new discoveries, insights, and analysis. Editor Miriam Robbins Dexter has added introductory and concluding remarks, summaries, and annotations. The first part of the book is an accessible, beautifully illustrated summation of all Gimbutas‘s earlier work on “Old European” religion, together with her ideas on the roles of males and females in ancient matrilineal cultures. The second part of the book brings her knowledge to bear on what we know of the goddesses today—those who, in many places and in many forms, live on.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Old European culture has survived in its living goddesses. 0

  2. Anonymous says

    An Excellent Overview of a Gifted Scholar’s Life’s Work Although some reactionary reviewers would like the general public to believe that the late Marija Gimbutas, Ph.D. was a beyond-the-fringe scholar, one only has to look at the list of illustrious scholars who chose to write for the earlier Anthology celebrating her life’s work to see that such a view is an insult to this extremely capable, gifted, and intelligent archaeologist and scholar. Marija Gimbutas was just ahead of her time and in conflict with the predominantly male powers that be within the Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D.; Riane Eisler, J.D.; James Harrod, Ph.D.; Carol P. Christ; Martin Huld; and Michael Dames to name just a few contributed to the Anthology volume honouring Marija’s work. Kees Bolle, Ph.D. and Joseph Campbell can be numbered among Marija’s admirers as well. Some reactionaries would like you to think that Marija stood alone and foolish in her ideas. However, time will tell and it seems that time and science are on Marija’s side.For those of you who have not had the privilege of an academic career or who are just starting out at University, you might not know that there are fads and fashions in academia just as there are fads and fashions in the other aspects of our lives. When I was an undergraduate, the History Dept. at my University was pretty much run by Marxist Historians. They groomed their students with their favorite concepts and practices and a generation of Marxist Historians was popped out. A few rebelled (some became reactionary, some revolutionary, and some just tried to be objective) and thus, twenty years down the line you have a change in fad and fashion and new schools of thought and modes of methodology take over in the halls of upper learning.The same thing happens in all realms of study — remember, all of these examinations and explanations are THEORIES! Even Marija’s are theories; however, it is up the individual READER to determine which theory is logical and probable and to make their own choices. Do not surrender to the view of some self appointed arbiter of academia to tell you what is or is not of value.Now remember, there are fads and fashions in academia. Marija’s mode of theory arose from her life experiences (and just to find out a bit about the adventures of this extraordinary woman’s extraordinary life is one reason to purchase “Living Goddesses”) and the time in which she taught. Marija began teaching in the time of freedom and exploration that arose after W.W.II and in the Sixties. She continued teaching through the Seventies, Eighties and early Nineties. Many of her critics, however, are the products of the reactionary Reagan Era. Marija was not an ill taught or unaccredited scholar. She published twenty books and more than two hundred articles in various languages and taught at the best schools on this planet. She worked on many of the important archaeological digs of this century in many countries. She brought a new and fresh vision to the interpretation of data (which up until her time was nearly always interpreted by male scholars — we see the world though our upbringing and this DOES matter in how scholars interpret their data). Marija Gimbutas, although she would have blushed at the praise, was a visionary genius.I say this, even though I do not agree with all of her findings. However, there is enough in her theories to be of great interest and to make you comprehend the History of Western Civilization in a new way. A lot of what Marija theorizes makes incredible sense.So, I say to you — take a gamble and decide for yourself. I find that this is an extraordinary volume of work. Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D. has done a wonderful job of condensing and clarifying Marija’s life work into this very accessible volume. I think that everyone can get a good grasp of what Marija’s theories were, and they are a refreshing breath of crisp clean air, after the thick, mind numbing fog that we have sometimes had to deal with in the halls of academia. Scholarship is supposed to foster new ideas and ways of looking at the world. It is awful to say that I do not think that this is always the case in our society. We are a society that still overvalues conformity; however, would you have your PC at the ready or be surfing the Internet if the conformists had had their way? I think not.”Living Goddesses” is the final, fittingly comprehensive and approachable volume of Marija’s life work. Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D. has done a fantastic job of editing and finalizing the volume which must have been a Herculean task since the author was deceased. It is a gift to the minds of the world who explore, and wish to evaluate learning for themselves. It is a gift to the creative and visionary among us. I thank Marija Gimbutas, wherever she is, for gifting us with her knowledge, insight, and creativity. I also thank Miriam…

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