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506 LETTERS IN CANADA '979 collectif de I'histoire de la lutte des classes. Enfin, comme on peut Ie voir dans ces derniers exemples, cette etude prend aussi son interet dans Ie debat qU'elle peut susciter. L'auteur, comme elle nous Ie dit dans son introduction, s'est limitee a faire la critique interne du fonctionnalisme comme formulation sociologique de I'ideologie dominante et n'a pas procede aune analyse comparative avec d'autres corpus theoriques tels que Ie structuralisme et Ie marxisme. Cest Iii, je crois, un livre important alire pour tous ceux qui enseignent all etudient les sciences humaines et s'interessent awe outils que celles-ci produisent. Religion EMERO STIEG MAN Of the numerous publications on religion in 1979 four demand special notice here - one in which a radical feminist joins what is for many both the most disorienting and most hopeful clash of ideas in this generation, and two on the most serious issue concerning religion in medical ethics. The year also saw the publication of a monumental work by Concordia University's Michel Despland, La Religion en occident: evolution des idees et du vecu, with a preface by Claude Geffre (Fides, Collection de theologie 'Heritage et projet' 23, xiv, 579). This is a religious history of the western world, a venture more challenging and more needed than an updated history of theology or a history of the church. The book's organization makes for easy reference, and the binding is handsome and durable. Graced with the luxury (these days) of footnotes, the work is carefully documented. There is a chapter-by-chapter bibliography composed with high discipline and strong opinions (certain illustrious names are omitted with obvious deliberation), the better to respect genuine student needs. I could not pretend to review this impressive achievement in anything less than a major article; yet attention must be called to it. When the distinguished Dominican Claude Geffre declares that nothing on the subject of such quality exists in French, that the work has an altogether unique importance, and that Despland has done for the idea of religion in the West what Denis de Rougemont did for the idea of love, one is glad that strong authority has been appropriately set behind those statements . But, now to OUf other three reviews. Naomi R. Goldenberg, professor of religious studies at the University of Ottawa, writes an incandescent tract on radical feminism entitled Changing of the Gods: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religion (Fitzhenry and Whiteside/Beacon Press, viii, 152, $6.50 paper). She contends that the works of feminist theologians make manifest a religious RELIGION 507 revolution in which nothing less than the elimination of the 'male Gods' of the Bible, Jahweh and Christ, is in progress. Depth psychology can reveal the complementarity of these works and the nature of the new living religion they are bringing forth. Judaism and Christianity, after 2000 years of oppressing women, are dying cults. 'The biblical tradition will fail first for women: she prophesies jubilantly, 'but eventually for men' (p 120). It would be a pity if cultivated Jews and Christians simply dismissed this book upon discovering that it will win no recommendations from their favourite religious book clubs. Things that faithful women have been telling their religious leaders for a long time may be found here stamped on a menacing hot poker. Goldenberg communicates a fascination for her topic. She writes with forceful clarity and is never engulfed by her scholarship. Not the least of several windfalls for the reader is a one-easy-Iesson survey of feminist theology, a good entrance, therefore, into a subject which only comatose Jews and Christians can afford to ignore. Goldenberg begins with the phenomenon of a growing number of women becoming conscious of their frustrations as the oppression of patriarchal society. Many are struggling to bring about change; but those who will succeed in subverting the very foundation of patriarchy will be those who succeed in assuming leadership positions in Judaism and Christianity, for 'the psychology of the Jewish and Christian religions depends on the masculine image that these religions have of their God' (p 5). Any significant advance of female authority within these...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 506-523
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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