Psyche's Sisters: Reimagining the Meaning of Sisterhood

Christine Downing, Author HarperOne $16.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-06-254844-3
In this illuminating companion study to The Goddess, which demonstrated the relevance of Greek goddess traditions to the self-understanding of contemporary women, Downing focuses on the bond between sisters, blood and otherwise. Examining Greek and Near Eastern myths and the work of Freud, Jung and Adler as well as feminist theorists, she celebrates the sisterly, reciprocal attachment as the most adequate model of mature human relationships, displacing the familiar notion that the mother-child relationship is paradigmatic. Her perceptive conclusions are innovative: ""Sisterhoodthe deeply intimate interdependent relationship between women that sustains us even as we fail one anotherhas become a model for me . . . where I find the parent-child model oppressive and misleading. . . I have come to see it as also relevant to our understanding of our relationship to the natural world. . .Seeing the earth as Mother ignores our responsibility to it, our interdependence with all that lives . . . .'' This provocative, erudite book by the head of religious studies at San Diego State University is well-documented but precludes a lay readership as it assumes substantial familiarity with myth and folklore, feminist and psychological scholarship. Illustrations not seen by PW. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 186 pages - 978-0-8245-1337-5
Paperback - 186 pages - 978-0-8264-0473-2
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