From the Author
An absorbing journey into religion in the pre-Christian West
This book has already been called "the book of the millennium" for it represents the first attempt to resurrect the belief system of the ancient goddess cult of five thousand years ago. In that sense it heralds the end of the dominance of Christianity in the West and the rise of a new women's religion.
For nearly two millennia, Christianity has been the dominant religion of Western civilization. Built on the belief that the Son of God was crucified and resurrected in order to redeem mankind of its sins, the Christian Church's system of belief, in turn, focuses upon the crucial relationship between God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. Society naturally seeks to pattern itself in the image of the heavens and their gods. Thus a patriarchal society based on the figure of an all-powerful male god and the relationship between father and son grew and prospered. It is interesting to note, however, that the culture which emerged from this historic occurrence and so ingrained itself upon Western civilisation stands in sharp contrast with the religion and order of society which dominated Europe and Central Asia for the thousands of years before the appearance of Christianity.
In Goddess on the Cross, I examine Western religion before the rise of Christianity and discover a fascinating culture in which people worshipped not a male god of the skies, but a female goddess of the earth. My study reveals, in an intriguing parallel with Christianity, that the central rite of this religion involved the death and resurrection of the daughter of the goddess, where the resurrection was meant to reaffirm the attachment of humankind to the earth. The critical link in this act of affirmation was between not father and son but between mother and daughter, which in turn reflected a matriarchal society in which women held power, and property was passed through the female line. The overturning of this ancient order and the growing predominance of men ultimately led to the rise of Christianity, and the mother goddess of the earth was displaced by the father god of the heavens and the son of this god replaced the goddess' daughter in the resurrection drama.
The keys to reconstructing the belief system of this ancient goddess cult and tracing the processes by which Christianity rose from the ashes of its destruction lie in the absorbing studies of Goddess on the Cross. Meticulous in its research and enlightening in its conclusions, this book is a revealing probe of marked significance into the mysteries of history, sociology and religion in the pre-Christian west.