by Judith Plaskow

Blaming Jews for Inventing Patriarchy

There is a new myth developing in Christian feminist circles. It is a myth which tells us that the ancient Hebrews invented patriarchy: that before them the goddess reigned in matriarchal glory, and that after them Jesus tried to restore egalitarianism but was foiled by the persistence of Jewish attitudes within the Christian tradition. It is a myth, in other words, which perpetuates traditional Christianity’s negative picture of Judaism by attributing sexist attitudes to Christianity’s Jewish origins, at the same time maintaining that Christianity’s distinctive contributions to the “woman question” are largely positive.

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