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Philip G. Davis: Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality. (Dallas: Spence Publishing Company, 1998. Pp. xi, 418. $29.95.)
The problem with Philip Davis's book Goddess Unmasked is that it is not what it claims to be. While purporting to expose Goddess feminism as what the dust cover calls a "potent and disturbing malignancy," the book does not, in fact, critique actual Goddess feminist practices or beliefs. It is instead a wide-ranging, often superficial, genealogy of the Goddess movement which makes the fundamental error of confusing its (supposed) origins with its essence (should it have one).
Out of nearly 400 pages, only the first hundred would be of possible immediate use to a student of the subject. Even allowing for polemical hyperbole, Davis's discussion of the increasing influence of thealogy on the mainstream Christian denominations, academia, and the nursing profession is of interest. The rest of the book is devoted to what Davis describes as "a two-fold exercise in history: an investigation of the Goddess movement's false claims to ancient origins, and an exploration of its actual roots in the Western …