"The Goddess is the intelligent embodied love that is in all being."
~ Carol P. Christ
This multi-dimensional Symposium honored the spiritual leadership and scholarship of Carol P. Christ (1946-2021) by bringing together an array of people who feel she profoundly impacted their thinking and way of life. A brilliant thinker and eloquent writer, Carol took a courageous stand to acknowledge Goddess and articulate the contours and substance of a Goddess religion for our times. This put her among the leading voices of the contemporary women’s spirituality movement. Her insistence that women begin from the truth of our experiences, share our stories, and create more complex systems of thinking and being in the world informs all her work, including her ecosocial justice political activism and her construction of a systematic Goddess thealogy.
Two close friends and colleagues who met Carol in graduate school at Yale University and shared a friendship for fifty years will give the Opening Addresses. Feminist Jewish theologian Judith Plaskow is co-editor and co-author with Carol of their ground-breaking works: Womanspirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion; Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality, and Goddess and God in the World Conversations in Embodied Theology. Judith’s Address is on “Speaking New Words: Carol as Storyteller, Critic, and Thealogian.” Judith, like Carol, has been a visionary ahead of her time, who has helped pull our culture forward toward a more just and desirable future. Mara Lynn Keller, Emerita Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Women’s Spirituality at CIIS, is a women’s spirituality scholar and Goddess theologian focusing on the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone in ancient Greece and contemporary Women’s Visionary Culture in film, fiction, and poetry. She will speak about “Remembering Her: The Goddess Thealogy of Carol P. Christ, its Ethics and Politics.”
Four panels provide the context for scholars and friends of Carol to engage with her thinking and spiritual inspiration: Ecofeminist Philosophy, Art, and Activism; Women and Religion: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine; Goddess Studies, Thealogy, and Egalitarian Matriarchal Studies; and Women’s Spiritual Pilgrimage. The panel presenters come from Australia, Canada, England, Greece, Korea, and the United States. They represent spiritual traditions of Goddess, Christianity, Canadian Pagan-Heathenry, Hinduism, and include poets, a novelist, and dancer, as well as scholars.
The renowned ecofeminist activist, author, wiccan priestess, and permaculture teacher Starhawk will lead an In Memoriam Ritual honoring Carol Christ’s life and work. Then a Circle of Remembrances invites people who knew Carol to share cherished memories (in chronological order) to create a community-based biography for her.
The day concludes with announcements regarding how the Legacy of Carol Christ’s Work in the World will be carried forward through forthcoming books, the Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual, Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete tours, feminismandreligion.com, and the Women’s Spirituality Graduate Studies Program at CIIS.