Goddesses in World Culture
[3 volumes]
by Patricia Monaghan, Editor
December 2010, 934pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35465-6
$171, £132, 149€, A235
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35466-3
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The Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, derives from an Aztec goddess, while the European folklore figure, Cinderella, derives via Egypt, from China. From classical Greek heroines to female archetypes in today’s video games, from Native American divinities to Asian goddesses immortalized through landscape references, goddesses and their stories inform our history and fill our folklore.

This collection of accessible essays relates the stories of individual goddesses from around the world, exploring their roles in the cultures from which they came, their histories and status today, and the controversies surrounding them.

Goddesses in World Culture brings readers the fascinating stories of close to 100 of the world’s goddesses, ranging from the immediately recognizable to the obscure. These figures, many of whom derive from ancient cultures and civilizations, serve as points of departure for examining questions that go well beyond the role of women in religion and spirituality to include social organization, environmental awareness, historical developments, and psychological archetypes.

Each volume of this groundbreaking set is composed of 20–25 previously unpublished articles written by expert contributors from diverse disciplines. Volume one covers Asia and Africa, volume two covers the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe, and volume three covers Australia and the Americas. Goddesses from cultures often overlooked in texts on religion, such as those of the Australian Aborigines, Korea, Nepal, and the Caribbean, are included here. In addition, the work offers new translations of ancient texts, introduces little-known folklore, and suggests new approaches to contemporary religious practices.


  • 63 essays cover more than 100 goddesses and goddess-like figures from world culture, with volumes organized by geographic area
  • Many original translations of prayers, sagas, and other sources not otherwise readily available in English
  • 60 illustrations include ethnographic photographs, depictions of ancient artifacts, and original artwork
  • An extensive list of bibliography of sources about the figure and culture discussed accompanies each essay
Patricia Monaghan, PhD, is professor of interdisciplinary studies at DePaul University, Chicago, IL, and senior fellow of the Black Earth Institute, Black Earth, WI. She is the author of Praeger's The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines as well as other books on women's spirituality, including The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit and The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations & Rituals. Monaghan has won the Pushcart Prize for literature and the Gruchow Award for nature writing.


2012 Winner of The Enheduanna Book Award—Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, February 17, 2012


"Given the array of topics, these volumes should appeal to readers in a variety of subject areas, including but not limited to religion, mythology, anthropology, and gender studies. . . . Recommended."—Choice, June 1, 2011
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