The Divine Feminine: Spirituality Among Second Wave Feminists

My project focuses on how women during the Second Wave Feminist movement expressed and explored their religiosity and spirituality by redefining the terms set by traditional Roman Catholic, Judeo-Christian and Protestant religions. By delving into other forms of spiritual and religious ideas, feminists began to challenge the misogynistic foundations of these religions. Women found safety and liberation in perceiving themselves as higher beings rather than following male-centered religions that restricted their identities as women. The variety of ways in which women found their spirituality and religiosity encouraged their personal liberation from conservative ideals. Periodicals, books and different forms of art served as ways for women to display their spiritual connections and find communities that shared their spiritual and religious sentiments. Literature and art, like Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation by Mary Daly, The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde, and different depictions of goddesses around the world, focused on the role that spirituality played among feminists and spearheaded the movement of women’s liberation through alternate belief systems that prioritized women’s identities. The idea of Goddess spirituality and a range of indigenous and African forms of spirituality became appealing to many women as they sought to learn about empowerment. Many poets and authors, including Audre Lorde, expand upon the idea of feminist spirituality within their publications. This project examines the vitality of feminist spirituality and religiosity during the Second Wave Feminist movement. 

-Elizette Santana-Caraballo


Traditional Religions

Challenging the Religious Patriarchy

Goddess Spirituality

Women of Color and Native Spirituality