Feminism and Heavenly Mother

Authored by: Fiona Givens

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses primarily on the initial flourishing of Mormon feminism against two contexts: the political context of the national feminist movement in America of the nineteenth century; and the 1840s theological context of Mormonism’s unique doctrines of both Mother in Heaven and Mother Eve (as they are integrally related reconstructions). The second half of the chapter traces the various iterations of Heavenly Mother in Mormon thought. The chapter concludes with a brief overview of ancient antecedents to a Heavenly Mother or Divine Feminine currently being excavated in early Christian and Jewish studies. These include brief discussions of the female deity, or, heavenly mother who appears in the Hebrew Bible as Shaddai, Shekhina, Asherah, Wisdom, and, in the early Christian Syriac tradition particularly, Holy Spirit.

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