The Uses of Darkness Women's Underground Journeys, Ancient, and Modern
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Notre Dame Pr
- Publish date: 09/01/2000
- ISBN: 9780268043056
- ISBN10: 0268043051
In The Uses of Darkness: Women's Underworld Journeys, Ancient and Modern, Gagne explores women's journey through the underworld to reclaim the wisdom and sensuality contained in these stories for heirs of the God the Father tradition. She looks at the ancient stories of Inanna, Demeter, and Psyche and the reflections of these archetypal figures in the work of women such as Sylvia Plath, Joan Didion, Mary Gordon, Virginia Woolf, and Etty Hillesum to illustrate that the alternative tradition these journey stories represent has much to offer modern Christians. Gagne successfully demonstrates that only by turning to confront the mystery that has been obscured by the image of God as stern Father or Judge can a woman raised in the Christian tradition acquire a sense of self strong enough to integrate experiences of profound loss. Most importantly, by drawing on the wisdom of the goddess tradition, both men and women are able to effect a more meaningful reappropriation of Christianity.
Gagne's examination of the dark experience of the underworld in the goddess tradition discovers the elements of the all spiritual journeys: self-transcendence followed by self-transformation. Anyone who has struggled with love and loss and whose spirit has been suppressed by the image of God as Judge, yet who will not reject Christianity, will benefit from this work.