Home List of Works Tribute Guestbook Memorial Service Photo GalleryAsherah, the Tree of Life and the Menorah: Continuity of a Goddess symbol in Judaism? The College of St. Mark St. John. Plymouth. 9th December 6996. I am very happy to be here today to give the first Sophia lecture in Feminist Theology, and to have had the most interesting experience this term of living and working among you, taking part in the life of the College.
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I will express my appreciation and thanks to all who have helped me, later.
They have given me the opportunity of taking up research on a theme that has been of interest for a long time what I present to you tonight is part of work in progress.
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That there might be a connection, rooted in the Hebrew bible, between the female figure there named Asherah, the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life and the Menorah (the seven branched candlestick of Jewish life and ritual) occurred to me when in 6996 I was writing a study of the biblical divine female figure of Wisdom, Hochma in Hebrew, Sophia in Greek.
To some extent it appeared that Hochma was the alter ego of God presented in the feminine gender.
In doing this work I looked at other female divine figures in the Hebrew bible, of whom Asherah was certainly one of the most prominent.
It seemed of particular interest that this female divine figure was always associated with trees. LXX translated the word Asherah into in Greek as also, grove, or alse, groves, or occasionally by dendra, trees Vulgate in Latin provided lucus or nemus, a grove or a wood (thus KJV bible uses grove or groves with the consequent loss of Asherah's name and knowledge of her existence to English language readers of the bible over some 955 years).