Lynn E. Roller— 2002 James R. Wiseman Book Award

Award Citation:

The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to give the 2002 James R. Wiseman Book Award to Lynn E. Roller for In Search of God the Mother: the Cult of Anatolian Cybele (University of California Press, Berkeley,1999).

To the much-contested study of goddess-worship has come a voice of reason. In Search of God the Mother exposes the assumptions, stereotypes and misconceptions behind the image of the mother-goddess, and substitutes exact observations, clear arguments, and sound conclusions.  Historical in outline and intent, Roller looks to literature, inscriptions, and the material remains to reconstruct the various roles that god the mother played, first in Anatolia, then in the wider worlds of the Mediterranean, and now in modern theories of psychology and history of religion.

This is an elegant treatment of a very problematic issue, handled with sensitivity and meticulous attention to detail. It exposes the false assumptions behind the characterization of mother -goddess worship as "primitive," and traces the implications for questions of gender and ethnicity in the modern as well as the ancient world. This clearly written, well organized, and handsomely produced book should become a standard.

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