The Female Side of God: Representations of a Suppressed Tradition

International Symposium

January 19-21, 2020

Goethe-University FrankfurtRenate von Metzler-Hall, Casino 1.801, Nina-Rubinstein Weg, Campus Westend

The symposium will be related to the new exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt/Main
on “The Female Side of God: Visual Representations of a Suppressed Tradition”. It will be
convened within the framework of the LOEWE research hub “Religious Positioning”, the
Institute of Judaic Studies at Frankfurt University and the Martin Buber-Chair.
The main objective of the symposium is to recognize, evaluate and compare various
presentations and descriptions of the feminine aspects of the deity in written documents,
artistic objects and other visual artefacts from different historical periods and cultural
The subject has recently been discussed in divergent academic and cultural contexts,
especially with regard to biblical wisdom literature, Jewish mysticism and kabbalah and
feminist theologies.
The conference will focus on contextualized readings and interpretations of primary texts and
artefacts in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions in changing cultural and historical
circumstances. The role of a feminine divine in the formation and transformation of
interrelated systems of knowledge will be discussed in a comparative approach. Of special
interest will be the changing patterns of methodologies in the various fields of research when
dealing with the female aspects of the divine within the broader framework of epistemic shifts
between the historical epochs – Late Antiquity, Middle Ages, Early Modernity, Modernity
and the Postmodern Era.