This is the first in a series of responses to Taylor Petrey’s “Rethinking Mormonism’s Heavenly Mother,” recently published in the Harvard Theological Review.
Margaret Toscano is an Assistant Professor of Classics and Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her research focuses on religion, myth, and gender. She has published extensively on Mormon feminism.
Taylor Petrey states his complaint against certain Mormon feminists (i.e., me–Margaret Toscano, Janice Allred, and Valerie Hudson Cassler) on page 16 of “Rethinking Mormonism’s Heavenly Mother”: “Mormon feminists writing about Heavenly Mother have been complicit in heteronormative narratives that universalize a subset of women as the hypostasis of ‘woman.’” Taylor’s argument ignores the complexity of the god narratives I have explored over the years, as well as the multiplicity of images I have put forth to represent women and the Female Divine.
Taylor says I put forth “a singular mother who represents the plurality of her daughters” (9). It is only possible to assert this if you pick out statements where I focus on the Heavenly Mother and ignore those where I explore other goddess figures from Mormon sacred texts. [Read more…]