New woman, new earth - Setting the agenda

Mary Mellor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rosemary Radford Ruether's New Woman New Earth published in 1975 was one of the first ecofeminist texts. This collection of essays identified many of the key issues for future ecofeminists and asserted the core of ecofeminist thinking, that the subordination of women and the degradation of the planet were linked. Ruether explores this connection through an analysis of women's history, a critique of the sexism of the ideologies of Christian theology, classical philosophy, and psychoanalysis and a socioeconomic analysis of industrial society. Central to her ideas are the hierarchical dualisms in Western culture that divide a feminized nature from masculine culture and the apparent masculine need to seek transcendence from the bodiliness of human existence. This evaluation explores the continuing relevance of Ruether's ideas and points to some of the contradictions and dilemmas they contain. Among these are the relationship between the experiences of women in contemporary industrial society and women in other social and historical contexts, whether women have a "special" understanding of ecological dynamics, whether the existence of male domination rests on a discernible social base or represents a deeper aspect of the male or masculine psyche, and the motivations for, and mechanisms of achieving, a sustainable and egalitarian society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-308
JournalOrganization and Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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