Dissertation Title:

Full Moon Rising: Inanna’s Emergence from the Underworld as an Archetypal Hierophant for Twenty-First Century Clergywomen


Kathryn Anne Schlechter

Date, Time & Place:

March 26, 2024 at 3:30 pm


This hermeneutical study traverses the epic Sumerian poem “From the Great Above to the Great Below” as a metaphor for the heroine’s journey into the underworld of patriarchy within the Christian tradition. The Goddess Inanna emerges as an archetypal hierophant for twenty-first century women who choose a path of individuation in response to the vocational call to ordination. Crossing historic barriers upheld through Biblical interpretation, this study introduces Jungian spirituality as a pathway to re-store and re-interpret the ancient myth of Adam and Eve. Mythology, depth psychology, and Christian theology are interwoven to create a portrait of how patriarchy manifests to erase the feminine in Christianity. Symbolical investiture eclipses the feminine persona through the priestly garments of Inanna as well as contemporary Christian vestments. The pastoral liturgical attire: the stole, the pectoral cross, and the collared clergy shirt represent the power and the authority of a historically patriarchal, priestly office while simultaneously suppressing the expression of gender other than heteronormative, with an emphasis on de-sexualized masculinity. Both become an expression of divesting the individual of Self. Inanna’s story is paradigmatic of Christian clergywomen’s potential to redeem the truth of the feminine, hidden beneath patriarchal interpretations that have eclipsed the influence of the divine feminine in the Christian story.

  • Program/Track/Year: Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology, I, 2015
  • Chair: Dr. Emily Lord-Kambitsch
  • Reader: Dr. Christine Lewis
  • External Reader: Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis
  • Keywords: Individuation, Spiritual Leadership, Enheduanna, Feminine, Inanna, Patriarchy, Christianity, Divestment, Ordination, Shadow, Self