Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion; Ethics

I. Religious Studies

The term matriarchate is an artificial modern coinage based on Latin mater and ancient Greek archḗ, the latter in the double sense of “beginning” and “rule.” It first appeared in ethnological works and studies of the history of law toward the end of the 19th century. Writers of that period (J.J. Bachofen and others; see II below) used such terms as gynecocracy or Mutterrecht (“mother law”) (Matriarchy). Since pure …

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Zingsem, Vera and Kuhlmann, Helga, “Matriarchate”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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