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Supernatural Birth
(463 words)

[German Version]

In myths and legends, the motif of supernatural birth distinguishes deities and saviors who procreate, give birth, and are born supernaturally. Zeus’s potency is a token of his divinity and enables him to beget additional deities. Goddesses sometimes give birth without conception; examples include Hephaestus’s birth from Hera and Gaṇeśa’s birth from Parvati. Paradoxically, virginity (Virgin birth) is associated with goddesses of fertility (Ishtar, Venus). Gods appropriate the bir…

Cite this page
Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel, “Supernatural Birth”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_125202>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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