Rediscovering the Feminine Face of God The image of God as a woman is probably quite startling to those who identify with any of the major world religions. The explosion of research on the role and status of women in these religions reveals that these early religions were infused with notions of gender interdependence rather than gender separation. Archaeological evidence from prehistoric and historic societies now offers a different view of the first civilizations; they exhibited gynocentrism, with an emphasis on female and feminine interests (Gimbutas, 1991, 2001; Gross, 2009). Whereas androcentrism translated to patriarchy in some ancient societies, gynocentrism did not translate to matriarchy in others. Instead, it translated into partnership. As Riane Eisler (1995b) points out, the terms patriarchy and matriarchy refer to a ranking of one part of humanity over the other. She asserts that partnership is the third overlooked alternative that characterized much of early civilization. Unlike patriarchy or matriarchy, partnership is based on the principle of linking and relating rather than domination and separateness. Males and females may be different, but these differences are not associated with either inferiority or superiority. Given the powerful influence of religion in the structure of ancient civilizations, evidence for gynocentric societies offers important messages to contemporary theologians as they struggle with issues related to gender role change in their respective religions.