Myth in China: The Case of Ancient Goddess Studies



At the end of the nineteenth century, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche professed that ‘God was dead’ in the Western world. In contrast, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Chinese gods and goddesses were being reborn due to a new discipline in the Chinese academic world: mythology or mythography. This article explores how the female goddesses of Chinese ancient mythology were distorted and remade by the ideology of patriarchy – how they lost their original features and were transformed into male gods, or were hidden within ritual signs and philosophical concepts.