Barbara G. Walker (1930- ) is an American expert on knitting and a feminist writer on mythology, religion and spirituality.
Her Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, although of questionable accuracy at times, offers a compensatory perspective to not only chauvinist religious teachings but also to thinkers who ignore or gloss over Christianity’s ugly past.
From the standpoint of psycho-history, past atrocities tend to reemerge in novel, equally frightening forms if their underlying psychological dynamics remain unexamined and therefore unconscious.
By way of contrast, some researchers emphasize visible – instead of unconscious – motivational factors in their study of mankind. But to this, Thomas A Kohut says:
Because it is not possible to comprehend people without dealing with the psychological, historians, including those critical of psychohistory, have always written about it, even if they have rarely acknowledged the fact.¹
In the 1970’s Walker worked on a telephone hotline for battered women and pregnant teenagers. This sparked her interest in feminism and possibly contributed to her unique perspective on myth, religion and spirituality.
To this Rose White adds:
[Walker made] enormous contributions to female intellectual empowerment through her many collections of knitted stitch patterns. Of course her work benefited all knitters, not just women, but at the time she was writing, nearly all knitters were women.
The point of view which guided her to collect and produce her anthologies of stitch patterns was this: Crafters should not be beholden to crappy commercial garment designs, but should have the means to create their own original works. She has been an inspiration to multiple generations of knitters, and these books are still in print 40 years later. » See in context
And Mary Treherne comments about sex-role stereotypes and religion in general:
A change in the psycho-sexual paradigm of human nature, and the whole ‘chemistry’ of human relationship is taking place with a wholly new interpretation of the moral teachings of Christ, one that threatens to bring down the whole of ‘christian’ history and tradition and a lot more besides. To be truly free is to be free for an ignorance within human nature itself.
¹ Thomas A. Kohut, “Psychohistory as History,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 2 (Apr., 1986: 336-354), p. 352.