I have been revisiting a book I first read about 8 years ago, ‘The unnecessary Pastor’ by Marva Dawn and Eugene Peterson. I must have only partly read it back then, because I couldn’t remember a section which comments on the religion of Princess Dianna.
Essentially, the writer comments severely about how the whole world responded when she dramatically died in August 1997. It was a totally religious event with political implications, family dynamics etc. and Diana was treated with the veneration and adoration of a goddess (she still is). At her death it seemed the world fell down and worshipped.
As all this was happening, Dianna became the perfect goddess for a world religion that didn’t want anything to do with God and Father of Jesus Christ, it was desperate to worship someone or something that would provide a sense of beauty and transcendence to their lives. She was a perfect fit for the role of fragile beauty, tinged with sadness; that innocence, with hints of slightly corrupt sexuality in the shadows. Her popular identification with the poor and the oppressed, posed for photo’s with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, her compassion for people with AIDS, her campaign against land mines and her own victimisation by a heartless royal family and rejection by her husband. She summed up the spiritual aspirations of a sexually indulgent culture that was at the same time filled with misunderstanding, loss, hurt and rejection.
I later recalled the Roman name for Artemis was Diana, Diana of the Ephesians. Diana the sex goddess, who provided the mythology and set the moral tone to the city, was back – the fertility goddess of the ancient world took over the imagination of the world again.
Strong, but very wise words for our current world that will accept almost anything without discernment.