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The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women

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For many contemporary women, the old patriarchal models of religion are no longer relevant, forming a need to look beyond the male-oriented past to a wider, more fulfilling spiritual horizon. In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins show how many women have redefined spiritual beliefs and rediscovered their unique spiritual herit For many contemporary women, the old patriarchal models of religion are no longer relevant, forming a need to look beyond the male-oriented past to a wider, more fulfilling spiritual horizon. In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins show how many women have redefined spiritual beliefs and rediscovered their unique spiritual heritage - The Feminine Face of God. Anderson and Hopkins guide you through the sacred garden of: * Childhood - seedbed of life's sacred passage * Leaving home - finding your own inner authority * Relationships - new perspectives on intimacy * Spiritual practice - the importance of guidance and discipline * Sexuality - a wild card constantly cracking open the heart * and much more.


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For many contemporary women, the old patriarchal models of religion are no longer relevant, forming a need to look beyond the male-oriented past to a wider, more fulfilling spiritual horizon. In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins show how many women have redefined spiritual beliefs and rediscovered their unique spiritual herit For many contemporary women, the old patriarchal models of religion are no longer relevant, forming a need to look beyond the male-oriented past to a wider, more fulfilling spiritual horizon. In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins show how many women have redefined spiritual beliefs and rediscovered their unique spiritual heritage - The Feminine Face of God. Anderson and Hopkins guide you through the sacred garden of: * Childhood - seedbed of life's sacred passage * Leaving home - finding your own inner authority * Relationships - new perspectives on intimacy * Spiritual practice - the importance of guidance and discipline * Sexuality - a wild card constantly cracking open the heart * and much more.

30 review for The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is an invaluable if dated resource for navigating complex spiritual landscapes from a place of vulnerability and intuition. It can be bio-essentialist (exclusive of trans people) and approaches femme spirituality from the perspectives of "women" and not "femmes", womyn, feminine of center people and/or a myriad of other identities that need to be included but aren't necessarily within the title "women". But as a source of wisdom, strength, affirmation, encouragement, challenging and guidanc This is an invaluable if dated resource for navigating complex spiritual landscapes from a place of vulnerability and intuition. It can be bio-essentialist (exclusive of trans people) and approaches femme spirituality from the perspectives of "women" and not "femmes", womyn, feminine of center people and/or a myriad of other identities that need to be included but aren't necessarily within the title "women". But as a source of wisdom, strength, affirmation, encouragement, challenging and guidance, the authors have created an excellent resource, particularly the imagery of tending an inner garden that's woven throughout the text, and the stories they collected of these womens' lives, that resonates as much now as I'm sure it did then.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    This was a very enlightening book for me in college. Near the end of the book, the authors talk about women who have remained in their marriages versus those who have left to be alone or a few with women. My boyfriend now husband had broken up with me, and I remember thinking about this. An all female commune was starting to sound good...Also, this book is not a hard core male bashing read, which was a relief from the other feminist literature I was reading at the time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kar Schmidt Holloway

    Cisnormative, heteronormative, euro-centric. Includes the voices of people of color but seems to try to squeeze non-major religious traditions (like Native American traditions) into the authors' personal theories of a universal feminine spiritual experience. Sort of appropriative, but really more speaking over and attempting to speak for all women in all cultures and religious traditions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Beard

    Beautiful

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.M.

    Read this in college. It was a real eye-opener to me, who was raised Catholic and unfamiliar with the feminine in religion, particularly feminine aspects of the Deity which retain sexuality (as opposed to being sexless or celibate). Very interesting read. I'd recommend it for any woman looking to find a sacredness she can better identify with in conventional religions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Isis Isis

    About the worst introduction to sacred feminine concepts. Written with a strong judaistic influence. There is almost a worshipful wishful devotion to the dominant male perspective throughout this book. As if the author was desperately seeking approval from ancient male bible characters. One of the most disappointing reads in feminine spiritual literature to date.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    I read this back in my early college days when I was much more interested in feminist issues. I found it useful to examine the spiritual side of women and this gave me a lot to think about. Nothing earth-shattering though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joann Amidon

    Twenty years ago when I read this book, my concerns were individual and much different than they are today. This time when I read the book, I was interested in spirituality, my own and that of my country. While it is true that changes have been made in the last twenty years, much remains the same. We have yet to elect a woman to the office of president or Vice President. Most CEOs are still male and only Title IX has succeeded in opening athletic doors for women. (Though sport is not specificall Twenty years ago when I read this book, my concerns were individual and much different than they are today. This time when I read the book, I was interested in spirituality, my own and that of my country. While it is true that changes have been made in the last twenty years, much remains the same. We have yet to elect a woman to the office of president or Vice President. Most CEOs are still male and only Title IX has succeeded in opening athletic doors for women. (Though sport is not specifically included in this Act, it has bled into the field of sport allowing women more support). Religion still has a stranglehold on people and policies. Most likely there would be a full scale riot if a temple honoring goddesses was erected and provided solace for some. Do I have answers about spirituality, even after reading this book? Not really, but I will keep looking for myself and for this Planet.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Viki Sonntag

    I've just reread this after some 20- 25 (?) years. Wow. Very impressive in its humanity and scholarship. Considering it was published in 1991, there is good representation of women of color and lesbians "in their own words". Profoundly, I believe the book values deep questions, not for seeking definitive answers but to explore the essence of women's sacred unfolding in everyday life. Speaking finally to how we, as individuals, as women and women-identified folks, find ourselves in community and I've just reread this after some 20- 25 (?) years. Wow. Very impressive in its humanity and scholarship. Considering it was published in 1991, there is good representation of women of color and lesbians "in their own words". Profoundly, I believe the book values deep questions, not for seeking definitive answers but to explore the essence of women's sacred unfolding in everyday life. Speaking finally to how we, as individuals, as women and women-identified folks, find ourselves in community and within each other, I felt was powerfully inclusive, even to revealing the space for our collective mind to consider the more complex issues of our times. Quoting one community, "in our diversity is our strength".

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Thornton

    I found this book for free on the street in Bushwick; I took it home based on randomly turning to the part where Meinrad Craighead leaves the convent after starting to uncontrollably paint birds in her work: "an archetype of flight." The rest of the book did not disappoint. The coauthors' introduction alludes to some kind of conflict between them at some point during the process of researching and writing the book: I wish I knew more about this, because the moments when they show up--conducting I found this book for free on the street in Bushwick; I took it home based on randomly turning to the part where Meinrad Craighead leaves the convent after starting to uncontrollably paint birds in her work: "an archetype of flight." The rest of the book did not disappoint. The coauthors' introduction alludes to some kind of conflict between them at some point during the process of researching and writing the book: I wish I knew more about this, because the moments when they show up--conducting interviews in isolated forest trailers, etc.--bring much life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    SusanAhh

    Like most books of this type... it stimulates helpful thinking. By no means is it a transformative or revolutionary approach to the divine in femme energy. There is so much more. So much scared femme history lost to religious, societal and even spiritual patriarchy. It is worthwhile to read for some of the ideas...half complete as they may be.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Important today and timeless I was somewhat skeptical that this book would seem dated and reminiscent. It is so relevant and so deeply resonant for our current times. It just kept getting better and more interesting until the brilliant end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fernanda Navarro

    Beautiful book, full of inspiring sroties. Perfect for finding your own spiritual path, your own inner garden.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Em Eichner Niculcea

    Super interesting theory/idea, but a little vague in application.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Constance Chevalier

    I was looking for more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I appreciate the topic and authors’ efforts, but I was bored by the end.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Austin

    THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT KNOWN THAT THE ORIGINAL WORK IS TRANS EXCLUSIONARY

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily O'Connor

    Literally the best book ever I loved the primacy of the research stories as well as the authors stories and find so much hope in this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Potassium

    An interesting idea. Two women interviewed "spiritual women" from all over and told their stories. My main issues with this book are that it seemed a bit dated (it was written in the early 90s) and that the authors definitely had a bit of a chip on their shoulders. I would have chosen completely different people to interview and tried to tell a more complete story. Also, the millennial in me cringed hardcore at some of their conclusions. And at the whole garden metaphor. And at the idea that wha An interesting idea. Two women interviewed "spiritual women" from all over and told their stories. My main issues with this book are that it seemed a bit dated (it was written in the early 90s) and that the authors definitely had a bit of a chip on their shoulders. I would have chosen completely different people to interview and tried to tell a more complete story. Also, the millennial in me cringed hardcore at some of their conclusions. And at the whole garden metaphor. And at the idea that what makes you a woman is the "sacredness" of bearing a child. And also at the privilege that these women had to be able to afford to not work, take tons of time in mountain retreats, and write this book. Maybe that last one is just jealousy. Still - there were some nice things about the book. I loved the idea that women taking time for themselves is healthy and necessary, not selfish. I think our culture still believes that women are supposed to be doing all the things perfectly at all times. And I also liked the concept of "how do you share your life with someone without losing who you are?" I would have expanded that question beyond heteronormative relationships, but it's still a good question to ask. One other comment. I read the Kindle edition and it was full of typos again. WTF AMAZON?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Celía Burke

    I picked up this book over a year ago in a used bookstore and I'm so glad I did. Though this book is older, the concepts it presents are timeless. Seeking divinity in what is feminine is ancient, and I am not alone in wanting to explore my spirituality with this point of view. What I love about this book is that it emphasizes that everyone's spiritual journey is different, and though it offers stories of different women's experiences, there's always a reminder of taking your own path, or "tendin I picked up this book over a year ago in a used bookstore and I'm so glad I did. Though this book is older, the concepts it presents are timeless. Seeking divinity in what is feminine is ancient, and I am not alone in wanting to explore my spirituality with this point of view. What I love about this book is that it emphasizes that everyone's spiritual journey is different, and though it offers stories of different women's experiences, there's always a reminder of taking your own path, or "tending to your garden." In a world where people are so quick to take sides and believe that everything is black and white, I live in the gray. These women do too, even those who follow a specific religious path. I truly appreciate that and find it refreshing. Because of this, it holds up even after almost 3 decades.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juliana

    Interesting, but it almost feels as if too much was trying to be said in one book. I suppose the book I really wanted here was one that explored the experiences of a few women in more depth, rather than tidbits from everyone. Still, an intriguing read, with some good commentary on the importance of women recognizing and acknowledging their own spiritual needs and taking time for themselves to develop their own spiritual practices if they are so inclined, rather than pouring all of their time and Interesting, but it almost feels as if too much was trying to be said in one book. I suppose the book I really wanted here was one that explored the experiences of a few women in more depth, rather than tidbits from everyone. Still, an intriguing read, with some good commentary on the importance of women recognizing and acknowledging their own spiritual needs and taking time for themselves to develop their own spiritual practices if they are so inclined, rather than pouring all of their time and energy into other people, and rather than ignoring their own spiritual instincts and inclinations to adhere to (largely patriarchal) tradition.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy Crawford

    This has been an incredibly important book in the field of Women's spirituality for years now. I stumbled upon it in a used book store, and am SO glad I picked it up. I probably own 20 books or so on Women's spirituality, and this rises to the top. As a therapist who works with narrative - that is, the importance of story in our lives - I really appreciate the storytelling tone of the book. I think it allows for a much better uncovering of the many facets of our spirituality than a straight read This has been an incredibly important book in the field of Women's spirituality for years now. I stumbled upon it in a used book store, and am SO glad I picked it up. I probably own 20 books or so on Women's spirituality, and this rises to the top. As a therapist who works with narrative - that is, the importance of story in our lives - I really appreciate the storytelling tone of the book. I think it allows for a much better uncovering of the many facets of our spirituality than a straight reading of theology.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rev. Bobbie

    Written in 1991 this is one of the first books to open up the idea of God's feminine side as a positive way of seeing and understanding of the awesomeness of God's being. I was surprised when I put this in the list how many other books have been added to this collection since then. I haven't read Boff's book written in 89 but am intrigued to find out how the others approach this theological perspective. enjoy and be challenged

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liaken

    I haven't finished this book, but I will someday. The preface is my favorite part. The description of the dream of the patriarchs passing the "only touched my males" word of God to the hands of the woman, and it being blank because what was to come would be different than what had gone before . . . it was such a beautiful dream. I wish I had had this dream. I haven't been able to stay as connected to the rest of the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily Bowman

    I enjoyed reading this compilation of women's spiritual development, although the authors' attempts to define discrete stages seemed completely subjective. I was disappointed that the authors failed to include women's experiences with earth-based spiritual/religious paths. They also left out women's experiences with Islam, which would have been very interesting and would have rounded out their analysis.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Szul

    This book was an affirmation of understanding a part of God was in me. Whether it was a subliminal notion that being of the female persuasion made one slightly less sacred due to the patriarchal system, or a uniqueness of beign an egomaniac with an inferiority complex, this book began to soften the need to define. At the time of reading this, I was; realizing all carry a spark of God in them, regardless of what form they took. i like the journey :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mimi Marie

    This book is amazing. It features the stories and experiences of many different women in many different spiritual traditions as they find their way to their own spiritual truths. In the process of "leaving my Father's house" myself, I am thankful to have this book as a reference, a guide, and a support.

  28. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    Good into into the feminine divine. Got me thinking about tending my own spirituality. One downside is the number of dreams or visions the women told of. Never had such a dream or vision do felt a little like we're more spiritual or closer to god than you

  29. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    A woman's spirituality book that encourages authentic living through understanding of the divine. This book had a great premise, but the writing wasn't up to par with some other books that have attempted the same thing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tammy V

    Loved this book because I was working on my master's at the time and it introduced me to research done qualitatively as opposed to quantitatively - non-traditional for sure, and totally a non-linear approach to research which I immediately fell in love with. And used. And still use!

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