"My feminism and my spirituality have always been closely connected, laying claims on me at the same level. I'd taken up meditation out of a driving and, yes, aching need for self-knowledge and meaning. My feminism had arisen out of that same well of feelings, and in many regards the life I'd chosen had satisfied it. Part of me, though--the part that never lost awareness of the attitudes that demean woman and girls so universally and sytematically--was like a muscle that was sore from continual strain and misuse. It was hot to the touch. If after all these years it was still flaring up, then surely it was time I attended to it."
-- from At the Root of This Longing
In this brilliant exploration of the apparent conflicts and tensions, between feminism and spirituality, Carol Lee Flinders, author of the highly acclaimed Enduring Grace, here uncovers how she found that a life of meaning, self-knowledge and freedom absolutely depends on both.
In At the Root of This Longing, Flinders identifies the four key points at which the paths of spirituality and feminism seem to collide--embracing silence vs. finding voice, relinquishing ego vs. establishing "self," resisting desire vs. reclaiming the body and enclosure vs. freedom--and sets out to discover not only the sources of these conflicts, but how they can be reconciled.
With a sense of urgency brought on by events in her own life, Flinders deals with the alienation that women have experienced not only from themselves and each other, but from the sacred. Providing historical and mythical context to our contemporary struggles, she finds inspiration in the story of fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich and her direct experience of God and in India's legendary Draupadi, who would not allow a brutal physical assault to damage her sense of personal power. She also draws widely from the voices of mystics across the ages, feminist theory and history, anthropology, women's psychology, contemporary fiction and film, and her personal experience as a meditation instructor to weave a shimmering tapestry of stories and insights that will forever change our understanding of how we can--and why we must--begin to satisfy both our spiritual hunger and feminist thirst.
Carol Lee Flinders, author of the highly acclaimed Enduring Grace and At the Root of This Longing and coauthor of the million-copy-bestselling Laurel's Kitchen, holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and is a well-known speaker and teacher who has taught writing and mystical literature courses at the University of California, Berkeley.
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