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on 20 August 2013
I have to disagree with the other reviewers.
This author is self obsessed and I can see very little wisdom in her. I would have liked a more objective look at the subject.
Like she says about her cookbooks, she became too directive. She falls into the same trap here. Too opinionated, too convinced her opinions are the only right ones.
I managed only about a third of the book.
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on 18 May 2012
This book is vital reading if you are interested in how the life of the spirit and life in the everyday world co-exist. In particular, Carol Lee Flinders writes eloquently and in detail about the mystic tradition, exploring how contemplation and activism are profoundly linked despite appearances to the contrary. First published in 1998, this book is a really useful 'background read' for women interested in the years leading up to the current upsurge of what is sometimes called 'eco-feminism', the active linking of the state and fate of women, how they perceive themselves and are perceived, and the fate of the planet. It is a real delight to read how Carol Lee Flinders came to her own discovery that feminism and spirituality together are necessary companions for women today.
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on 4 July 1998
Feminism and spirituality are at the heart of a personal struggle through which the author gracefully leads the reader. The two systems, often polarized against each other, are reconciled over the course of a lifetime of meditation and activism.
A student and scholar in her own right of women mystics and mystical literature, the author demonstrates that these God-seekers offer hope and lessons which can nourish feminism. The sacred feminine principle holds one key to a potentially brighter future for feminism. There is no preachiness here, no prescribed methodology, because it is recognized that all are part of the divine having the answers within, and that the ideas presented here, must be realized at a grassroots level to change society: Gandhi's struggle for a free India is used as one example.
Finally, if you like Hinduism, Western mystics such as Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila, if you are interested in reading some of the new directions coming forward (I believe) in feminism: this may be the book for you. And, if you are a father of a young daughter, you especially ought to read this book to be informed of what is happening to young girls in patriarchal cultures around the world.
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on 18 March 1998
Carol Lee Flinders has embarked on the difficult task of reconciling feminism and spirituality. She, like several other scholars and writers today, recognizes the conflict between these two concepts and also the attraction each has for women. Flinders does a fine job outlining the tensions between feminism and spirituality, including the tension between finding voice and reveling in silence. Her ideas are cross-cultural and sweeping and lead to interesting and insightful connections; her probing of both Ghandi's ideas and the myths of Christian saints offers wonderful complications to the text. She depends too heavily on restating Gerda Lerner's work--I highly recommend readers read Lerner's The Creation of Patriarchy and The Creation of Feminist Consciousness themselves because these histories are well-written and important--though it becomes integral to Flinders' approach. The end of At the Root of This Longing loses its balance a bit and falls into unchecked essentialism, sentimentality, and optimism. However, overall, Flinders does important and articulate work for today's thinking, searching women and rightly emphasizes a balance between the personal and the political. She also points out the importance of working toward reconciliation for future generations.
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on 30 November 1998
How can I cultivate Silence without remaining mute? How can I honor respect and love the other half of the human race in the face of what that half has "done" to my half? How can I nurture the interior of Spirit and still hold up my end of the tenuous presence we women have only recently gained in the larger world? As a woman who's found herself drained and badly in need of spiritual repair after a highly "successful" two decades in a "man's game" career, I came to this book hungry and thirsty in the extreme. Carol Flinder's sensitive, patient, beautifully intelligent and courageous exploration of the apparent conflict between women's need to be present and of equal value in the world and at the same time true to the needs of the feminine gives the peaceful rest of reconcilliation as well as the nourishment of understanding. I will read this one over and over. It's that meaningful.
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on 16 June 1998
Flinders does an outstanding job of reviewing the history and tracing the links of spirituality and feminism that have long been overlooked. She has referenced a plethora of literature to support her ideas and includes some often forgotten and overlooked myths and stories of Goddesses. She outlines 4 stages, or themes relating to a women's spirituality in contrast to feminism, and provides examples of her personal experiences. In addition, she raises points about violence to women and children, and tries to answer the question of how to empower women. I highly recommend this book, for both men and women!
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on 7 April 1998
Using fascinating examples, this book shows why some women struggle with traditional spirituality (and struggle, and struggle...). It's much more than whether God has a gender and Flinders explains it beautifully. Highly recommended.
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