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Paperback Women's Spirituality: Resources for Christian Development Book

ISBN: 0809136562

ISBN13: 9780809136568

Women's Spirituality: Resources for Christian Development

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Book Overview

Women's Spirituality is an enlarged and revised edition of the widely used anthology that looks at the spiritual and psychological dimensions of women's lives. Using classical and contemporary texts,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Anthology of Spirituality

What is different about women's spirituality? This collection of essays addresses that question in many ways. Organized into four sections, the first, "Issues in Women's Spirituality" includes definitions of terms. Conn defines Christian spirituality as "the human capacity of self-transcending knowledge, love and commitment as it is actualized through the experience of God, in Jesus the Christ, by the gift of the Spirit. Women are encouraged to critique socially accepted beliefs about themselves and to accept only what is mature, not necessarily what is considered "feminine." The essay by Sandra M. Schneiders "The Effects of Women's Experience on their Sprituality" is worth the cost of the book. She meticulously points out the effects on women of "feminine" socialization and their exclusion from ministry, and the effects on them of the masculinizing of God and of religious experience. While no one would refute the negative aspects of these influences, Schneiders also notes positive ways women have maximized these factors. She concludes that women's suffering, "inexcusable as it is, has also been a fire in which much gold is refined." Such a hopeful outlook sets a refreshing standard for this book. The second section "Women's Psychological Development" contains selected portions from current feminists psychological theorists, such as Gilligan, Baker Miller, Goldenberg and others. I found Robert Kegan's chapter on five stages of "The Evolving Self" the most creative in identifying with my own development. The third section "Characteristics of Religious Development" includes some of the classic writings of mystics as well as essays on stages of faith and our understanding the person of God. Section four, "Revisioning the Tradition of Christian Spirituality" deals with such theological questions as the gender of God and whether Jesus' maleness is a stumbling block for women. In "The Incomprehensibility of God and the Image of God Male and Female" Elizabeth Johnson gets at the root of questions about naming God. I found this book helpful in grasping what is distinctive about women's spirituality. Issues of Christian spirituality transcend denomination and the fact that the theological works were written by Catholic never limits their value for all Christians. (This review was previously published in "Daughters of Sarah" Nov/Dec 1987.)

In depth perspectives tying feminism (real) with Catholicism

Although primarily Catholic in content, it is rich in basic Christian theology. An excellent read for one who questions equality issues facing the "90's" woman. A practicing, faithful Catholic or Christian woman may see limits on the role of women in the church. The essays are richly developed in this area . One section of the book deals with current psychology and provides some comparison on issues such as psychological development (Jung) and highlights a concept that "women's spiritual experience" is not represented in historical tradition. Each essay is well footnoted. This is not light reading and there are no interpretive commentaries for someone just beginning to research their spirituality. This should definitely be on every spiritual woman's bookshelf as a resource. I am glad it is on mine.
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