Fleshing the Spirit: Spirituality and Activism in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women’s Lives

Elisa Facio, Editor, Irene Lara, Editor
Edited by Elisa Facio and Irene Lara. Univ. of Arizona, $29.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-0-8165-3097-7
Reviewed on: 03/10/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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Academics Facio and Lara bring together 19 prose and poetry pieces, all reflecting on the spirituality of Chicana, Latina, and indigenous women. The editors want the academy to take spirituality more seriously, and they want students of spirituality to pay greater attention to particularities like race and class. The volume calls for practices that are inclusive and liberating for all people—sensitive to, and opposed to, colonialism, heterosexism, and patriarchy. Throughout, the authors connect the spiritual to the political, insisting that, as the foreword puts it, spirituality is inseparable from “the well-being of... our communities” of women and of all life. Some of the contributions are more overtly academic—C. Alejandra Elenes meditates on “Chicana feminist pedagogies as a spiritual praxis” and calls for “the theorization of the nonmaterial elements of education.” Yet the volume is thoroughly, pointedly autobiographical; for example, a moving essay by Alicia Enciso Litschi recalls the author’s leaving Buddhism because she felt exploited and marginalized by a teacher who seemed to appreciate Litschi only for supplying diversity to a largely white Zen center. A comprehensive collection of feminist spirituality will be incomplete without this volume. (Apr.)
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