cover image Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality

Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality

. HarperOne, $18.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-06-061383-9

Demonstrating the fecundity of current feminist theological scholarship, this searching companion volume to Womanspirit Rising includes many minority voices, enlarging the critique of the sexism of traditional religion by linking patriarchy to other forms of oppression. Seeking empowerment by recovering the history of women, E. Ann Matter discusses lesbians in the religious communities of medieval Christian Europe; Paula Gunn Allen suggests that female supreme spirits of Native American culture were identified primarily by their intellectual, not procreative, prowess; and Gloria Anzaldua finds that the history of the Mesoamerican goddesses has been suppressed by both Spanish Christianity and the militaristic and patriarchal Aztecs. In a notably incisive essay, Marcia Falk proposes a feminist-Jewish reconstruction of prayer; more controversial but nonetheless intriguing are excursions beyond ``established'' religions: Luisah Teish, ``an initiated priestess'' in the Yoruba-Lucumi spiritual tradition of West Africa, offers directions on how to build an ``all-purpose'' altar to communicate with one's ancestors, and Karen McCarthy Brown demonstrates how women's leadership has shaped contemporary Haitian Vodou. (Apr.)