These stories, essays and poems by women examine the connections feminists are making between sex and God. The women write from very different perspectives, cutting across the spectrum of feminist writing about sexuality and spirituality within the Judeo-Christian tradition. Some writers, though critical, are determined to retain their radicality in the very teeth of patriarchy by remaining within the traditional forms of faith. Others – impatient, suggests the editor, with the ‘great inseminator in the sky’ – have moved on to what might be described as a post-patriarchal spirituality. Contributions indicate the exciting spiritual journeys women are currently making and focus on the following areas: monogamy and promiscuity; sex, politics and spirituality; childbirth; sex and healing in dying; feminist sexual psychology; lesbian identity; and feminist ‘embodied’ theology. The recent and continuing debate about women priests in the Anglican church uneasily echoes the rumblings of change at a fundamental level in the relationship between women and religion. This book, with its reflections on both the politics of Christian feminism and the more widespread expression of women’s spirituality, makes an important contribution to that change.
First published in 1987.
Part 1. Heresies 1. Goddess: Towards a Liturgy for Survival Linda Hurcombe 2. The Women Dance Naked in Jail Starhawk 3. Inner Landscape: Outer Landscape Heather Formaini 4. Esprit de Corps Aileen La Tourette 5. When They Burned Us Lauren Liebling 6. Water Women Alla Bozarth-Campbell Part 2. First Person Plural 7.Bad Weather Bryony Dahl 8. Friends in Deed Mary E. Hunt 9. A Time to refrain from Embracing Polly Blue 10. The Lion in the Marble: Choosing Celibacy as a Nun Hannah Ward, CSF Part 3. Body Theology 11. Performance Polly Blue 12. A Womb-Centred Life Una Kroll 13. Nothing is Sacred, All is Profane: Lesbian Identity and Religious Purpose Elaine Willis 14. Passionate Prayer: Masochistic Images in Women’s Experience Sara Maitland 15. Paragory Linda Hurcombe Part 4. The Language of Feeling 16. Inner Anatomy of a Birth Léonie Caldecott 17. on the edge (1985) Susan Griffin 18. Lammas Babe: Ten Days of Healing Jenjoy Silverbirch Strongbody Clevermind (Linda Hurcombe and Polly Blue, eds) 19. Let Your Right Brain Know Linda Hurcombe Part 5. Feminist Theology 20. from Casting a New Circle Mykel Johnson 21. A Jealous God? Towards a Feminist Model of Monogamy Susan Dowell 22. Asceticism and Feminism: Strange Bedmates? Rosemary Radford Ruether 23. Sexual Justice and the ‘Righteousness of God’ Sheila Briggs 24. Prayer for Continuation Susan Griffin