Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages

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9780062517029: Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages

Moving chronologically through millennia of women's history from the earliest times to the present, this unique collection contains writings from over 173 of the world's women sages and saints.

Containing poetry, prayers, chants, meditations, and contemplative prose from all great religious traditions, this treasure trove gathers together for the first time the best of women's spiritual wisdom.

Women's spiritual experience has been suppressed through much of modern history and is only now been recovered in its full richness. This anthology contains writings from hundreds of women from the past five millennia and a wide range of cultures. The collection encompasses all areas of women's sacred experience from the most radically mystical encounters with the divine-including visions, locutions, and auditions-to simply daily awareness of the holy in all things.

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Review:

The idea for assembling this outstanding anthology of Sacred Voices came to editor Mary Ford-Grabowsky while she was packing up her possessions for a move to a new household. Sorting through her stack of spiritually inspirational quotes written on Post-It notes, it suddenly occurred to her that almost all of the quotes were by men. "How could I have ignored the sacred wisdom of my own sex?" she asks. The answer, of course, is that it was an easy oversight considering the historical credence given to the masculine perspective of the divine over the earthier, fleshy, relationship-centered perspective of the feminine.

Thus began Ford-Grabowsky's quest to assemble an anthology of women's spiritual writing. "I had expected the spiritual beauty and tenderness, the love and quiet wisdom, but not the towering, tested, truly holy strength," writes Ford-Grabowsky, who took five years to gather this powerful collection. Those seeking more traditional or orthodox religious writings will have to look elsewhere. But others who long for a feminine vision--whether to heal a spiritual crisis or simply find a quote to stick by a computer monitor--will find this anthology deeply satisfying. The first half is devoted to historical voices, such as Julian of Norwich, England; the Ashanti women of Ghana; and Lady Kasa of Japan. In the second half, "Voices of Our Times," readers will find the likes of Isadora Duncan, Virginia Woolf, Pema Chödrön, Sharon Olds, and Amy Tan. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Mary Ford-Grabowsky is an award-winning writer, editor, and teacher with a specialty in the world's mystical traditions. Her publications include inspirational books, such as Prayers for All People and Sacred Poems and Prayers of Love, and many essays and scholarly articles. After receiving a master of divinity degree and a doctorate in theology and spirituality from Princeton Theological Seminary, she taught in the religious studies department of Regis College, later returning to Princeton to become editor of Fellowhsip in Prayer. In 1995 she moved to California at the invitation of the Episcopal theologian Matthew Fox to become vice president and academic dean of the Universtiy of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, where she today serves as a member of the adjunct faculty and board. Among honors she has received are an award from the ecumenical branch of the World Council of Churches for distinguished service in interfaith work. A translater who studed Spanish in Mexico and German, French, and Italian in Europe, she has been collecting and translating prayers for many years and is currently preparing a book of women's prayers for publication. She warmly invites readers of this book to send their favorite prayers to her at: P.O. Box 21267, Oakland, CA 94620-1267.

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