Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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Tag: Art and Faith

Wonder Woman: A Divine Feminine Myth for our Time

Wonder Woman is truly a divine feminine myth for our day, filled with beautiful truths empowering for people everywhere. As we experience this narrative, may we find our inner feminine divine and join Dianna as love saves the world.

Where can I find music and hymns that use inclusive language?

Hymns, anthems, and other songs that don’t jolt women out of their seats are available and becoming more widely used. “I will make you fishers of men” is so last-century.

A Provocative Representation of The Divine Feminine: Eric Drooker’s “Crucifixion”

I view this piece and know I can gather the hurting world in my womb. I can allow my feminine-specific suffering under patriarchy to be the conduit for my passionate pursuit of justice and my spark of love I extend toward others. For truly, I am the arms stretched out inside the fallopian tubes. The darkest night of my soul under patriarchy can become the very hope for others to find light.

The Beautiful Not Yet by Carrie Newcomer

My first listen to this album was during the commute between my hospice patients’ homes. I was reminded that there are many points of light and joy in a world that seems so dark and inhospitable to the people of God. We hold on to "The Slender Thread" of our faith and hope, because love always calls us back. Always.

The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics

Her essays in this volume are thought provoking, the golden prize being her commencement address this past June at her alma mater. She offered three lessons for life: “be kind, be true, and pay attention.” In her essay “Miracle, Light and Considerable Magic” (p. 70), she refers to “the mysterious nature of the Sacred,” the Light that appears in daily moments. She finds the holy in the ordinary, like dishwater, frying eggs, a busy street, or familiar room; wherever she may find herself. In her essay, “Another Kind of Flying,” she locates her perspectives and priorities in the realm of gravity and morality, affirming that “our lives are created of suspended moments of glorious flight” (p. 79).

Reclaiming Your Story: Mary Magdalene and Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

Mary Magdalene is a person in her own right. Her real story is remarkable, and can be uncovered through the accurate interpretation of scripture. Mary Magdalene is featured in the New Testament more than any other women, with the exception of Mary, the Mother of Jesus; she’s mentioned in 14 different verses.

Hagar Poems

Centering Hagar Poems on Hajar’s tale, a problematic moment in sacred narrative, the profusion of viewpoints contributes to Kahf’s nuanced approach. Looking at Hajar from her own point of view, as Sarah and Abraham see her, in anger, in forgiveness, as heroine, foremother, and exile, Kahf shows how the different sides of the story have much to say to one another.

Lady Midrash: Poems Reclaiming the Voices of Biblical Women

I am so thankful for the honor given to these biblical women by these poems. This collection, spoken through the voices of women in both testaments, puts flesh and energy into what have too often become stale stories from our early Sunday School days—if we heard them there at all.

Suffragette

We encounter the women’s suffrage movement in Britain through the eyes of a fictional young woman working in an industrial laundry about 1911–13. Maud Watts is movingly portrayed by Carey Mulligan as she transforms from an overworked laborer, wife, and mother into a woman repeatedly jailed for attending demonstrations.

Biblical Feminists, Meet Anthrosophia!

For Gabriel, Sophia is a threefold Goddess who rules the past, present, and future. As the sevenfold Goddess, she rules time and the planets in the solar system as well as the seven organs in the human body. And as the twelvefold Goddess, She is the collective consciousness of humanity...

“A Permeable Life” by Carrie Newcomer

It’s like a sweet cup of a caramel macchiato. The silence of the first snowfall. A porch swing on a perfect spring day. A breeze carried from the surf across your beach blanket. These are the inviting images that came to me as I listened to Carrie Newcomer’s newest album, A Permeable Life. This is Newcomer’s twelfth album, and it will not disappoint those of us who enjoy her music.

Eternity’s Sunrise: William Blake’s Vision of Christ

Skillfully Dr. Welling describes the mutual enlightenment that stems from studying Blake's drawings in conjunction with his words. And Welling explains why certain misunderstandings of Blake have arisen, such as the charge of misogyny, showing that a deeper grasp of Blake's symbols reveals his belief in the equality of women with men.

The Invention of Wings: A Novel

The combination of engaging fictional narrative with the outlines of the historical record provide an enjoyable means of learning more about the Grimké sisters, the early abolitionist movement, and the early women’s rights movements during this period.

Artist Shawna Khalily and the Strength of the Feminine

That to me is Her strength, the strength of God. It's not the strength required to shock or kill, manipulate or destroy, but rather the strength required to contain Her creation and the Light of Love for millennia, despite our efforts to usurp and degrade the meaning of All That Is.

The Risk of Returning: A Novel

One rarely encounters a suspense novel in which the protagonist reminisces about insights from C. S. Lewis and the Bible and gets intimately involved with the mysterious woman who is helping him relearn his Spanish, but it's all here.

Maggie Anton’s Historical Fiction Novels: “Joheved” and “Apprentice”

... in a class taught by Rachel Adler, Anton fell so in love with the Talmud that she has since written four novels about rabbis who broke with tradition by teaching their daughters the Talmud (i.e., the Oral law, including the Mishnah, that topically arranges all the laws from the Torah, and the Gemara, which records discussions about the meaning of the Mishnah).

Princeton, Demons, and Fundamentalists

'Hence, the controlling metaphor of The Accursed would seem to be that as long as people believe God is angry, totalitarian, and brutally unforgiving, their whole world takes on a vampirish, bloodthirsty, fearsome coloration."

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

With their sheer numbers and unprecedented consumerism, Baby Boomers are a coveted marketing segment. . . . Now that it’s lucrative to do so, we can finally start having a discussion in pop culture about aging and ageism.

Higher Ground

The film Higher Ground is a story about a rational woman, Corinne Walker, trying to find some solid footing within the context of being literally immersed (baptism is the strong opening image in the film) within the subculture of evangelical fundamentalism.

The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life

This is a book of distilled wisdom. For me, the moment called "Aging" was especially poignant. It is certainly part of my life review at this period in my life. Reading and responding to the words here was invigorating. Also challenging.

Christ For All Peoples: Celebrating a World of Christian Art

Ron O'Grady has done the world a beautiful service in this collection of art and commentary. The arrangement of the book by the periods in Jesus' life make it a valuable resource for preaching and teaching--and as a book for use in meditation.

Walking with Wisdom’s Daughters: Twelve Celebrations and Stories of Women of...

It is not often that one comes across a worship-related book so richly layered that it becomes a prized resource far beyond the parameters of corporate prayer. This volume, a treasure trove of both scholarship and artistry, is one of those.

Gather into One: Praying and Singing Globally

Ultimately, Hawn concludes, the point of engaging in multicultural musical expressions "is not to 'feel good' but to feel again — feel a sense of the holy and an experience of community" which will move us, with all our sisters and brothers around the globe, to shout in renewed, "polyrhythmic" enthusiasm: Alleluia! and Amen!

A Woman of Salt

Three threads of this story [there are many] seem especially powerful to me: (1) the conflict with the mother that starts when Ruth enters puberty; (2) the attempt through much of Ruth's life to pretend that her body doesn't matter; (3) the struggle to discover the life of the spirit through the mind alone.

The Secret Life of Bees

Now the content of her previous books has become the air breathed by Sue's fully-drawn characters. My favorite is May, a woman so vulnerable that she builds her own private wailing wall where she can tuck in scraps of paper from her wounded life and suffering world.

The Red Tent and Good Harbor by Anita Diamant

In addition to the theme of women's friendships, both novels deal with the theme of choosing a religion... Clearly, the God that women worship and the communities in which women worship their God are unique and bind women, ancient and modern, together in Diamant's world.

Woman Spirit Awakening in Nature: Growing into the Fullness of Who...

The child-like wonder and delight in nature is recaptured, and the healing power of the Divine in nature comes through clearly in their words. Chickerneo refers to these times as finding those “metaphors-in-waiting,” and reflecting on them for self-discovery and understanding.

In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public

I have just retired from college teaching, but I wish I had had this book earlier to read prayers to my Bible classes. Each professor, teacher, worship leader, and preacher who cares about justice and contemporizing our scriptures could enrich their own tasks by using this book of prayers.

Kathryn Christian: Mysticism, Music, Marriage, and Ministry

One day I profoundly needed comforting by God, and I needed to be sung a lullaby like a mother and child. So I started strumming around with lullabies in three-quarter time, and then I was thinking of images of God as my Mother, caring for me.

The Galilean Secret

As theology or ethics, The Galilean Secret scores an A for its emphasis on internal reconciliation leading to external reconciliation. But as fiction, the plotting sometimes strains the reader’s credulity with some rather unlikely coincidences.

God’s Motherly Care for Us

"I have been blessed with many images of the Divine which have helped me to pray and find comfort. But the one image that I return to, that I cling to when I am in my most desperate moments, is Mother. 'As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you,' God says in Isaiah 66:13."

Praise God’s Name with Festive Dance

She is saddened that so many fear and deny their bodies. "People 'stay in their heads' a lot to protect themselves," she said. "Rhythm gets us in touch with the unconscious and takes us out of our heads.

Martha Ann Kirk, Th.D.-Embodying Christ to the World

“Peace is built as men and women learn to have historical perspectives. Uncovering and recovering women’s stories can contribute to a more egalitarian, less domineering world. Stories of ancient women travelers give people today courage to travel. Women’s history is as important for men as for women”

Two Paintings of the Supper at Emmaus

The Emmaus story has always been one of my favorite New Testament stories. As the account unfolds, I think we quickly feel that we could be one of those disciples — sad, perplexed, needing to talk, amazed that anybody could be in the neighborhood and not know what has been going on.

The Singer and the Song: An Autobiography of the Spirit

But even as I finished the book, I sensed I was only touching the edges of it — the tassels on her magic carpet. MT's largeness of heart and ability to see and relate to Mystery goes beyond anything I can really apprehend. Yes, I understand something of the world of the Spirit, but I am too rational, too linear, too controlled to dive in with M.T.'s abandon.

Poets on the Psalms

Poets on the Psalms engages heart and mind and opens many windows into the ancient treasure house that is the Psalms. May these essays be given the attention that they so richly deserve.

The Help

The Help richly deserves its many weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list. Stockett, a white woman from Jackson, overcame her fear and tackled this tricky topic by creating the voices of three women whose lives are forever entangled and unforgettable.

Semisweetness and Light

I think Semisweetness and Light will delight and move every reader. Its small size makes it easy to carry around, and you will find yourself having a conversation with Cartledgehayes sooner or later.

Growing into God — Book by Edwina Gately, CD by Kathryn...

[Gately's] life has been plagued with roadblocks erected by the Catholic hierarchy, self-doubt, and sometimes despair and periods of spiritual dryness. Yet, through it all, she has managed to maintain her dignity and become a truly gifted writer, poet, and speaker.

Everything Is Everywhere – Carrie Newcomer

I think we like music that speaks for us. I often feel Carrie Newcomer's music speaks for me. But after listening to this album many, many times, I realize that it doesn't really speak for me as much as it speaks for all of us. Everything Is Everywhere defines the people we can someday become, and the loving Spirit we, as one people, will someday embody.

Before and After – Carrie Newcomer

Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer's newest album, Before and After, features a collection of thirteen original compositions—including many contemplative, midlife songs that have grown out of Newcomer's reading and conversations with other spiritual people like Parker Palmer.

but Joy Comes in the Morning – Margaret S. Meier

This quilt of text and music is not a warm, cozy listening experience, though. It is very challenging music and painful text, richly expressing the anger, despair, and, ultimately, courageous healing and hope of survivors of child sexual abuse.

Carrie Newcomer — Several Albums

A gifted poet, Newcomer writes lyrics that can tell stories or share feelings. Her Quaker beliefs are evident in many of her words, but she doesn't preach at you.

Keepsake — Women’s Voices Blending in Song

This is singable, listenable hymnody that would be appropriate in traditional or contemporary worship services as much as in women's spirituality gatherings. The language and images are inclusive; the melodies are delightful, and the harmonies rich.

Growing into God — CD by Kathryn Christian and Poetry by...

All of the tracks are superb, but our favorite is "Come Holy Mother" (inspired by Julian of Norwich) which profoundly evokes an image of God's motherly tenderness, as does "Gather Me Under Thy Wings."

Come, Holy Mother by Kathryn Christian

A central purpose of Kathryn's music is to help her listeners broaden their concept of God to include the truth of those scripture passages that speak of God as Mother. The songs on this CD fulfill that purpose admirably.

alone… by 3rd margaret

The music can be experienced on as many levels as there are moments and listeners, but ultimately the album captures Marg's anguish when she learned that although she was trained to be a church musician, in fact the church was not a safe or welcoming place for lesbian women like herself.

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Editor's Choice

In Search of Life-Giving Christian Symbols

For many years I have also believed that a symbol other than the cross should be at the center of Christianity. The emphasis on the cross leads to the glorification of violence and death rather than the love and abundant life that Jesus taught.