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At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  198 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
"My feminism and my spirituality have always been closely connected, laying claims on me at the same level. I'd taken up meditation out of a driving and, yes, aching need for self-knowledge and meaning. My feminism had arisen out of that same well of feelings, and in many regards the life I'd chosen had satisfied it. Part of me, though--the part that never lost awareness o
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 17th 1998 by HarperOne
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Aug 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flinders articulates so well the tension I feel between feminism and religion or spirituality. And tells personal stories all along the way. I felt included on her journey and connected to her conclusions.
Tuscany Bernier
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book because it is one of the few positive books on the market discussing feminism within spirituality. The idea that one can be very religious and a good feminist, fighting for the rights of fellow women or setting up ritual in our daily lives to celebrate our womanhood. It was written in 90's so there were aspects she was discussing that I felt were very slightly outdated but the majority of the ideas presented were still true 20+ years later.

I also enjoyed the "Book Two
Shira and Ari Evergreen
Spirituality often comes with mandates to maintain silence or to strive for egolessness, but women are oppressed, so they're often forced to be silent or egoless. In addition, many religious traditions add to this oppression. How then can a woman reconcile her spirituality and her feminism?

Carol Lee Flinders is a spiritual seeker and meditator in the Gandhian tradition. In this book she outlines the path she took towards an integrated, feminist spirituality. Along the way she talks about coming-
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is yet another book that I am using as part of my research for my master’s thesis on the feminine spiritual memoir. It took a while to get through this one. Much of it should be digested in small portions. While my personal spiritual beliefs do not match those of Flinders, I agree with most of the ideas and thoughts contained in the book. At the beginning, I did not see serious conflicts between spirituality and feminist ideology. But Flinders brings up many good points, delves deep into ps ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book more than once. It's not a fast read, but one where I had a lot of those "Boy, she has managed to express a lot of things I feel" moments. A woman's relationship to God can certainly be affected by growing up in a male-dominated church with a father-figure God.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition a mysterious, powerful way the Goddess, the earth, and every individual woman really are one. All one, and all the Mother."
Wow, what a waste of $2. This is not the kind of book I was expecting. Maybe I'm not really a feminist but I wanted to strangle her for her constant refrain on misogyny. Dear Mother of Pearl, enough of your ideas, I really wanted more on Julian of Norwich and other women mystics. I wanted more conventional faith, not a devotee of Eknath Easwaran. Give me how I can navigate all this in conventional world faiths.
Thomas DeWolf
At this moment in time, I can't think of another book I more highly recommend than this one for everyone interested in exploring life, spirit, self-knowledge, and becoming one's best self. Carol Lee Flinders explores this and more, and takes readers on a powerful journey with her, one that explores "the sacred feminine" throughout history, and today. In our separateness from each other (women from each other, women from men, and men from each other), Flinders identifies a way forward with grace ...more
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-life
wonderful, easy-to-read journey of one woman's attempts to reconcile feminism and spirituality. i found myself identifying easily with some portions (longing for woman-centered models of faith) and being challenged by others (the emphasis on the biological female traits). as a theologian it is not overly complex, which is where it's beauty lies. it is honest and truly encouraged me to work for changes i seek in religious pursuit.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition book I've read (reread) since The Dance of the Dissident Daughter regarding feminism and spirituality.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for women everywhere, whether you are "religious" or not.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommended this book to me, and I'm glad I took the time to read it. It's a long, meandering journey through the experience of Carol Flinders over 3 years, mixed in with a little history, some mythology, and some philosophical discussion about the role of women.

I really needed to read some of this. I was coming to a point in my own life when I could no longer get by without the nagging feeling that the God I believe in must truly despise women. I've been given all those good Christian
Feminism and Spirituality can seem at times a contradiction in terms. Many feminists, including myself, have been skeptical, to say the least, about traditional male owned and operated spirituality. And that skepticism is not irrational. The demands of traditional spirituality require a woman "know her place", "be silent", "keep sweet", and other such repressions and sacrifices.

The theory behind Ms. Flinders' writing is that feminism and traditional spirituality don't have to work against each
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback
I picked this book up from the clearance section of half-price books and have probably been reading it off and on for almost a year now. I agree with another reviewer who felt like at the beginning of the book was standing up and saying "yes! This! And this!" But I also got lost for several portions of the book which is why I put it down for a while. In the end I picked it back up because Ashley Judd did an astounding keynote here and mentioned that she practices the same sort of meditation that ...more
Easton Smith
pushing myself to read things that I am skeptical of-- white people who write about spirituality is one of those things. I had to sigh a few times and roll my eyes, but the overall "meditation" on feminism and spirituality is powerful, and worth reading.

sexuality is to feminism what work is to marxism: that which is most one’s own, yet most taken away. 73

What if the structures that have kept women silent and dis-empowered for so long are too deeply embedded in human consciousness---in yours, mi
philip watson
Maybe the situation is analogous to how i can't sit through zen-do: i hate sitting still, and that's how this book felt. It was like walking through a swamp with a millstone around my neck, though i suppose there were some interesting statements/points. Unless one is really torn up by the idea that feminism and spiritual can co-exist--and has the patience to deal with Buddhist non-action--i suggest steering clear of this book. Especially if you're somewhere in the goddess/feminist vein (like i a ...more
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those insterested in feminism and spirituality
I read this when I was quite young and struggling to get my head around a lot of issues and I remember just feeling a sense of "rightness" about this book--that someone had finally put into simple and gentle words all the things I had been trying so hard to say. I'd like to go back to this again now that I'm older to see what I think of it but it's good meditative material (in the sense that it'll get you thinking) but I suppose in many ways it's broad and doesn't quite get at the complexity of ...more
Much food for thought about the conflicts between religion and feminism, and the possibilities for complementarity. The author is a member of a meditation community; her focus is, fittingly, more on mystic traditions than on the mainstream of any religion. Though the book is only a few years old, I'd call her a second-wave feminist. Lisa's review is good. I learned a lot and my thinking was VERY stimulated.
Susan Dehn Matthews
The points of dissonance between feminism and spirituality are enlightening, but even more are the elements of resonance. The author's personal journey of reconciliation might very well be described as everywoman's. An important addition to the body of work on the rediscovery of the sacred feminine.
Danya Ruttenberg
This is a brilliant, luminous book. A must-read for anyone who takes both spirituality and feminism seriously. Fifteen years later, I'm still trying to answer some of the questions she asks in my own work.
Jan 17, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm digesting this book one page at a time. Insightful. Thought provoking. Not an "easy read".
I recommend this book for all women searching for spiritual expression, but who are dissatisfied with the patriarchal (and often misogynistic) construct of modern relgions.
Rebecca McKanna
Although some parts of the book were repetitive, I thought the author wrote eloquently about the issue of twining spirituality and feminism. In many religions feminism seems a hurdle rather than an asset. But the author offered a view of how feminism could be the core of a spiritual practice.
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
It was very helpful to me in defining some of the programming I have as a woman, and putting it into perspective
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago and I am curious to see if I will like it as much the second time
Leta Blake
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my all-time favorite books. I re-read it periodically.
Sep 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
one of the only books I've ever read to explore the subject of woman's spirituality in relation to feminism.
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I have been looking for it for some time. I wish I wrote it. For any woman living within what feels like the tension of faith and culture, please read this.

Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bookclub choice. Don't waste your time. There are many more enlightened women out there who have far surpassed this woman.
Nov 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
I just finished it this morning. At the moment, it feels like a swinging door, hinging open something enticing to explore both within and without.
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