Things of the spirit: women writers constructing spirituality

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University of Notre Dame Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 357 pages
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In essays on topics ranging from Teresa of Avila's sixteenth-century mysticism to the politicized spirituality of postmodern women writers, the contributors to Things of the Spirit chronicle the development of women's spiritual writing as a context for defining, challenging, and changing women's experiences in the world. They explore the nature of the sacred and women's relationship to the sacred in the writings of women poets, diarists, autobiographers, and fiction writers. Kristina Groover contends that identifying and analyzing women's spiritual writing relies on redefining the sacred. The writers discussed in this collection challenge the dualistic and hierarchical structures that dominate the Christian tradition by allowing for spiritualities that are heterogeneous and pluralistic, embracing some aspects of religious tradition while rejecting others, locating the sacred in the material world, emphasizing the sacredness of community, and representing the female body as a site of the sacred. Groover argues that efforts to reform oppressive religious traditions have led many to turn to sources outside of conventional religious practice for spiritual insights. At this intersection of literary and theological studies, readers and scholars have found a rich tradition of women's spiritual writing stretching back to the earlist women writers. Essays in Things of the Spirit introduce many of these previously suppressed or discounted works to modern readers. This well-written and accessible new book will be useful in courses on women's literature, women and religion, women's spirituality, and religion and literature.

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Things of the spirit: women writers constructing spirituality

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"Women writers have produced many sacred texts; we as readers are now learning to recognize them," argues Groover (English, Appalachian State Univ.) in this collection of highly literate and erudite ... Read full review


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