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A Woman's Journey to God Paperback – February 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reissue edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573228354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573228350
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"God as a jealous, punitive white Anglo-Saxon male with a long beard and a longer arm lacks appeal for many contemporary women," writes Joan Borysenko. In an attempt to address and mend the rift between women's experience of God and how God is presented through male-dominated religions, Borysenko offers this book of feminine exploration. Initially, Borysenko speaks to healing one's relationship with a seemingly judgmental or exclusive God. She then moves beyond how religion may or may not have failed individual women, into how the feminine collective tends to know and touch God.

Not surprisingly, Borysenko speaks to women's intuition and creativity as surefire lifelines to God. Women rely on relationships as a means to spiritual growth, explains Borysenko, whether it be with lovers, friends, or children. She also examines women's icons--from the gentle and nurturing "Our Lady of Guadeloupe" to the fiery goddess Kali who births and then devours her children, just like Mother Nature does. On an organizational level, this ambitious book can seem a bit scattered--an easy fault to ignore. As more and more women join together from all religions and orientations to tell their spiritual stories and claim their paths to God, books such as these make excellent guides and companions. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A distinctly feminine spirituality is emerging in our culture, according to Borysenko, a Harvard-trained medical researcher and author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and other titles. Drawing on her intensive experience leading spiritual retreats for women, Borysenko observes that a woman's way of worshipping the divine tends to be "natural, earthy, relational, mystical, embodied, intuitive, sensuous, and compassionate." Yet, the same women (predominantly adventurous baby boomers) who are going on retreat and otherwise expressing their spirituality in a feminine way often have painful relationships with the hierarchical, patriarchal religious traditions of their birth. Here, interweaving ancient myths and Scripture with contemporary stories, the author explores how women can find healing and guidance even within the confines of those traditions. Borysenko replaces the heroic model of step-by-step progress up Jacob's ladder with the image of women walking Sarah's circle (from a stray song lyric by Pete Seeger). She suggests that, like all women, themother of Isaac, came to know herself in a deep, intuitive way through the medium of her relationships rather than strictly in terms of a relationship with a transcendent God. Borysenko shows women, in a work that reads like a down-to-earth conversation between friends, how to make religion their own. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., is the author of thirteen books, including A Woman's Book of Life, Saying Yes to Change, and Inner Peace for Busy People. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

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See all 21 customer reviews
And when she finally publishes a book of her poetry, I'll be the first one in line to purchase it...
Theresa E. DaKay
She shows us the commonality,the beauty of integrating what we have learned and shows us the necessity of healing the wounds we may have sustained in our journey.
Southern Star
The God we're told we must love, and whom we're told loves us unconditionally, is the same one whom we're told hates women and encourages abuse of them.
Allie Kat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Southern Star on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I totally identify with Borysenko and with her personal journey of establishing a relationship with God. Having also explored many religions, growing tired and weary of the fact that most or so patriarchal in nature that they exclude and limit woman's participation and exploration of spirituality. Borysenko has tied it all together for all of us seekers, confirming our hunger for the truth, acknowledging what we have learned through the many stops on our journey to a mature relationship with God. She shows us the commonality,the beauty of integrating what we have learned and shows us the necessity of healing the wounds we may have sustained in our journey. She offers us a book that acknowledges our spiritual differences from men and balances it with a true acceptance of all faiths, so that whether we are Jewish, Catholic, New Age or other, we all are equal in the eyes of God, and as women we can stand side by side and celebrate being the spiritual women that we are. Borysenko ties it all together and confirms what I knew all along, Woman's spirituality is truly her own. I found it impossible to put this book down, for each page offered a resolution of the multi-plicity of religious ideas and put it back into a woman's concept of having a personal relationship with God. I am going to buy a copy for all of my sisters.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Allie Kat on July 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My relationship with God has been one of contempt. Presumably on both sides. The God we're told we must love, and whom we're told loves us unconditionally, is the same one whom we're told hates women and encourages abuse of them. I'd prefer eternal hell to kowtowing. In any case it's impossible not to tick Him off. Go about with your hair uncovered, take joy in anything, duck out of polishing the floors, lip off to a man, and the `unconditional love' turns to wrath and hellfire. Not to be out-done, I had not merely smoke, but, I swear, flames coming out of my ears when religion was mentioned. I did realize I was confusing God with His messengers, but I thought He could have chosen less disgusting messengers. I did try to fix the relationship, and have run across lots of ideas. Some of them had merit but left me expecting more of a God I'd want to know. The idea that women, being the sweet helpful little things they are, of course God loves them, made Him sound like a good ole boy who expects the nearest one to bring Him a beer. The idea of replacing God with a Goddess had appeal, but some ancient goddess I'd never heard of before reading a book didn't have any power in my mind. The idea that God was an abstract law of physics made sense to my logical mind, but left me lonely. The idea that He was my personal buddy didn't mesh with His bad treatment of women historically. All right, so I'm irrational and cantankerous, but a lot of women have similar feelings. Being angry at God is like having a splinter in your mind.
That Ms. Borysenko was able to over-ride the negative (and crazy) impressions I've had, without pretending they don't exist, is no small achievement.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent tool not only for women seeking affirmation and encouragement on their journey to spirituality, but for men who wish to understand the feminine soul. Ms. Borysenko speaks clearly and openly of her own journey and gives hope and encouragement to her readers. The only drawback I found is that for those unfamiliar with Ms. Borysenko's background and previous works, her references might be confusing. However, her enthuiasm and compassion is contagious, and opens the door for one to continue their personal journey.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am a woman in my twenties and I was surprised and delighted while reading this book. I especially loved the opening poem asking, "What is holy?" along with chapters 1, 4 and 8. (In fact, I am hoping for a collection of published poetry by the author!) The reason I was surprised --I related to many of the feelings Ms. Borysenko describes regarding women and religion/spirituality. I once led a small, informal group in the Lord's Prayer and I tried to playfully start it with "Our Mother" but people (women too) playfully scorned me back like what an outlandish idea. So, I was and am very interested in the ideas expressed by the author. I also appreciated the inclusion and respect of several cultures and their contributions to spirituality. I really want to re-read this book and pass it on. Thank you for sharing your beautiful insights, and please keep writing.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Theresa E. DaKay on February 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In A WOMAN'S JOURNEY TO GOD: FINDING THE FEMININE PATH, Joan Borysenko has once again gone steps beyond her solidly scientific background to a place completely her own...one of spirituality, community, ritual, faith, intuition, prayer, identity, and healing. This well-written book is full of inspirational stories, poems, and rituals that can be used to mark special times in a woman's life while on her way to God. Joan's compassion and understanding shine from the pages, and her humor urges us all to keep things in perspective while on this journey of life. She is a spiritual leader in a chaotic world, and her book reads like a beacon of truth. Come, take this pilgrimage with Joan. You deserve to partake of her wisdom. Learn from it. And when she finally publishes a book of her poetry, I'll be the first one in line to purchase it...
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