Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women's Altars Paperback – October 1, 1999
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
For at least 1000 years, women have created home altars dedicated to their personal deities. Turner, who earned a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Texas, has spent more than 20 years exploring this rich, cross-cultural tradition. She weaves scholarship in feminist religious studies, many interviews with women altar-makers and an obvious appreciation for this individual art form into an informative (if, at times, repetitive) and occasionally inspirational reading experience. Turner is motivated by a feminist need to discover a woman's spiritual tradition that has been neglected or dismissed by male scholars. She emphasizes how, by creating private, domestic altars, women have claimed space from public and patriarchal practices for their own individual relationships with the Divine. After a brief historical survey of the tradition of women's altars, Turner devotes the major part of her study to analyzing contemporary altars made in what she terms "folk religious practices" (those running counter to institutionalized religions). She also includes altars made by women without institutionalized affiliation, such as pagans, Wiccans and goddess worshipers. In addition, she provides a brief biography of each altar-maker in a particularly valuable appendix. For all the merit of Turner's thorough textual analysis, many readers will feel that the book's value resides in its 110 illustrations, 80 in color, since it is through these that we are allowed to enter the private space of the home altars. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Kay Turner has a Ph.D. in Folklore from the University of Texas, where her thesis was devoted to Mexican-American women's home altars. Her publications include I Dream of Madonna and Between Us.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Many of the illustrations and texts focus on Mexican and Mexican-American women and their Catholic shrines/altars (this is what the author has studied the most), but there are also illustrations of Goddess, Celtic, African, Hindu, Buddhist, and Orthodox altars pictured in the book. The text is well written, but the pictures are definitely the highlight of the book.