Cover image for The feminine face of Christianity
Title:
The feminine face of Christianity
Author:
Starbird, Margaret, 1942-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Quest edition.
Publication Information:
Wheaton, Ill. : Quest Books/Theosophical Pub. House, 2003.
Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780835608275
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Even though feminine values have always been at the core of Christianity, its long history has often ignored or marginalized women's key role in it. Margaret Starbird's unique view from the feminine perspective serves the need many are feeling to search their traditional faith for fresh meaning and inspiration in these difficult times. Could Mary Magdalene have been Jesus' wife? Starbird explores this possibility and the ¬ďsister-brides" who accompanied male disciples to forge a new understanding of gender-based faith and of sacred marriage with the Divine. She also gives us the rich heritage of stories about women's generous service and encouragement for the inner journey, ranging all the way from little-known early saints to Mother Theresa. She points out that fundamental Christian values such as compassion, reconciliation, and the healing of crippled bodies and broken hearts are all strongly feminine in nature. Her view, though, is cooperative rather than contentious: She aims, not to discredit the masculine, but to right the missing gender balance she finds inherent in the faith. Distribution is limited to North America.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

These two books have the same purpose: "to recover the experience of women throughout the centuries who have been among the most ardent and devoted disciples of Jesus." But Starbird (The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine) directs her texts to two separate audiences, using two separate publishers, with surprisingly little overlap. The Feminine Face of Christianity is a practical guidebook for Christian women that considers women's role in Christianity and the challenges women face today. Woven throughout this beautifully illustrated book are prayers, meditations, quotes from saints, and exercises that reflect many feminine elements: compassion, reconciliation, radical inclusiveness and equality, and the healing of crippled bodies and broken hearts. Short biographies of the Virgin Mary, Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa, and others strengthen the meditative nature of the text. Starbird does not negate the importance of men in Christianity but places them on the same level as women, even as she advocates the ordination of women and the use of married priests in Catholicism. Her discussion of the Cathars and their relationship with St. Francis of Assisi is the most interesting part of this book. Magdalene's Lost Legacy, on the other hand, reveals the symbolic numerology (gematria) of the New Testament, attempting to prove that the Sacred Union (hieros gamos) of Jesus and his bride (Mary Magdalene) was the cornerstone of the earliest Christian community. The author explains the "true" meaning of the "666" prophesied in the Book of Revelation and shows how the worship of a celibate Christ created a hierarchical priesthood now embroiled in scandal. This esoteric little study will be more to the liking of readers who are interested in symbolic, gnostic, and unorthodox glimpses into Christian history, as evidenced by this passage: "When the patriarchs of early Christianity supplanted the model of sacred marriage that was at the heart of the infant Church and denied Mary Magdalene as the consort of their sacrificed bridegroom/king, they could not have foreseen the tragic consequences of the broken mandala." Both books are recommended for academic libraries serving women's studies programs and for public libraries where patrons are interested in Christian women throughout the ages.-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.