Birthing God: Women's Experience of the Divine

Birthing God: Women's Experience of the Divine

Birthing God: Women's Experience of the Divine

Birthing God: Women's Experience of the Divine


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Powerful narratives of suffering, love and hope that inspire both personal and collective transformation.

"Our spiritual stories are full of missteps and unabashed celebration. They are narratives of suffering and of hope; lessons in shedding fear and learning to love ourselves. Ours are embodied stories that begin with emptying so that we can glimpse the Holy Other, this Light who appears in ways unplanned, unexpected and unsettling. Our lives are the surprise that begins with the response, 'Let it be.'"
—from Part 1

In Birthing God, forty women relate Spirit-filled moments: a grieving pastor walks a labyrinth and rediscovers the Rock of her existence; a human rights advocate re-encounters Allah in an intensely visceral moment in the sun; an educator, moved by an ancestral vision, launches a global tree-planting project to heal the wounds of slavery; a revolutionary awakens from a coma and realizes that all of life is infused with Spirit; a peasant woman under fire discovers within herself the God who gives her courage; and a disabled doctor, embraced by Shekhinah, turns her heart to rabbinical studies.

Grounded in raw experience and ideal for spiritual seekers and leaders of all faiths, these engaging and powerful stories invite you to consider the origins of your own spirituality and to deepen your relationship with God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594735196
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 02/01/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lana Dalberg, a feminist lay theologian and storyteller, leads workshops linking spirituality with writing and social justice in congregations and retreat centers throughout the United States. Her award-winning writing has appeared in many publications and anthologies.

Lana Dalberg is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Women's Spirituality and Women’s Spiritual Stories
  • Writing from the Wellspring of Spirituality
  • The Divine Feminine
  • Enhancing Spirituality through Guided Visualizations
  • Earth-Based Spirituality and Eco-Feminism

Click here to contact the author.

Kathe Schaaf is co-founder and past president of Gather the Women Global Matrix. She currently anchors many collaborative conversations connecting women and women's organizations internationally.

Kathe Schaaf, Kay Lindahl, Kathleen S. Hurty, PhD, and Reverend Guo Cheen are co-founders of Women of Spirit and Faith.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Part I
Divine Love and Love of Self 1
Esperanza: Great Courage within Me 9
Lindsey: Where We Find God 16
Lori: Rocking in the Mother's Arms 21
Hyun Kyung: From the Palms of God into the Vortex of Becoming 26
Susan: Worthy to Stand Here with God 34
Sridevi: Rooted in the Divine Feminine 40
Arisika: The Body as Gateway to the Divine 44
Rachel: The Sacred within Me 53
Anna: Circling into the Womb of the Mother 58
Alice: Resonating like Home 64
Sarah: Hanging Out the Wash like Prayer Flags 70
Ann: Seeing Ourselves with Love 75
Rhina: The Church of the Open Door 81

Part II
Divine Connection 87
Jeanette: Dropping into the Hands of God 93
Irma: A Mother's Embrace 99
Kimberly: Welcoming Occasions to Know God 106
Elena: Celebrating the Mother's Diversity 112
Belvie: Who Can We Become Together? 119
Malisa: Seeing the Divine in Each Other (Namaste) 128
Sadaya: The Womb of God through Which We All Come 134
Carolina: Light and Love in All Beings 140
Debbie: Experiencing the Divine in the Multitude 147
Teresa: God among Us 152
Susan: Appreciating the Sacredness of Life 157
Marci: Like Family 162
Emily: Seeing the Glory 165
Alison: Restoring Our Sense of Interconnectedness 172
Judith: Swirling in the Mandala That Connects Us All 177

Part III
Divine Change181
SaraLeya: Under the Wings of Shekhinah 187
Lucy: Embracing Our Imagination 192
Ayesha: Madly in Love with God 198
Allison: Not Fearing Death 204
Viviana: All of Us Spirit 210
Zoharah: Who Am I and Why Am I Here? 219
Kristin: Listen to Mother Earth—She Has a Lot to Tell You 228
Dionne: Drumming to Heal the Mother 235
Stacy: Climbing into Her Branches 242
Virginia: Stirring the Ashes 250
Jann: Let Justice Roll Down Like Water 256
Katie: Would You Hug Me, Jesus? 261

Epilogue 266
Acknowledgments 268
Meditations and Visualizations 269
The Interview Questions: Eliciting Spiritual Stories 278
Notes 280
Suggested Resources 28

What People are Saying About This

co-director, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER); co-editor, New Feminist Christianity: Many Vo - Mary E. Hunt

"How diverse is your Spirit, Holy One, as these women testify. How many and varied are your Paths. Readers, explore these stories to clarify your own Way."

PhD, associate professor of religion and chair of gender and women's studies, Illinois College - Caryn D. Riswold

"Crosses boundaries to unite human and Divine.... Both draws on and departs from religious traditions ranging from Islam to Lutheranism, Catholicism to Zen Buddhism, simultaneously diving deeper into and transcending the limitations of that which we think we already know about the Divine."

PhD, author, A Woman's Journey to God - Joan Borysenko

"Amazing ... restores balance to our human understanding of the Divine [and] brings readers face to face with a Divinity who empowers and accompanies women of many religious traditions and blended faiths. A must read!"

author, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program; co-founder, The Insight Meditation Society - Sharon Salzberg

"Heartful, multifaceted ... generous and inspiring. As a Buddhist practitioner, I generally don't use theistic language to describe deepest connections of love or clarity, so I found many of the perspectives in Birthing God to be especially interesting and thought provoking."

co-founder, Women of Spirit and Faith; co-editor, Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Mee - Kay Lindahl

"[A] valuable resource [and] a real eye-opener.... Many insights into how this translates into traditional worship services. It is also a journey of self-discovery with the help of questions for reflection and a marvelous collection of meditations and visualizations."

PhD, author, God the What? What Our Metaphors for God Reveal about Our Beliefs in God and God Is like a Mother Hen and M - Carolyn Bohler

"Offers a kaleidoscope of opportunities to invite in the Divine Feminine in myriad forms ... it can't help but expand our ways of thinking how we can experience the Divine. Helps all women realize we belong to God/dess."

author, Rebirth of the Goddess and She Who Changes - Carol P. Christ

"As women's stories are told, the depths of women's souls begin to be known. Speaking of the presence of Goddess and God in their lives, women transform religions."

professor, Hartford Seminary; author, Paradoxology: Spirituality in a Quantum Universe - Miriam Therese Winter

"Reflect[s] a shift in consciousness regarding the Divine, one that is shaped by a deep and personal relationship with the Sacred within us and all around us, a knowing that is beyond images and names, a unifying energy that weaves into one all life on our planet. Shows how this Spirit-driven force within feminist spirituality continues to add to the universe story a multifaith, multicultural dimension steeped in wisdom and compassion and oriented toward planetary justice and peace. May these sacred stories give rise to many more."

PhD, author, Sensuous Spirituality: Out from Fundamentalism and other books - Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

"Would you like to meet forty women who are confident that in union with the Divine Feminine, they are going to give birth to vibrant new justice in this tired old world? Then treat yourself to this book—it will leave your heart brimming with life and love."

Rabbi, translator/annotator, The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: Selections Annotated & Explained - Rami Shapiro

"At last, a vibrant investigation into the lived spirituality of God-intoxicated women! Lana Dalberg's Birthing God is more than a series of snapshots into the lives and thoughts of deeply spiritual women; it is a glimpse into the living Divine as She makes Herself known to us through these amazing seekers. The result is a spirituality of radical openness that offers a much-needed alternative to the closed-hearted and narrow-minded spirituality that dominates so much of contemporary religion."

author, A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood - Lisa Catherine Harper

"Challenge[s] us to understand divinity and spirituality beyond traditional ideas of gender and dogma. Offers reflection, inspiration and even practical guidance for anyone seeking to experience her faith more deeply."

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