“Outstanding contributors.... Create[s] a ‘dynamic conversation’ about women’s spiritual leadership power.... A comprehensive and invaluable volume with strong mainstream appeal.”
—American Library Association’s Booklist starred review
“Showcases [women’s spiritual leadership’s] hallmarks: listening and collaboration. Use the provocative, creative suggestions as a practical guide for sharing the insights and extending the reach.”
—Mary Hunt, co-founder/co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER); coeditor, New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views
“An essential tool, an exciting read and a gift on the journey toward a transformed future.”
—Dirk Ficca, executive director, Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions
“Empowering.... Highly recommended ... for women of all faiths who seek to use their feminine wisdom to heal a broken and troubled world.”
“Full of wisdom and speaks the truth on difficult issues.... For people of all faiths—or no faith—it helps spark reflection on how true spirituality for our time can be re-shaped by empowering women.”
—Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, editor, New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future
“Unique, timely and valuable.... Here is a testament to the power of the word, of women, and above all, of faith.”
—Azza Karam, PhD, senior adviser, Culture, United Nations Population Fund
“A powerful plunge into the views, values and extraordinary endeavors by women on the leading edge of spirituality and leadership.”
—Roshi Joan Halifax, founding abbot, Upaya Zen Center
“Informative and moving.”
—Episcopal News of Los Angeles
“Thought and action provoking ... a resource for women of all walks of life who seek to use the wisdom and knowledge of women to create a culture of peace and well-being for all.”
—Mary Wiberg, executive director, California Commission on the Status of Women
“A rallying cry for the twenty-first century, as it highlights the vision and activism of women bridging divides ... of faith, class, race and generation to bring real hope, healing and wholeness to our broken world. Women of deep faith and spiritual conviction everywhere owe it to themselves to read this compelling collection.”
—The Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson, president, Auburn Theological Seminary
“Many religious institutions still hold to explicit glass ceilings that keep women from formal leadership. This obscures women’s extraordinary spiritual roles, their potential to change what we mean by religion and spirituality, and what a spiritual lens can offer to the world’s leading problems. Exploring vital and complex themes like communication and leadership with freshly defined terms, the editors and contributors look to a world governed by new conceptions of power and success. The personal spiritual journeys of a diverse group of women offer glimpses of the types of transformations that women spiritual and religious leaders might bring to society.”
—Katherine Marshall, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University; executive director, World Faiths Development Dialogue
“We all long for inspiration and guidance. With enormous sensitivity, Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership gives us gems that are both joyous and poignant. Prepare to be uplifted and transformed!”
—Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
“Call[s] us as women to the urgent task of developing a deep spiritual identity, not for our own good but to better equip us to be agents of transformation in a deeply divided world. Rejoice as you read this inspiring book and ready yourself for transformation.”
—The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Department of Religion, Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York; author, Living into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This
“This carefully crafted collection of women’s insights into leadership from a spiritual root goes a long way in connecting the concept of power with the concept of love. Such a linkage stimulates moral courage, encourages social justice and opens one to deeper, more authentic, spiritually grounded relationships.”
—Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD, author, Faith & Feminism: A Holy Alliance; president, The Sister Fund
“Beckons readers to discover how inherently brave and capable and beautiful we all are.... Very timely.”
“An important book for this pivotal moment. Its collection of voices embody a non-denominational, invitational and inclusive approach to spirituality, while also addressing the nitty-gritty practicalities and challenges that leadership in this transformative time requires of us. It offers a systemic overview of a landscape we’d all be advised to visit, frequently—that of the intersection of diverse women (and men), reinventing leadership to address a pivotal moment of change in ourselves, our communities and the world, while staying connected to the mystery, or sacred, within and surrounding us all. It offers useful practices and perspectives for how we may cultivate ourselves to return to right relationship with ourselves, each other and the Earth.”
—Nina Simons, co-founder/co-CEO, Bioneers
“If human civilization is to not only survive but thrive, it will be because of women: radical, gutsy, revolutionary women; women who don’t simply become leaders, but who reinvent leadership; women who don’t simply become clergy, but who reinvent religion and spirituality. We don’t need women taking their place in a man’s world—we need women to topple that world and lead us to a new and better one. The wisdom in Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership points us in the direction of a new world with a new heart and a new mind. This book gives me hope.”
—Rabbi Rami Shapiro, translator/annotator, The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: Selections Annotated & Explained
Lisa Anderson is the director of Women’s Multifaith Programs at Auburn
Theological Seminary. She holds masters of divinity and masters of philosophy
degrees from Union Theological Seminary. Currently she is a Union doctoral
candidate in systematic theology. She has taught Black, Feminist, and
LGBT theologies, Christian ethics and liturgy, and she has designed and led
seminars on the connection between faith and social justice. She is a regular
contributor at Feminist.com.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, and internationally
known author who draws from spiritual, feminist, Jungian, medical, and personal
wellsprings of experience. She is the author of Goddesses in Everywoman,
Crossing to Avalon, The Millionth Circle, Goddesses in Older Women, Crones
Don’t Whine, Urgent Message from Mother, and Like a Tree. She is a major advocate
of a United Nations Fifth World Conference on Women, a Distinguished
Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a former clinical professor
of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.
Karen R. Boyett, MA, is the executive director of the Interfaith Council of
Southern Nevada. She teaches religious studies at Regis University as well as
anthropology and sociology at the College of Southern Nevada. She also
serves on the board of directors for the North American Interfaith Network
and on the editorial board for the Interfaith Observer.
Fredelle Brief, who works in public consultation and conflict management,
has been a social worker, an environmental planner, and a television executive
at Vision TV, the first multifaith television network in Canada. Her passion for
peace-building and interfaith dialogue has animated her work. In 1998, Brief
was awarded the Canada Peace Medallion from the YMCA. She has contributed
to Stories in My Neighbour’s Faith: Narratives from World Religions in
Canada, and Faith in My Neighbour.
Joan Chittister, OSB, a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, is a bestselling
author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice,
peace, human rights, women’s issues, and contemporary spirituality in the
church and in society. She is cochair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women,
a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network
of women peace builders, especially in the Middle East. She is founder
and executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary
Phyllis W. Curott, JD and HPs, is an attorney, author, Wiccan priestess, and
pioneering spiritual teacher of the Euro-indigenous revivals. Described by
New York Magazine as one of the culture’s most intellectually cutting-edge
thinkers, Curott is founder of the Temple of Ara, president emerita of the
Covenant of the Goddess, and a trustee of the Council for the Parliament of
the World’s Religions. She is the author of the internationally bestselling
memoir Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman’s Journey into the Wisdom of
Witchcraft and The Magic of the Goddess.
Dr. Barbara E. Fields is the executive director of the Association for Global New
Thought and cofounder of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence. She was
program director for the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions centennial
celebration in Chicago and cofounder and director of The Synthesis Dialogues
I, II & III with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Fields is a contributing
author to The Community of Religions and Two Hundred Visionaries.
Figueroa is founder of the Morning Star Foundation.
Carol Lee Flinders, PhD, is coauthor of the Laurel’s Kitchen cookbooks, and she
wrote a syndicated newspaper column on natural foods for twelve years. She is
the author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and
writes regularly on the places where feminism, spirituality, and evolutionary
science intersect. She has taught at the University of California–Berkeley and
the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Flinders currently teaches at the
Sophia Center at Holy Names University in Oakland.
China Galland, an award-winning author, speaker, university lecturer, and
former wilderness guide, is the author of Longing for Darkness: Tara and the
Black Madonna, The Bond Between Women: A Journey of Fierce Compassion,
and Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves. Recipient of the
Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts,
she is also professor in residence at the Center for the Arts, Religion, and
Education (CARE) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
She is a member of the national Alliance for Truth and Racial Reconciliation.
The Right Reverend Mary Douglas Glasspool was elected eighth bishop
suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in 2009, the second woman
to be elected bishop in diocesan history. Her areas of specialization include
ecumenical and interreligious ministries, diocesan schools, LGBT ministries
(lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), and overseeing one-third of the congregations
in the diocese. Before her election, she served nine years as canon to
the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
Shareda Hosein is a graduate of Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut,
with a master’s degree in Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations and a
certificate in Islamic chaplaincy (equivalent to a master’s in divinity). She is a
lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and serves as a cultural adviser for
Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Musimbi Kanyoro, PhD, is the president and CEO of the Global Fund for
Women, an international grant-making foundation that supports women-led
groups working to advance the human rights of women and girls throughout
the world. Formerly she served as the director of the Population and Reproductive
Health Program of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and as
general secretary of the World YWCA. She is the author of In Search of a
Round Table: Gender, Theology, and Church Leadership and Introduction to
Feminist Hermeneutics: An African Perspective.
Valarie Kaur is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, advocate, and public
speaker. Her critically acclaimed documentary film Divided We Fall (2008) on
the rise of hate crimes after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, has
inspired national grassroots dialogue. She has clerked on the Senate Judiciary
Committee and traveled to Guantanamo to report on the military commissions.
She teaches visual advocacy as founding director of the Yale Visual Law
Project. She is also director of Groundswell, a broad-based initiative to spark
and empower the multifaith movement for justice at Auburn Theological
Seminary. The following is drawn from Kaur’s keynote speech delivered at the
Dawn T. Maracle, MEd, EdD (ABD), is a Mohawk from Tyendinaga Mohawk
Territory in Southern Ontario, Canada. She is currently an artist, muse, writer,
educator, trainer, editor, consultant, and doctoral student writing about Haudenosaunee
relationships with tobacco. She was formerly the national director
of professional development for the National Centre for First Nations Governance
and the National cochair of the Post-Secondary Education Working
Group for the Assembly of First Nations and Indian and Northern Affairs
Courtney E. Martin—author, blogger, speaker, and “freelance mystic”—is
author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists and the award-winning
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection Is
Harming Young Women. A recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics, she is
coeditor of the anthology CLICK: Moments When We Became Feminist, editor
emeritus at Feministing.com, and formerly a senior correspondent for The
American Prospect. She was a resident with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio
Centre and has also been a TED speaker.
Susan Quinn, born and raised in the Jewish faith, has also practiced Buddhism
since the early 1990s. She leads a meditation group in Poinciana,
Florida, and teaches several types of meditation. The author of The Deepest
Spiritual Life: The Art of Combining Personal Practice with Religious Community,
Quinn also publishes a monthly newsletter. She has owned and operated
training and consulting businesses since the 1980s. Her specialties are managing
conflict, helping organizations and individuals deal with change, and facilitating
team building and problem-solving workshops.
Jan Booman Saeed is the director of spiritual life at Westminster College. She
served as chair of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable for the Salt Lake Organizing
Committee (SLOC) for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and was a
founding member of the Utah State Martin Luther King Human Rights Commission.
She was instrumental in the publication of and additions to the
Olympic version of World of Faith by Peggy Fletcher Stack and Kathleen Peterson
and edited the section on the Baha’i faith.
Adelia Sandoval is cultural director for the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians,
Acjachemen Nation, the indigenous people of Orange County, California.
She is also an ordained minister of Lifesblessings Ministries in Descanso, California.
Her ministry is called Song of the Earth, a Native American Healing
service in an outdoor sanctuary. Sandoval is a Trustee for the United Religions
Initiative, a global interfaith organization and an adviser to SARAH (the Spiritual
and Religious Alliance for Hope) and to Orange County Interfaith Coalition
for the Environment.
Ann Marie Sayers is the tribal chair of Indian Canyon Nation in Hollister, California, and the founder of Costanoan Indian Research, Inc.
The Reverend Lorenza Andrade Smith is with the Ministry for the Poor and
Marginalized in the Rio Grand Conference of the United Methodist Church in
San Antonio, Texas. She describes herself as “a five-foot Hispanic/Latina born
in the U.S./Mexico border town of Brownsville, Texas.” She has been described
by others as an ultra-radical, feisty,muckraking rabble-rouser, prone to calling
injustice for what it is, and generally creating chaos and mayhem in the most
ALisa Starkweather is founder of many bold and unique initiatives to support
women’s healthy leadership, including the Red Tent Temple Movement, an
international grassroots initiative honoring our womanhood journeys,
Daughters of the Earth Gatherings; the Women’s Belly and Womb conferences;
Priestess Path; She Loves Life, an Internet TV show; and cofounder of
Women in Power. A keynote speaker, writer, coach, as well as a certified facilitator
of ShadowWork, Starkweather is featured in the documentary Things We
Don’t Talk About: Healing Narratives from the Red Tent.
Lynda Terry is a writer, meditation teacher, and founder of Vessels of Peace,
the international spiritual network for women that, from 2002 to 2010, nurtured
and supported women subtle activists in service to humanity and the
earth. Subtle activism is the use of spiritual or consciousness-based practices
for collective benefit, such as certain forms of meditation, prayer, arts and
media, healing practices, or ritual. She also has served as a communications
consultant for humanitarian organizations, including the PRASAD Project
and Children’s Hunger Relief Fund. Terry has offered service to a number of
women’s spiritual organizations. Her areas of professional interest include
nurturing the feminine spirit in women and girls, the evolution of women’s
spiritual leadership, interspiritual practices and initiatives, peace-making, and
subtle activism. She is author of The 11 Intentions: Invoking the Sacred Feminine
as a Pathway to Inner Peace.
Diane Tillman is a licensed educational psychologist and the primary author
of the Living Values Education (LVE) book series. Currently a member of the
International Advisory Committee of the Association of Living Values Education
International, she has coordinated content for this global educational
endeavor since 1997. She has written nine educational resource books for educators
of young people at risk. Tillman teaches meditation and has been
involved with several international initiatives and global conferences over the
past thirty years as part of her involvement with the Brahma Kumaris.
Yoland Trevino is principal of Transformative Collaborations International
and the former executive director of the Vaughn Family Center, which became
a “living lab” for testing out innovations based on spiritual and ancestral values.
Involved with international interfaith and intercultural efforts for the past
thirty years, she is cocreator, coordinator, and a faculty member of the international
program Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics,
based in India. Trevino is also founder of the Indigenous Global Initiative and
the Women’s Global Initiative within the United Religions Initiative.
Karma Lekshe Tsomo is an associate professor in the Department of Theology
and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches
Buddhism, world religions, and comparative religious ethics. She is a past
president of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and
the director of Jamyang Foundation, an innovative education project for
women in developing countries. Active in interreligious dialogue, she is the
author of Buddhist Women and Social Justice: Ideals, Challenges, and Achievements and Into the Jaws of Yama, Lord of Death: Buddhism, Bioethics, and
Death, among other publications.
Nontombi Naomi Tutu is founder and proprietor of Nozizwe Consulting
(Nozizwe means Mother of Many Lands and describes the philosophy of the
organization, which is to bring together the people of many lands). She has
served as a coordinator for programs on race and gender and gender-based
violence at the African Gender Institute in Cape Town. Formerly the associate
director of the Office of International Relations and Programs at Tennessee
State University, she is coauthoring a book on race and racism with Rose
Bator, titled I Don’t Think of You as Black. This essay is drawn from Tutu’s
keynote speech delivered at “The Alchemy of Our Spiritual Leadership:
Women Redefining Power.”
Jamia Wilson—feminist activist, organizer, expat-brat, networker, truth
seeker, cartwheeler, and storyteller—is currently vice president of programs at
the Women’s Media Center in New York, where she trains women and girls so
they are media-ready and media-savvy, exposes sexism in the media, and
directs the WMC’s social media strategy. Formerly Wilson served in several
roles related to youth leadership development, grassroots organizing, and
communications at Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and
New York University.