ISBN: 978-0800636982
Paperback: 272 pages, $22.00
eBook: 272 pages, $9.99

Trim Size: 9.1 x 5.9
Publication Date: April 2005
Rights: Contact Fortress Press

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Radical Wisdom

A Feminist Mystical Theology

“This book is one of scholarship, depth, evolutionary spirituality and a mystical way that is radically new for women of all traditions and experience.”

This luminously written volume is a wonderful resource for women and men to reclaim their spiritual lives. Radical Wisdom introduces the concept of via feminina (way of the feminine) and the importance of gender in the spiritual life. Drawing especially on the mysticism of Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila, Beverly Lanzetta lays out the contemplative process used to achieve their highest spiritual potential and to break through the “dark night of the feminine.” She also investigates how unjust social and political conditions afflict women’s souls, and the spiritual disciplines women use to transform centuries-old structures of consciousness damaging to the human spirit and to creation.


Table of Contents

Prologue : low places where grace flows in 1
1 Via Feminina and the un-saying of “woman” 7
2 Feminism and mysticism : foundations 27
3 Goddesses, mother Jesus, and the feminine divine 44
4 Contemplative feminism : transforming the spiritual journey 61
5 Women mystics and a feminism of the inner way 81
6 Julian and Teresa as cartographers of the soul 99
7 The soul of woman and the dark night of the feminine 119
8 Subversion in contemplation : resistance, resiliency, and dignification 137
9 Women’s body as mystical text 155
10 Seeing through God’s eyes : women’s spiritual rights 174
11 Love of the world : an ethic of ultimate concern 193
Epilogue : hymn to Hagia Sophia 212

It is a ‘must read’ for any woman who has been searching for the Heart of God as she will discover Her in the very depths of her own self, through the experience of reading this book. While reading Radical Wisdom an indelible impression was made within my heart that spiritual freedom can only come through the healing of the Sacred Feminine, Blessed Be She – and while particular to women also includes the need for healing of the sacred feminine within men. Dr. Lanzetta pierces a level of wounding of the sacred feminine that has been primarily directed at the core of the feminine spirit/soul, inflicted primarily by the oppression of patriarchal religions as well as the still-patriarchal world/society we live in. Women around the globe have suffered throughout history and are still suffering today. My experience with Radical Wisdom has been one that is so personal and intimate – one that has allowed me to encounter these deeper stirrings that have taken me to a new depth of vulnerability in God. I am truly grateful to Dr. Lanzetta for this work.
-Patricia Kilcullen, M.Div., IfCM