On Minimalism by Ivy Helman

untitledOne of the concerns of ecofeminism is the modern materialistic mindset of capitalism. Materialism in capitalism instills not just owning many possessions, but it also inculcates the “need” to own the newest innovation. In addition, materialism advocates a throw-it-away mentality. In other words, it is often cheaper to buy a new shirt or computer than to have them repaired. Similarly, it is not enough to have a cell phone. Rather, one must have the newest and best one! The environment pays the price.

One attempt to deny the hold of materialism is minimalism. The minimalist movement seems to run the spectrum. From the ideals of less is more, there seems to be some competition between mindful consumerism and extreme self-denial. Mindful consumerism suggests that minimalism is a journey of recycling, reusing and repairing combined with well-researched, well-considered, as-ethically-produced-as-possible purchases when necessary. Extreme self-denial advocates owning almost no material possessions. While I strive toward mindful consumerism, I have serious concerns about extreme minimalism. Continue reading “On Minimalism by Ivy Helman”

The Reason for Hope Is the Creative Process of Life by Carol P. Christ

carol p. christ photo michael bakasIn these these days when many of us are gripped by paralyzing despair as we come to terms with the election as President of a racist, sexist bigot who has created a climate of fear and promises to undo much of the progressive legislation of the past fifty years, I find it appropriate to reiterate an insight that has sustained me through many years of sadness and disappointment about the state of our world.

“Hope is not to be found in optimism so much as in a primal understanding of what matters most.” In other words, the reason for hope is not to be found in the knowledge or rational calculation that our efforts will succeed in saving life on earth but rather in the conviction or inner knowing that it is right to try. Continue reading “The Reason for Hope Is the Creative Process of Life by Carol P. Christ”

Like Birds in the Sky by Oxana Poberejnaia

oxanaI once heard an educated non-feminist say that it would not matter if women came into positions of power. He gave examples of Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and other women and pointed out that once in power they started wars and engaged in other aggressive tactics, just like men politicians.


Firstly, the obvious logical mistake is that not every woman is a feminist, in the same way as not every man is an agent of patriarchy. Secondly, when talking about systems and key positions within these systems, one can see that these posts will play the role that is predetermined by the system.


systemIt would not matter if a head of a patriarchal organisation is a feminist or not. She or he will play a role of a head of a patriarchal system. That is, unless she changes the system altogether and it ceases to be patriarchal.


This reminded me of verses from The Dhammapada, a collection of ancient Buddhist verses, which speak about having no home and leaving no trace. By behaving thus, we remain independent of the dominant systems and give our opponents no opportunity to control us.

Continue reading “Like Birds in the Sky by Oxana Poberejnaia”

Keepin’ On Keepin’ On by Carol P. Christ

carol-p-christ-photo-michael-bakasIt is now Monday morning, five days after the new President was elected, despite losing the popular vote.

For many of us, and for me too, losing this election feels like losing everything we have worked to achieve during our whole lives. One of my friends wrote, “I am totally distraught and unable to focus.” My cousin said, “I feel like I am in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s.”

I have been scouring the internet to try to figure out what we can still do to try to create a world that guarantees liberty and justice to all people and all beings in the web of life.

There is much to fear. Continue reading “Keepin’ On Keepin’ On by Carol P. Christ”

Lotus in the Mud: A Metaphor for Humanity on our Darkest Days by Lache S.

BeachThere are days I find myself so overwhelmed with sadness concerning the state of our world that I break down crying. Last week, I saw an episode of Mars, a scripted documentary shown on the National Geographic channel about human colonization of the red planet in 2033. One of the astronauts “interviewed” prior to leaving was asked why she was taking such a risk to inhabit Mars. She said something like, “We will give everything for this.” Why not give everything for Earth?

If we would give everything for the planet we evolved on, then we might immediately transition to a life where we would be self-sustainable, build greenhouses in our backyards, give up our carbon-emission- producing cars, and abandon all the unnecessary businesses that are only there to fill our loneliness and boredom. The idea on the psuedo-documentary was that humans are putting this planet in danger, so it might be smart to have a backup. Isn’t that insanity’s way: trash one place and then find another place to live? The insurmountable amount of money we spend on space expeditions could be spent healing our own world. This is not the time for luxuries. Continue reading “Lotus in the Mud: A Metaphor for Humanity on our Darkest Days by Lache S.”

Can Good Theology Change the World? Part 2 by Carol P. Christ

Carol P. Christ by Michael Bakas high resoultionIn the first blog in this series, I argued that one of the hallmarks of a good theology is recognizing that the source of authority must be located in individuals and communities who interpret texts and traditions as they encounter divinity anew in the present. In our new book Goddess and God World, Judith Plaskow and I suggest that a second hallmark of good theology is the “turn to the world.” What we mean by this is not only that divinity is immanent in the world, but also that the purpose of human life is to be found in this world—not the next.

The God of traditional theologies is pictured as an old man with a long white beard who rules the world from heaven. It is commonly assumed by those familiar with this picture that the purpose and meaning of human life is not to be found in this world—but rather in heaven. This assumption is increasingly being challenged. Many people no longer believe in life after death. The purpose of morality is increasingly being understood as improving the conditions for the flourishing of human and other forms of life—not on gaining the approval of a God who has the power to assign individuals to heaven or hell in the next world. Continue reading “Can Good Theology Change the World? Part 2 by Carol P. Christ”

Killing Us Slowly by Judith Shaw

Judith Shaw photoKilling us slowly with your rules.
Killing us slowly with your technology.
Killing us slowly with your bureaucracy.
Killing us slowly…….

Continue reading “Killing Us Slowly by Judith Shaw”

The Dog and the Divine by Ivy Helman

20151004_161012When I was in high school, I once gave a speech summarizing what I had learned about G-d through my dog.  I still chuckle at the idea.  I cringe sometimes and wonder what others thought of the piece.  Oh, the seeming immaturity of such an idea and perhaps naiveté.  I’m still embarrassed by my high school self.

The connection, on which I drew, included some of the ways I had come to love my four-legged friend as well as the way I interpreted his actions as love for me.  I remember I had a list of ten things my dog had taught me about the divine.  There was definitely a mention of unconditional love, being happy to see me, probably something about not being angry or ever holding a grudge, sharing secrets, perhaps a lesson on patience, and, of course, many more which I can’t remember.  This is beginning to sound like my blog post about Hanukkah, isn’t it? What were the other two nights?  What were the other six comparisons?  Oh, never mind. Continue reading “The Dog and the Divine by Ivy Helman”

What Dorothee Soelle Taught Me about Creativity by Elise M. Edwards

Elise EdwardsI’m currently developing a book that considers how theological and ethical considerations in architectural design can define good architecture.  My book discusses five virtues related to the architectural design process that promote human participation in bringing out God’s intention of flourishing for humanity and creation.  Those five virtues (or values) are: empathy, creativity, discernment, beauty, and sustainability.  In the book, I’ll explain how these virtues orient design tasks to the social and ethical aims of architecture.

In this virtual space, I want to have a discussion about what these virtues mean from a feminist standpoint.  In my writing, I draw from theological ethics, architectural theory, and feminist theory to emphasize community discernment and participation.  It’s fitting, then, to claim opportunities in my work to acknowledge the feminists who have influenced me while also opening up the dialogue to the feminists in this community who continue to inspire and guide me to do my best work. Continue reading “What Dorothee Soelle Taught Me about Creativity by Elise M. Edwards”

After the Body, the Land by Kate Brunner

Kate Brunner profile picAfter we learn to let our bodies tell our stories, after we embrace somatic spirituality, after we become one with these bodies that move us to action, that power the physical acts that manifest our spiritual work as feminists, what next? After the Body, what relationship must we strive to heal, embrace, and empower next?

Our relationship with the Land.

For years now, in conversations concerning environmentalism, my conservative father offered up the challenge, to “put my hippie money where my mouth is.” And slowly but surely, for all those years, I and my household have taken small steps to do just that. While the on-going dialogue with my father always takes place in the realm of policy, the underlying motivation for my commitment to sustainability-based living is spiritual and feminist. After all, my paganism is grounded in the earth. And as a Woman of the Earth, I believe in respecting and protecting Her sovereignty as an integral part of my feminist spiritual practice.

Last month, we took our biggest step to date and relocated to a co-housing community with a strong sustainability focus. I am grateful and excited to be taking even more steps towards a form of daily living that resonates so fully with my authentic self– body, mind, heart, & spirit. And yet, at the same time, I fully understand that such steps on such a scale are not necessarily within everyone’s reach. So, what is? Where can we start to engage living in right action with this earth we are all so connected to whether or not we choose to acknowledge it? Continue reading “After the Body, the Land by Kate Brunner”

Our Enchanted Bosque by Judith Shaw

judith Shaw photoI live in New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque. As a Goddess Worshiper, one of the things I love about New Mexico is the easy access I, a city dweller, have to so much natural beauty. I feel Her beauty and power in the widely varied landscapes of New Mexico.

Continue reading “Our Enchanted Bosque by Judith Shaw”

“Respect: Dualism Subversion and So Much More in Survival Reality Television,” by Ivy Helman.

20151004_161012In “Ecofeminism and Wilderness,” Linda Vance believes that Western society defines wilderness by “… the absence of humans, we are saying, in effect, that nature is at its best when utterly separated from the human world. The idea of wilderness is thus an extreme manifestation of the general Western conceptual rift between culture and nature,” (62).  Reality television shows, focusing on survival or living off the land, often reproduce this dualistic way of thinking.

At the same time they reproduce another of Vance’s concerns, “I would argue that wilderness recreation “re-creates” more than the self: it also recreates the history of the conquest of nature, the subjugation of indigenous peoples, the glorification of individualism, the triumph of human will over material reality, and the Protestant ideal of one-on-one contact with G-d. And as for the elements of physical challenge and risk, I think it goes without saying that they appeal most to those for whom day-to-day mobility is a given, and for whom danger isn’t always close at hand,” (71).  However, by presenting this dichotomy, many of the shows also subvert the ideal of untouched wilderness, challenge the notions of human abilities and highlight our lack of embeddedness and embodiment when it comes to survival situations. Continue reading ““Respect: Dualism Subversion and So Much More in Survival Reality Television,” by Ivy Helman.”

More Than Just an Image by Jassy Watson

jassyI spent 2015 teaching an Intentional Creativity program ‘Wisdom of the Goddess” to an intimate tribe of women creatives from our local community. In December we held an end of Year Art Gala displaying a portion of the work which saw over 100 paintings of Goddesses created over a 10-moon period.

The program was divided into the cycles of Creation, Transformation and Celebration, as inspired by Hallie Inglehard’s book “The Heart of the Goddess”. Each month, through ritual, visioning and painting, we explored a Goddess that represented these cycles; Eve, Anjea, Demeter, Cerridwen, Kali, Persephone, Aphrodite, Ochun and finally, our Inner Goddess.

It took great courage for the artists to display their paintings in public. It is often hard to explain this work because it requires such deep and thoughtful exploration of one’s inner world along with a commitment to a creative practice that favours personal growth and discovery over outcome. It can be difficult finding the language to elucidate on this process that is not just about the act of painting.

It is painting to grow and heal.

It is sacred.

It honours and empowers women.

It inspires authentic creative expression.

It unites one with self.

It connects one back to the earth.

It transforms.

It reveals.

The show was a great success. A gallery full of Goddesses was surely a sight to behold! It was a humbling experience to be out and proud about our creative work in our regional, agricultural, largely conservative community. I feel it is imperative for the restoration of female empowerment to be remembering and re-imagining the Goddess by way of image and it was through Her that these astounding women artists found the courage to put their heart and soul on the wall for all to see.

The influence that image has is far-reaching and cannot be under-estimated. Image is a universal language that evokes emotion and can go as far as mobilising the masses and even change the course of history. The famous photo of ‘Phan Thi Kim Phuc’ running naked down a road after a napalm attack during the Vietnam War is but one outstanding example.

As I reflected on the years work however, I was reminded that while these paintings carry with them incredible insights and powerful messages of change, growth, discovery and transformation, the Goddess is so much more than just an image; and certainly more than just an image to mass-produce and sell. While “the strength and independence of female power can be intuited by contemplating ancient and modern images of the Goddess” (Carol P. Christ in ‘Why Women Need the Goddess’), it cannot be forgotten that She is the sacred made immanent in the natural world, expressed in the diversity of all forms of life and death. We seek Her, sometimes even travelling to the ends of the earth to find Her, forgetting that She is everywhere. She is you and me and Her sacred sites are found in our own backyards.

With this in mind I recently returned to some creative investigations I had begun a few years ago exploring woman in nature and the Goddess as the body of the earth through paint. The earth speaks and I am listening to Her stories and bringing them to the canvas to re-affirm my sense of wonder and respect for nature. My aim is to awaken an ancient memory of the sacred relationship between human and nature, for now, more than ever, it is critical that this relationship be restored. In doing so, the earth may once again be seen and valued as a living, breathing body that sustains and nourishes all life rather than being merely a commodity to be devastated and destroyed in the name of capitalism and greed. Further, these images are reminders of the interconnectedness of all life; we are not separate from the earth, but part of its’ intricate web.

The following image was inspired in part by Terry Tempest Williams ‘When Women Were Birds’ but is also an image born from a revelation I had many, many years ago when I first starting seeing woman in nature, especially in the body of trees.

When women were birds FINAL


“We are the birds eggs. Birds eggs, flowers, butterflies, rabbits, cows, sheep; we are caterpillars; we are leaves of ivy and sprigs of wallflower. We are women. We rise from the wave. We are gazelle and doe, elephant and whale, lilies and roses and peach, we are air, we are flame, we are oyster and pearl, we are girls. We are woman and nature. And he says he cannot hear us speak.

 But we hear.”

 Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her

Jassy Watson, who lives on the sub-tropical coast of Queensland Australia, is a Mother of four, passionate organic gardener, Intuitive/Visionary Artist, Intentional Creativity Coach and a student of Ancient History and Religion at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the Creatress of Goddesses Garden Studio & Gallery; a small school for the Sacred Creative Arts. Jassy teaches regular painting workshops in person, nationally, internationally, and online based around themes that explore myth, history, earth connection and the Goddess. Her latest SOULSCAPES (TM) exploring woman in nature will be on show at ‘Dreaming Into Being’, Percolator Gallery, Paddington, Brisbane April 5th-11th. You can see her work at http://www.goddessesgardenandstudio.co

Pause, Stop and Re-evaluate your place within patriarchy and capitalism by Oxana Poberejnaia

oxanaThere are three vicious circles: patriarchy, samsara and wanton destruction of environment. All three lead ultimately to annihilation of life. All three are incredibly difficult to escape. One of the reasons for this difficulty is that there are pay-offs. Someone or something benefits from keeping the cycles going.

Men and Mothers-in-Law seemingly benefit from patriarchy. However, the privileges granted by patriarchy are based on a pyramid scheme of tyranny. You get to bully people who are below you on the patriarchal pecking order: women, men of the lower status, daughters-in-law. Everyone at the higher level gets to bully you. The top man lives in constant fear of de-throning. Continue reading “Pause, Stop and Re-evaluate your place within patriarchy and capitalism by Oxana Poberejnaia”

We are Mauna Kea: The Continual Protest for Maintaining Sacred Land by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

AnjeanetteIt seems like there is a perpetual debate over acquiring land for progress and growth versus the protection of land that has ties to religion, customs, and cultures. The history of America is littered with stories and events that deal with acquisition of land. The sake of growth, expansion, and progress takes precedence in the history of America. Our country’s geography is a road map of acquired land and the pushing aside sacrality.

Continue reading “We are Mauna Kea: The Continual Protest for Maintaining Sacred Land by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Thoughts on Race and Being Jewish by Ivy Helman

20151004_161012When studying the Shoah, it is extremely important for teachers to introduce students to the 1800s concept of race “science,” which is what I have been doing in my classes over the past few weeks.  An American and European development, this “science” was deeply connected to the development of racism.  Through a “scientific” method, humans were classified based on certain characteristics (i.e. head size, posture, gait, etc.) and traits (i.e. aggression, passivity, even temperament, etc.). Physicality was linked to personalities that were “typical” as well as desirable or undesirable.

Race “science” supported the slave trade, colonialism and the exhibition and exotification of non-European peoples. In the case of the Shoah, race “science” was heavily relied upon by the Nazi Regime in their propaganda, law and ideology. For the Nazis and all nations under their purview, “Jewish” was a racial identity, “scientifically-proven” through measurements and observations and set out by the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, previous and subsequent anti-Semitic decrees and the systematically-planned extermination of 6 million of us.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Race and Being Jewish by Ivy Helman”

MASKS OF THE GODDESS: Bringing the Divine Feminine to Life by Lauren Raine


“What the audience saw when a dancer looked through the eyes of the mask was the Goddess Herself, an ancient and yet utterly contemporary presence, looking across time, across the miles.”

Diane Darling,  Playwright

In Salt Lake City in  October  at the Parliament of World Religions a group of women and men will be  will be literally  “bringing the Goddess to life”.  Goddess Alive!” is produced and written by M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien), with Mary Kay Landon.  Participants will use my “Masks of the Goddess” Collection to create a ritual theatre event honoring the many faces of the Divine Feminine throughout the world.

The Masks of the Goddess Project began in 1998, and since then the ever-evolving, multi-cultural collection of masks have travelled around the U.S. to different communities for dance, storytelling, exhibit, and personal invocation, always collaborative.


Continue reading “MASKS OF THE GODDESS: Bringing the Divine Feminine to Life by Lauren Raine”

Do You Eat Animals? Ecofeminism and Our Food System by Ivy Helman

10953174_10152933322533089_8073456879508513260_oCarol Adams in her article “Ecofeminism and the Eating of Animals,” argues that ecofeminists should be vegetarians, since ecofeminism is, among other things, action-based and “one’s actions reveal one’s beliefs,” (129). According to ecofeminism, the patriarchal domination of animals and nature is linked to the oppression of women. For her and many ecofeminists, the survival of our planet rests on two foundations: first, fixing the conditions of women and other oppressed groups and, second, envisioning differently our relationship to the natural world. In other words, a better arrangement of human relationships requires better human relationships with the environment. Vegetarianism and veganism are two ways in which ecofeminists opt out of the patriarchal system of domination and exploitation and help create a better world.

But, does one really? Does adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle really have such an impact on the world? Yes and no. Yes, because it has been shown that raising animals to eat uses exorbitant amounts of fuel, water and land, not to mention, the larger environmental impact of farm run-off in the forms of disease-carrying manure, valuable topsoil and harmful pesticides. Yes, because animals are often inhumanely treated, housed in horrible conditions, genetically and/or hormonally-modified and cruelly killed. Continue reading “Do You Eat Animals? Ecofeminism and Our Food System by Ivy Helman”

Liberation Lessons for Pesach by Ivy Helman

Each year we read the story of our exodus from Egypt during the Pesach seder. The story is one of human liberation from oppression. Yet, most of the imagery we encounter, the drama of the story so to speak, involves nature: a river that saves a baby, a burning bush, the plagues, the re(e)d sea, the wilderness, lack of food and water and the promised land itself. What does this mean?

In general, it means that human liberation is intimately connected to the liberation of all of creation.  In particular, the exodus story can teach us many lessons about environmental justice.  I’m going to explore five of them here: do not manipulate nature, use water wisely, form a connection to the land, imagine G-d differently and treat humans, animals and the land well.

Continue reading “Liberation Lessons for Pesach by Ivy Helman”

The Greek Elections and the 1% by Carol P. Christ

Alexis Tsipras of Greece & Pablo Iglesias of Spain hope to change Europe for the 99%

On January 1, 2016, 1% of the world’s population will own 50% of the world’s wealth, according to Oxfam.

On January 26, 2015 Alexis Tsipras will be in the process of forming a new anti-austerity government in Greece. Some believe this will be a new beginning not only for Greece, but for the world–if others follow the Greeks in resisting the domination of their economies by the international monetary interests that represent the 1%.

The bondholders and the international press tend to portray the Greek economic crisis as a morality play in which foolish Greeks borrowed too much and must suffer the consequences to pay back their loans. If Greece were a lazy teenager appearing on Judge Judy, tough love might be the answer.

But this simplistic equation cannot be made to work for a country of 10 million people, only some of whom colluded in taking out loans they could not pay back. Continue reading “The Greek Elections and the 1% by Carol P. Christ”

The Spirit of Capitalism vs. the Spirit of Traditional Rural Life by Carol P. Christ

marika's rakiIn this picture, Marika from Skoteino Crete toasts our group and downs a glass of her homemade raki. Marika, who is best friends with Christina who makes lunch for us, has just returned from her home next door with her gift of a glass of raki for each of us.

Marika, who has little, is eager to give to us. Hers is but one of many gifts from the heart we receive on the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. Why is it that we who have so much do not give as spontaneously?

One answer is that capitalist individualism has taught us to count our worth by how much we have and to fear for the day when we will have nothing.

These words may be a cliché, but they hold a profound truth nonetheless.

Heide Goettner-Abendroth tells us that in matriarchal societies with small-scale sustainable agricultural economies, people did not hoard or save for a rainy day. With the labors of their bodies and minds, they took only what they needed from the land. When there was a surplus, they gave parties, sharing what they had with others. Even with the coming of patriarchy, ancient matriarchal customs of generosity survived among rural farmers. Continue reading “The Spirit of Capitalism vs. the Spirit of Traditional Rural Life by Carol P. Christ”

Belonging to the Land by Carol P. Christ

Carol Christ in LesbosI believe that we can restore our hope in a world that transcends race by building communities where self-esteem comes from not feeling superior to any group, but from one’s relationship to the land, to the people, to the place, wherever that may be.—bell hooks

In these words from her poignant memoir-reflection-analysis Belonging, bell hooks suggests that rather than creating identity by comparing ourselves to others, whether in the academy, in communities, or in the larger society, we would do better to root our identity in the land.

Hooks “left home” in rural Appalachia in order to pursue “higher” (why do we call it that?) education including a Ph.D. which enabled her to teach at prestigious universities in the urban north. Despite her considerable success as an academic and a black feminist, hooks suffered persistent depression in the cities where she taught. Eventually she diagnosed her dis-ease as a longing for the home she had left behind, specifically as a need to connect with the traditions of her ancestors, the mountains, and the land that had sustained them since the end of slavery. Continue reading “Belonging to the Land by Carol P. Christ”

Essentialism Reconsidered by Carol P. Christ

carol mitzi sarahIn my Ecofeminism class we have been discussing essentialism because some feminists have alleged that other feminists, particularly ecofeminists and Goddess feminists, are “essentialists.” They argue that essentialist views reinforce traditional stereotypes including those that designate men as rational and women as emotional. I too find essentialism problematic, but I do not agree that Goddess feminism and ecofeminism are intrinsically essentialist.

Goddess feminists and ecofeminists criticize classical dualism: the traditions of  thinking that value reason over emotion and feeling, male over female, man over nature. We argued that the western rational tradition sowed the seeds of the environmental crisis when it separated “man” from “nature.”

Goddess feminists and ecofeminists affirm the connections between women and nature in an environmental worldview that acknowledges the interconnection of all beings in the web of life.

This view has been criticized as essentialist. Is it? Continue reading “Essentialism Reconsidered by Carol P. Christ”

Thealogy of the Ordinary by Molly


The Goddess Gaia is alive
In this time and in this space
She speaks in sunrises
And waves against the shore
She sings with the wind
She dances in moonlight
She holds you close
Your heart beats in time with hers
A great, grand hope and possibility
For this planet…

Over the last two months, I have been listening to a wonderful telesummit about priestesses. I am also a huge fan of the radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine. However, as I listen to both, I sometimes find myself wondering if walking a Goddess path is also viewed as synonymous with, “believe everything, question nothing.” Crystal essences, gemstone healing, soul contracts, past lives, spirit guides, astrology, the many realms and dimensions of the occult, mystical, New Age and metaphysical. Is wholesale suspension of logic required to join hands with the Goddess? Is deft management of the tarot essential to the priestess path?  Is excavating my “inner masculine” relevant or appropriate? Must I ascribe to “enlightened” tenets like, “you are not your body,” “I am a spiritual being having a spiritual experience” and “we made an agreement to do this work before we showed up in this body at this time and place” in order to move forward? Continue reading “Thealogy of the Ordinary by Molly”

Transcendence, Immanence, and the Sixth Great Extinction by Carol P. Christ

carol christIn my recent blog “The Flourishing of Life and Feminist Theology” I discussed Grace Jantzen’s view that theology should focus on “natality” or birth and life, rather than life after death or life apart from this world. This week Tikkun magazine published its summer issue with a feature called “Thinking Anew about God.” In it two male thinkers, one Buddhist and one Christian, argue for a similar turn toward the world in their traditions. Their calls for religions to focus on this world were published the same week scientists warned that the world stands on the brink of the sixth great extinction.

I have come to believe that any religion espousing cosmological dualism (devaluing this world in favor of a superior reality such as heaven) and individual salvation (the idea that what ultimately happens to me is disconnected from what ultimately happens to you) is contributing to our world’s problems rather than offering a solution. … [Religions should] stop emphasizing the hereafter and focus instead on how to overcome the illusion that we are separate from this precious, endangered earth. –David Loy, Buddhist, writing in Tikkun Summer 2014

My aim in this regard is to reawaken in each of us an emotionally felt and primordial sense of spiritual belonging within the wider natural world. In turn, my hope is that this deep sense of belonging to the earth — to God’s body, as it were — will en-flame our hearts and empower our wills to commit us to healing and saving the earth.—Mark I. Wallace, Christian, writing in Tikkun Summer 2014 Continue reading “Transcendence, Immanence, and the Sixth Great Extinction by Carol P. Christ”

Eating: Thinking about Bodily Practices, Pt. 1 by Elise M. Edwards

Elise EdwardsI am currently preparing to teach a course on bioethics in the fall. I plan on combining some common, secular materials on biomedical ethics with some theological material and some feminist readings. After all, in a course that centers around practices related to the body, birth, and death, there seems ample opportunity to introduce feminist themes. Some feminist perspective, of course, is typical, like when we will discuss abortion and contraception. (Or at least it is common in my courses where try to present multiple sides of an issue.) Anything related to conception, pregnancy, and birth is easily understood as a “women’s issue” and therefore something that feminists address. I’ve discussed abortion and contraception in previous posts on this forum.

However, I realized in going through readings for this course that I have not focused much on other practices related to the body in my scholarship or personal reflection. Specifically, I have not connected them to theological principles or feminist convictions. Perhaps not everything concerning the body is directly relevant to feminism. But I am sure if I thought about it, I would be able to make the connections. We are physical creatures and the feminist movement generally affirms recognizing our embodiment.

Continue reading “Eating: Thinking about Bodily Practices, Pt. 1 by Elise M. Edwards”


carol christOn Sunday May 18 the first round of Municipal and Regional Elections were held in Greece, and I ran for office again. A month or so before the 2010 Regional Elections were held in under a newly reorganized electoral system, my friend Michael Bakas sent me an email saying simply: “You are running with the Green Wind in the upcoming elections.”  Michael asked me to run because we had worked together to save the wetlands in Lesbos and he had supported me as I wrote an official Complaint to the European Commission documenting the failures of national and local authorities to uphold European laws.

I did not know what I was supposed to do as a candidate on a Greek parliamentary-system list, but in the end I passed out flyers in my village and the adjoining one. My name was mentioned in a newspaper article because I was foreign-born. To everyone’s surprise, I came in 3rd of 18 candidates for the Green Wind in Lesbos, and we elected our first councilor in the regional government. After the election Michael told me that we were going together to Chios to meet with candidates to celebrate our victory. There I met an amazing group of green activists and despite being a “foreigner” was warmly received.

In 2012, I ran again in the national elections, that time passing out flyers in more than 20 villages and towns.  As I have been pretty busy campaigning, I thought I would share translations of 2 statements from me that were posted in Greek on the blog and facebook page of the Green Wind. Continue reading “WHY I AM RUNNING WITH THE GREEN PARTY IN ANOTHER ELECTION IN GREECE by Carol P. Christ”

A Love Poem for My Mother, On Earth Day by Candice Rose Valenzuela

Candice Rose Valenzuela teaches English Literature at Castlemont High School in East Oakland, California, and she has been teaching and organizing inner-city youth for the past eight years. She is currently pursuing a Masters in East-West Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies, and desires to bring indigenous healing methodologies into teaching and learning in the inner-city.

I wrote this poem in observance of Earth Day, April 22nd 2014, and it was inspired by the work of Audre Lorde, Starhawk and Christine Hoff Kraemer in their discussion of the powerful erotic pulse underpinning our connection with ourselves and with all beings on Earth. 

as a child, i spent a lot of time wondering what love is.
and this was because

expressions of it around me were unclear, inconsistent, fleeting or unnamed

but mostly because no one

could teach me to see

what they themselves were blind to.

this is for my Mother. To let her know I see.

Continue reading “A Love Poem for My Mother, On Earth Day by Candice Rose Valenzuela”

The Bee Goddess Calls by Judith Shaw

judith ShawSpring arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and all of Goddess’s children are waking up from our winter slumbers.  Birds are singing, fruit trees are blossoming, bees are buzzing, and early spring bulb flowers are in full bloom.  Signs of spring fever are evident as we find ourselves full of energy and vitality for new projects and relationships.

As new life emerges from the Earth we can more easily reflect on our place in the greater scheme of life.  It’s a good time to question the values of our consumer society and ask if there is another way.

In contrast to these values of domination, separation, and consumption, ancient wisdom traditions teach that we are all connected – to each other, to all life, to the whole natural world and to the spiritual cosmos. Continue reading “The Bee Goddess Calls by Judith Shaw”


carol-christThe Gods made only one creature like them—man.  Greek TV documentary

The sight of a reptile or an amphibian usually provokes, at the very least, a feeling of repulsion in most people. Natural History of Lesbos

In the past days and weeks the two tortoises with whom I share my garden have woken up from a long winter’s sleep.  Henry, testudo marginata, has been up for a while now.  More than a month ago when I was cutting back and weeding in the area of the garden where he had been sleeping, Henry roused himself to sit in the sun near me for a few hours each day before creeping back under a shrub.  At first I thought I had disturbed him, but when he came back out day after day while I worked, I began to wonder if he was coming out to say hello.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAScotty, testudo graeca, was nowhere to be found.  As I moved my work around the garden, I did not find him in the corner where he had slept the previous winter.  This worried me slightly, but I figured he must be under the rue in the one area of the garden still to be trimmed back.  Imagine my surprise when I almost tripped on him on my way down the stairs to the cellar.  Clever boy, he must have found the garden entrance to the cellar open one day in early winter and slipped in.  The fact that I found him at the foot of the stairs and not in a dark corner was evidence that he too had heard the call of spring.

What we love we protect and what we know we love.  Natural History of Lesbos Continue reading “TWO TORTOISES IN THE WEB OF LIFE by Carol P. Christ”

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