"A wonderfully unique resource for women who are continually searching for new insights in the area of woman-affirming faith and worship." –Reverend Sharon Vandegrift United Methodist Chaplain Drexel University Childhood religious images of judgment, punishment, unworthiness, and shame, of male saviors, messiahs, and Higher Powers, pursue all women into adulthood. Many women realize they must leave behind these traditional concepts and images for a more authentic spirituality. Yet they find, to their dismay, that the male symbols of God are deeply rooted in their psyches and difficult to transform. In this book, the poignant personal memories of women of all ages and lifestyles are interwoven with the collective story of women buried in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Bible. Together, these women explore the lost glory of Eve, Lilith, and Mary. They teach us to plumb the depths of our relationships with our mothers, our bodies, and ourselves; our sexuality and vulnerability; and our journey into old age. Each chapter offers a rich tapestry of poetry, ritual, story, and meditation, a splendid invitation to join a circle of women in search of woman-affirming spirituality. "Patricia Lynn Reilly guides her readers towards solutions. . . .This book is an excellent map filled to overflowing with provocative exercises and concrete suggestions." –Gloria Karpinski Author of Where Two Worlds Touch: Spiritual Rites of Passage "It beautifully combines the best of the poignant with the best of the practical and the political." –Publishers Weekly
Patricia Lynn Reilly is a unique woman with whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and working. Raised Roman Catholic, she became a Protestant Fundamentalist as a teenager after enduring a harsh childhood of abuse and stays in foster homes and orphanages. Later, after getting her undergraduate degree at a Christian college in Tennessee, she took a job as Director of Religious Education at her home church in New Jersey. God the Father reigned undisturbed in Reilly’s psyche until she entered Princeton’s prestigious Theological Seminary. One of her professors reminded Reilly that God was "spirit" and therefore could not be contained solely in the image of the Father. His suggestion that she experiment with alternate images of divine launched Reilly on a revolutionary journey toward the feminine face of God.
Since then Reilly has committed her life to helping women re-imagine the Divine. In A God Who Looks Like Me she challenges and redefines religion from a woman’s perspective. Through her workshops across the United States, and her work as the co-director of the Circle of Life Women’s Center in Northern California, Reilly has helped thousands of women from all religious backgrounds to sort through religious images, stories and dogmas to name their own gods.
I went to one of Patricia Lynn Reilly’s mini-workshops at a Barnes & Noble in New York and she is truly inspiring. If you are a fan of women’s studies and/or religion studies, you will want to read A God Who Looks Like Me.