Books by Patricia Hopkins

Released: Sept. 16, 1991

Running the gamut from Anglicanism to Zen, psychologist Anderson and consultant Hopkins present an uncritical examination of uniquely feminine aspects of faith. Offering a complex, densely layered montage, based on extensive interviews with over one hundred women—each of whom has ``found her own direct relationship with the divine or the real''- -the authors seek to extend studies positing a distinctly feminine moral development to a consideration of ``the way women experience the sacred in their lives.'' Included are ministers, rabbis, priests, nuns, and former nuns (both Christian and Vedantic), spiritual healers, tribal elders, and contemplatives, working variously as therapists, teachers, writers, artists, and social activists, and all meeting a basic requirement of striving to ``embody'' their beliefs ``in everyday life.'' Most compelling within this spiritual supermarket are several detailed looks at individual quests—ranging from that of the Kabbala teacher who returned to Orthodox Judaism after exploring secularism and Sufism to that of the one-time southern beauty queen who transformed herself from a drug-addicted, alcoholic prostitute into a pioneering massage therapist for AIDS victims. Unfortunately, the frequently intriguing material is shoehorned into an unoriginal garden metaphor (leaving home to enter ``sacred'' gardens, cultivating plots with a variety of tools, etc.) that becomes cloying. Also a bit disconcerting are the constant references to the authors' own struggles to shape the work, usually resolved through meditation and never as interesting as the research itself. Still, there's much food for thought here—more than enough to sate human-potential devotees and to provide tantalizing tidbits for everyone else. Read full book review >