Campbell’s personal and intellectual understanding of the Bible’s historical, man-made roots.
After she had a near-death experience and didn’t see what she’d expected, Campbell, a devout Christian, began to wonder about the truth behind the Bible. She came to a broader perspective of faith—one that didn’t view Jesus as the only way to salvation. The book comprises three parts: Part One details the author’s personal faith and encounter with the afterlife; Part Two presents a look at how the Bible has misinterpreted homosexuality and how that misinterpretation has harmed gays and lesbians; and Part Three considers the church’s historical roots and how it shaped Christian beliefs. Each of these sections focuses specifically on women and Christianity, especially the Bible’s and the church’s roles in oppressing them. Campbell discusses biblical women, such as Mary and Mary Magdalene, as well as women from outside the Bible, including Lilith. She shows how the Bible was written with the intention of dictating and limiting the scope and power of women. While much of what Campbell uncovers in her book may not be new to readers familiar with biblical history, the author presents this information in a way that is accessible to laypeople. The author ably and fascinatingly contextualizes her experience and religious background, presenting the emotional experience of moving from devout Christianity to a larger, all-encompassing faith. An afterword listing nondenominational ways to celebrate the holidays (“[W]e get the holiday name of Easter from a goddess, not from anywhere in the Bible. All the symbols of this beautiful time are meant to celebrate the resurrection of all life”) is a noteworthy addition, and a bibliography full of recommended reading provides an excellent jumping-off point for readers wishing to undertake their own research.
A thorough, readable and passionate exploration of an inclusive faith.