Review: Prayers to She Who Is

Prayers to She Who Is
Prayers to She Who Is by William Cleary
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I took this out of the Interfaith Library the other day and leafed through it. It’s based on the work and words of Sr. Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, whose book She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse I read for my trinity course a few years ago. Sr. Dr. Johnson’s work is thoroughly grounded in both scripture and tradition, from which she retrieves and emphasizes the feminine imagery for God that has always been there.

The prayers tend towards the verbose and clunky to my ear, a bit reminiscent of the Blue Mountain Arts card style of poetry. But there are some beautiful images, and a broad array of themes strongly clustered around care for the poor, the oppressed, and the earth.

I did particularly like the versicle at the end of each prayer, which in line one, addressed God by a name from the prayer followed by three descriptive gerunds ending in freeing, and line two was always In you we live and move and have our being.

The line-drawing illustrations are a worthy complement to the prayers. I particularly liked the image of ruach, She-who-is blowing creation into being, and the image of God as a woman pouring out a jar of water onto the soil to sustain the growing grain.

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