Dancing After the Whirlwind


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About the Author

L. J. "Tess" Tessier is associate professor of philosophy and religion at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. She is also an award-winning poet, teacher, and performance artist.


In this intriguing volume, Tessier brings both her academic background in philosophy and religion as well as her poet's soul to bear on important issues of sexuality and spirituality. "What happens to a woman's spiritual identity," she asks, "when certain key aspects of her sexual identity‘her desires, her memories, her ability to see herself and to be seen as a sexual being‘are routinely denied?" She focuses her attention on three groups of women: lesbians, women with histories of childhood sexual abuse and women who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Tessier strives to make connections between spirituality and sexuality by taking an overview of various religious traditions' views of female sexuality. From her overview she concludes: "Where sexuality is cut off from spiritual life, whether in theology, religious ritual, or cultural practice, the result is often increasing oppression and violence against women, children, and nature, and increasing cultural and personal denial." On the whole, Tessier's overviews of religion are competent, and she avoids generalizations about the relationship between sexuality and spirituality. (Dec.)

In this lucid, transformative, liberating, and beautifully written theology of sexuality, Tess Tessier provides us with a vision of our sexual lives that will lead us to greater courage, honesty, healing, and wholemaking loving. -Rita Nakashima Brock, director, The Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College

"Undulating with sex and spirit, Tessier's text releases the suffering, repressed and ultimately healing energies of women's most disqualified eros. . . . An original, accessible and indispensable discourse of the wild." -Catherine Keller, author of From a Broken Web and Apocalypse Now and Then

"In this intriguing volume, Tessier brings both her academic background in philosophy and religion as well as her poet's soul to bear on important issues of sexuality and spirituality." -Publishers Weekly

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