(Book review) A Woman Called God by Peter Wilkes, reviewed by Mary Saracino

AWCG cover front small BPeter Wilkes’ small, but powerful book, A Woman Called God, is the first in his series of what he calls Little books for Big people™.

Part storybook, part parable, the words and pictures contained in this 54-page volume were created by a Wilkes, who describes himself as “a 70-year-old white male who has long wrestled with the
contradiction and implausibility of the patriarchal Abrahamic religions.”

As the son of an Episcopal minister, his early religious education was decidedly steeped in the tradition of God the Father. But, about fifteen years ago Wilkes discovered Merlin Stone’s book, When God was a Woman, which then led him to the works of Carol Christ, Riane Eisler, Hallie Iglehart, and others. Inspired by their understanding of feminine consciousness and spirituality, he set off on a new path to help others reclaim the Divine She—especially people who were not familiar with the rich and vast, primordial herstory of Goddess.

A Woman Called God does just that.

Wilkes sees this slim volume as a primer of sorts. It isn’t a scholarly tome steeped in extensive research. Rather, it’s a seedling being planted in the fertile minds of readers ready to take “baby steps” beyond the confines of the patriarchal religious beliefs they grew up with.

The simple drawings are, perhaps, meant to tap into the reader’s memory of a time in childhood when the world was filled with wonder and possibility, when things (beliefs) weren’t codified and entrenched in dogma.

AWCG for Helen_Page_1From the start, he poses a simple, yet profound question: “What if everyone decided that God—the Creator of the universe—is a woman, a mother figure of universal love, rather than a judgmental father?” (p. 8)

In its opening pages, the book distinguishes between Religion with a capital R and spirituality with the caveat that when one’s spiritual discovery leads one to “stray from the path” of doctrine, Religious clerics can “go a little nuts” (p. 4). But, Wilkes has taken that leap of faith, and he invites readers to do so as well.

Wilkes notes that creation is equal to giving birth and that birth requires gestation, and gestation always requires a female body. Put off by the severe, judgmental attributes of God the Father espoused by the  patriarchal Abrahamic religions, he suggests that other, kinder, gentler attributes associated with God—such as loving, compassionate, peaceful, non-judgmental—are most often associated with females.

He asks: “So what would happen if we all lived in concert with a Creator who always loves us with the same love and joy a mother feels at the moment she first sees her newborn child?” (p. 34)

And, he asks his readers to consider if the belief in such a loving and compassionate female divinity could shift the patriarchal paradigm.

Would that help humankind find a way to take better care of the planet? Would it foster empathy for others? Could it lead to establishing peaceful relationships among all nations?

In this unassuming book, Wilkes believes that it can.

AWCG for Helen_Page_2To order a copy of A Woman Called God: http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Called-Little-Books-People/dp/1495919242/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405456939&sr=8-1&keywords=a+woman+called+god

Read Meet Mago Contributor Peter Wilkes.

Read Meet Mago Contributor Mary Saracino.

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