In the autumn of 1988 a group of Israeli women donned prayer shawls, took up the Torah, and gathered at the Wailing Wall to pray. The religious leaders of the State of Israel were appalled and proposed that the holy relics, so defiled, be burned. The Catholic Church has steadfastly refused to ordain women as priests. Examples of exclusionary practice abound in all the major religions. In the face of such attitudes and practices, how can women share fully in the spiritual wealth of which our religions are the expression? To what extent are patriarchy, androcentrism, and sexism inherent in all religious institutions? How is the women's movement linked to the age-old quest for spirituality, the search for meaning, for ultimate values, for liberation and transcendence? Ursula King believes that in recounting their own experience, women everywhere are expressing a new view of the world and a new spirituality for themselves and a response to the needs and opportunities of the age. In this book she explores the implicit and explicit demands of feminism, and discusses themes posed by women mystics, by goddess-worship in other cultures and in our own, by historical matriarchy, by feminist theology. Women and Spirituality is concerned with important issues of personal and social change, and the perspectives they open to non-violence, peace and the protection of the ecological matrix that supports our existence. It gives a wide-ranging account of women's relations with the world's religions and the spiritual dimension of human life.