Subject areas include: feminist theology, spiritual life, meditation and ritual, contemporary social issues and women's health, psychology and world religions.
We also have fiction, art books, poetry and biography.
'Red, Hot & Holy A Heretic's Love Story'
by Sera Beak [204.09 BEA]
Red, Hot and Holy
is a an intriguing blend of academic research with spiritual memoir but not one
for the prudish for it seems there is nothing the
author will not talk about!
(Warning: bad language!)
The book charts the spiritual growth of Sera
Beak, a Harvard trained scholar of comparative
religions, who always felt something lacking in
the spiritual traditions she studied. It wasn’t until
she encountered theologies around female expressions of
divinity, in particular the Goddess
Kali, that she felt something resonate. She noticed
the colour red was often associated with
female divinities and so the “something lacking”
she longed for, became represented by the colour red.
Red is also often associated with passion and physicality, such as in red blood, red
heart etc, which have been central to Sera’s interpretation of spirituality and why parts of the
book are printed in red.
Sera thought many of the spiritual ideas and
practices she studied encouraged an experience of divinity as a rarefied state of consciousness remote from real life. However, she felt it
was possible to embody spirit consciously in our
physical lives by feeling it more as a passionate
connection. She was very influenced by some
of the female Christian ecstatic mystics but also
by Rumi and the Sufi tradition. She has also explored the spiritual relevance of sacred sexuality
and, as a result, the book contains some crude
language and can be quite explicit.
Although still feeling a strong connection to the
Goddess Kali as her way of relating to the divine
female, Sera has been very influenced by
Gnostic teachings and she explores the idea of
Mary Magdalene, (often historically depicted in
red - to Sera, a very significant point!) as relevant in understanding Christianity in her role not
as “just” a prostitute but as a wife to Christ. It is
at this point in the book she makes it clear that
although she has concentrated on talking about
the divine feminine, we should also be “unleashing” our divine masculine as the two aspects go
Red, Hot & Holy
is a very down to earth book
in which Sera is unafraid to talk about her view
of divinity as something embracing all the physicality and sensuality of being embodied. She
achieves this by describing her very personal
and colourful, “red” experiences, often in a very
humorous way, but does back up her ideas with
Sera has revealed her deepest self to the reader
without glamorising it. She says she has done
this so that we may be encouraged to discover our own unique divine soul connection within,
for ourselves. I found the book unusual, interesting, challenging at times, but entertaining and
Gillian Cichowski (Sophia Library Volunteer)