Friday, July 27, 2012
In a world where concern and curiosity about China are on the rise, Brian Griffith presents a different face of China and another side of its story. In A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization, he explores the countercultures of China’s founding mothers, village wise women, local saints, goddesses, and ordinary heroines. He tells a story of their accomplishments, values and religions, from the first Neolithic villages to globalized Shanghai. This is an account blending mythology, archaeology, history, folklore, literature, religion, and journalism into one vast, captivating story. In the future, this counterculture will increasingly influence and even inspire the world.
Griffith is an independent historian whose impeccable research reveals the important influence of women’s values and religions in shaping China. He shows how women’s visions and religious leaders changed folk culture, Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. These women’s popular traditions offer an alternative kind of wisdom about health, sexuality, community, spirituality, harmony with nature, and partnership between men and women.
It might seem odd for a man raised in Texas to write about Chinese goddesses, but Griffith feels it’s a natural for men to admire women’s accomplishments. Also, from meeting great Christian, Jewish, and Muslim women in North America, he realized that these people commonly have their own versions of seemingly male-controlled religions. They ask their own questions and give their own answers. Rather that asking, "What does the ultimate authority require?" they tend to ask, "How good can our relations with others get?" Griffith wondered what woman-made religions might look like, and turned to learning about the vast women-created spiritual traditions of China. He found extraordinary people whose beauty, wisdom, and strength he could really admire.
Review copies and author interviews are available upon request. Contact Brian Griffith - pkbgriffith(at)yahoo.ca
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