In a world dominated by patriarchal societies, male images and father figures, Sophia's Web: Understanding the Unity and Diversity of Religion, Science, and Ourselves by Burl B. Hall comes as a breath of fresh wisdom, and air.
This intriguing and mind-opening book examines the importance, on both cosmic and personal levels, of the feminine principal of God, or the Goddess. The author offers up a series of essay-style writings that combine personal experience with valid, in-depth research into the arenas of science and spirituality, from the angle of the feminine divine and its effects on mythology, sociology, religion and cultural beliefs.
Basically, according to author Burl B. Hall, we are all made of the same stuff, all come from the same wise mind, and all believe in the same concepts at our innermost core. By showing how, through ancient teachings and modern scientific discoveries, the world is really made up of an integrated reality, the author challenges us to think in terms of wholeness, rather than our usual obsessions with separateness, duality, opposites and “us vs. them” mentalities.
I really enjoyed the enlightening experiences the author talks about with a beautiful and wise female entity that began in his youth and followed him throughout his life, challenging him to think outside the “God-is-male” box. It is rare to read about such respect for Goddess wisdom coming from a male writer, and the fact that Burl B. Hall has such a respectful and well-educated grasp of the history of Goddess worship and belief adds to this book’s enchanting and illuminating qualities. The concept of a universal wisdom, Sophia, is not a new one, but the author gives it a refreshing new face and appearance for modern readers seeking to balance their lives and understand the power of the feminine face of God, and its ability to bring back healing to a planet that desperately needs it.
The examination of western symbolism, mythology and philosophy and their inherent similarities with ancient eastern wisdom is an eye-opener, as is the author’s presentation of the many ways the divine feminine has retained power even throughout historical times when all things female were scorned, even burned at the stake. Hall masterfully introduces the reader to the various forms and faces of the Goddess of various cultures, religions and ancient belief systems. This guy did his research, and it clearly shows.
This is one of those books you will not see on the bookstore shelf along with the major players from major publishers. What a shame, too, because as a person who considers herself rather well-read on the subject of spirituality, it is a blast to be pleasantly surprised by a small book, often self-published or small-press published, by an author who does not have his or her own talk show. Sophia's Web not only surprised
me. It delighted, entertained, educated and enlightened me. What more could a Goddess-in-human-form ask for?