Contributors, Fall 2007
Helen Hye-Sook Hwang earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Women's Studies in Religion from the Claremont Graduate University, California and a B.S. in Chemistry at Ewha Women's University, Korea. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked and studied as a Maryknoll Missionary in Korea, New York, and the Philippines for several years. After being a devoted Christian for nearly 13 years, she was awakened to feminist consciousness. While seeking her own cultural and religious roots as a Korean feminist, she encountered Mary Daly's radical feminist thought and subsequently translated and published in Korean Mary Daly's first two books, Beyond God the Father and The Church and the Second Sex. Her Ph.D. dissertation, Seeking Mago, the Great Goddess: A mytho-historic-thealogical reconstruction of Magoism, an archaically originated gynocentric tradition of East Asia (Korea, China, and Japan) (2005), reflects Helen’s new yet quintessential spiritual and intellectual quest. Since 2002, she has been educating people internationally about Magoism. She teaches in colleges in Southern California, writes essays and articles for journals and newspapers, and presents academic papers to conferences including the American Academy of Religion.
Katherine Kunz earned an M.A. in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and a B.A. in International Studies from Ohio State University. Raised in the Catholic tradition, Katherine looks for ways to nurture the roots from which we come while exploring our changing relationship to spirituality. Her Master's thesis explores the implications of the artistic practice of improvisation for theology. Believing in a spirituality rooted in the body, Katherine leads workshops and performances that include improvisational arts practices, dance, storytelling, and writing, which touch on personal and communal themes. She has written and performed an original two-woman piece, Sides of A Wall, which explores the possibilities of reconciliation around the Holocaust. Katherine has worked for organic farms, national parks, and educational programs in Germany and the United States, including time spent as an ecumenical youth minister on military bases in Europe. She has published articles on youth development, social justice, and the arts for local and national newspapers and journals. Eight years after her initial visit to the Monastery of St. Gertrude as part of a two-week Monastic Living Experience, she shares her experience in the photoessay, Benedictine Spirituality and the Land.
Elizabeth Low Webster Shillington completed her Ph.D. in Women’s Spirituality at California Institute of Integral Studies, her M.A. in Linguistics at University of Colorado, and her Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Elizabeth grew up primarily in India, and then went on to study, work, and live in a number of countries, including the United States, Kenya, Israel, China, Scotland, and Guatemala. She taught English as a second language and led women’s groups. Elizabeth has been published in She is Everywhere! An Anthology of Writing in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality and SageWoman. Additionally, she wrote a regular column on women and spirituality entitled “A Woman’s Voice” for The Classifieds Revue, an English language bi-weekly magazine, while living in Guatemala. Elizabeth was revising her doctoral dissertation, “The Moon in her Womb: An Inquiry into Women’s Stories of Menstruation and Spirituality,” for publication when she fell ill with leukemia.
Annette Williams holds a Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian and archetypal approaches. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration with minors in Economics and French. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Philosophy and Religion with an emphasis in Women’s Spirituality at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. Her research interests have centered on healing from sexual trauma at the soul level, which involves reclamation of the powerful erotic (á la Audre Lorde) and libidinal (á la Jung) energies suppressed by assault. While at CIIS she has continued to explore the theme of damaged female sexuality, expanding the discussion to more fully expound upon socio-historical and cultural influences. Her paper “Jezebel. Whore?” will be published in the forthcoming second volume of the anthology, She Is Everywhere! A student of the Yoruba Ifá tradition, Annette has had the privilege of being a guest lecturer, discussing the philosophy and lived reality of this West African religion. A trained French/English translator and admirer of hermetic tradition, Annette is a professional astrologer as well as a certified Sivananda yoga instructor.
Kristin Washington-Carroll’s spirituality is one of striving for deep connection with soul through the body. Kristin’s art work uses bodily metaphors to explore questions of identity and struggle—the struggle to overcome limitations, whether placed on us by society, circumstance, or innocent yet ill-guided choosing. She writes that hers “is a journey towards the true self—becoming that which I already am.” Art is not her only tool for growing closer to herself, but it is the one that allows her to speak most directly from deep inside. “I am just coming into my spirituality now after over twenty years of depression. Through my healing process, I have learned that struggles are my teachers and blessings—an acknowledgment that has pointed to the path of becoming a healer and guide for those who struggle like me.” As an artist-healer, she seeks to discover how art touches the body-soul.
Michele Arista holds an M.A. in Women's Spirituality from New College of California, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Northeastern University. She has a broad background in world religions. She was raised Roman Catholic and has studied with Peruvian Shaman Don Eduardo Calderon, Pir Valayat Inayat Khan of the Sufi International Order, Shri Anandi Ma and Mata Amritanandamayi from India, and Mary Thunder of the Lakota Way. She is also the owner of Dance International Studio in Manchester, New Hampshire. Michele has been performing belly dance for 21 years and teaches it as a spiritual practice—promoting love of one's body and knowledge of movements facilitating sexuality, menstruation, and birthing. She also teaches Sufi whirling and meditative dance as spiritual paths. She is a lector in the Roman Catholic Church and an icon painter of Catholic and world Goddess images.She currently studies icon painting at St. Basil's Seminary in Methuen, Massachusetts. Her art work has been exhibited at Gallery One in San Francisco.
Mary Saracino is a novelist, memoir writer, and poet who lives in Denver, Colorado. She has been an independent scholar of the Divine Feminine for over 30 years. In graduate school in the early 1980s, Mary integrated women’s spirituality and comparative religious studies classes into her American Studies coursework. Since that time she has continued to deepen her experiential and intellectual understanding of the Sacred Feminine through ongoing reading and studying as well as traveling to sacred sites. In addition to being a writer, Mary also teaches workshops on the Divine Feminine. Her most recent novel, The Singing of Swans, was published by Pearlsong Press (October 2006). The novel tells the story of a contemporary woman’s transformative spiritual journey to reclaim her life. For more information about Mary, visit www.marysaracino.com.