Green Man


Walking the Path of ChristoSophia:
Exploring the Hidden Tradition in Christian Spirituality

To most people the Christian church is like a busy interstate highway that provides efficient travel for large numbers of people to the City of God. However, there have always been a few hardy pilgrims who have struck out on the "spiritual bypaths" to seek the Divine in the hidden tradition of Christian spirituality. This exploration leads to the discovery of those elements that have been mostly missing from mainstream Christianity: the sacredness of the natural world, the feminine dimension of the Divine, and the value of mystical experience. Together these bypaths make up the Path of ChristoSophia, for the essential discovery is the Divine Feminine in union with the Divine Masculine.

Walking the Path of ChristoSophia integrates recent scholarly investigations of the hidden tradition with practical applications to help the contemporary seeker explore the spiritual bypaths of Christianity. Some of the discoveries to be found when walking upon the Path of ChristoSophia include:

• Sophia as the feminine aspect of God
• The significant role of Mary Magdalene
• The importance of women in the Early Christian community
• "Lost" scriptures that reveal new interpretations of the Christian mystery
• The Earth-centered spirituality of Celtic Christianity
• The mysterious figure of the "Green Man" as a symbol of Christ
• Kabbalistic insights regarding the Christian mysteries
• The Christian seeker's Quest for the Holy Grail
• Guidance for both the solitary seeker and the spiritual community of ChristoSophia

About the Authors:

Cynthia Avens and Richard Zelley have explored the spiritual by-paths for many years as both scholars and practitioners. Cynthia has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and has been a college professor for over 25 years. Richard has a Master's degree in Musicology and a Master of Divinity degree. He has been a college professor for over 40 years and is an Easter Orthodox priest.

Reader Reviews

"Walking the Path of ChristoSophia is an illuminating journey through the corridors of Western Spirituality revealing hidden aquifers of mysticism and feminine spirituality. These living waters irrigate the wasteland created by institutional denial of the feminine aspects of Divinity, healing the parched earth and tortured psyche of modern man."

Visit Margaret Starbird's website at http://www.margaretstarbird.net
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This book is like a spring of precious water that can nourish and sustain the reader over many years, even a lifetime. Lovingly wrought, it can be consulted again and again for its wisdom and insight. Working together, the authors have recovered for us vital elements of the Christian tradition that have been lost or excluded from mainstream teaching, to the great impoverishment of Christianity as a whole. At this crucial time of choice for humanity, their book reveals the way of the heart that could unify the visible and invisible dimensions of life, reconnecting nature with spirit, body with soul. The great spiritual task of our time as they see it, is to integrate the ancient wisdom that recognized divine immanence as the feminine face of God with the extraordinary scientific discoveries that point to our participation in the awesome Mystery at the heart of the cosmos.

Visit Anne Baring's website at http://annebaring.com
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This marvelous book points the way for all who are concerned with peace, justice, and the survival of the planet. With power and grace, the authors demonstrate that the path of ChristoSophia balances the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, thus restoring humankind and all creation. The authors' scholarship is impressive and their style is accessible, as they synthesize a wide variety of traditional and excluded sources.

Cynthia Avens and Richard Zelley use the apt metaphor of "bypaths" for the hidden traditions within Christianity. The creative symbol of ChristoSophia restores the Divine Feminine to her original prominent place in Christianity. The institutional Church suppressed Sophia; the authors show that it is imperative to rediscover her in the "bypaths" of the Christian tradition. This insightful book reveals ways that ChristoSophia resurrects the Divine Feminine, restores the natural world, and recovers the mystical Christian tradition.

I highly recommend Walking the Path of ChristoSophia to people of all faiths who desire a deeper spiritual experience, equality and justice in human relationships, and the restoration of the earth.

Visit Jann Aldredge-Clanton's website at http://www.jannaldredgeclanton.com

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What a wonderful guide to greater spiritual fulfillment.

In their scholarly but eminently readable book, Avens and Zelley explain the important role of women in early Christianity, focusing on the two Marys, and celebrate the significance of Sophia, the feminine aspect of the Divine.

The authors also discuss the hidden revelations of lost scriptures, the role of Celtic Christianity, the history of the Holy Grail, the symbolism of the Green Man in nature, the mysteries of the Kabbalah and the rewards of walking a unique spiritual bypath...that of the ChristoSophia...which acknowledges the union of feminine and masculine divinity, the sacredness of nature and the rewards of mystical experience.

The authors' genuine belief in the spiritual rewards of walking "the path with a heart" is likely to appeal to readers of all faiths, and perhaps even those who have lost their way along the spiritual highway.

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Much like Cynthia Avens, the co-author of this book, I have wanted to belong to a church. I wanted to commune with people who supported and embraced the tenets of Christianity in a loving, caring, and sharing manner. From a feminist perspective, I found that most church members are blinded by a patriarchal tradition and women are marginalized in the process. The authors of this book beautifully illuminate Christian spirituality in more inclusive ways that highlight the feminine side of Christ. I also am very close to nature and feel like I am in the presence of God when I am outside. I am a 'green woman.' The authors describe this type of seeing and appreciating God as a byway. Instead of taking the concrete highway (the experience of a traditional church), one can enjoy the less traveled, spiritual nature path to celebrate God in many incarnations, for example as feminine and in nature as the green man/woman. I highly recommend this book to all people who can appreciate exploring Christian spirituality in non-traditional ways.

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Cindy Avens and Richard Zelley, authors

Margaret Starbird,
author of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar and Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile

Anne Baring
, Jungian Analyst
Author of The Myth of the Goddess (with Jules Cashford)
and The Divine Feminine (with Andrew Harvey)

Jann Aldredge-Clanton
, Ph.D.Chaplain, Baylor University Medical Center Author of In Search of the Christ-Sophia and Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians

S. J. Iacone, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Adelphi Universit

Martha Marquardt, PhD
Dean of Health Sciences, Appalachian Technical College

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