Carol Lee Flinders

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Carol Lee Flinders
Born (1943-12-12)December 12, 1943[1][2]
Portland, Oregon
Other names Carol Lee Ramage
Occupation Writer, Independent scholar, Educator, & Speaker
Known for Laurel's Kitchen; others
Website
tworock.org

Carol Lee Flinders (née Ramage; born 1943) is a writer, independent scholar, educator, speaker, and former syndicated columnist. She received a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on medieval women's mysticism. She is currently faculty at the Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names College in Oakland, California, where she teaches courses on mysticism and contemplative spirituality.[3] She is also a Fellow at Santa Clara University.[3] In the past, Flinders taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the Graduate Theological Union, and elsewhere. Her published writings cover a variety of topics ranging from medieval Christian mysticism to vegetarian cooking to scientific research on meditation. She is a coauthor of Laurel's Kitchen (1976) and its later editions, which in all sold more than a million copies. From 1977 through 1989 she wrote a widely syndicated column on vegetarian cooking. Notes from Laurel's Kitchen.

She is married to Timothy Flinders, and is mother of screenwriter and filmmaker Mesh Flinders.[1]

Biography[edit]

Flinders (birth name Ramage) was born in Portland, Oregon, on 12 December 1943[1][2] to Gilbert H. and Jeanne Lee Ramage.[1][4] As a child, she grew up on a farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley.[5] In 1958 her family moved to Spokane.[4]:F1 She graduated from North Central High School (Spokane, Washington) in 1961,[6] later receiving a bachelors degree from Stanford University (1965), and a PhD in comparative literature, with a focus on medieval women's mysticism,[7] from the University of California at Berkeley (1973).[1] She married her husband Timothy Flinders in 1971.[8] They live at a spiritual community in northern California.[1]

Flinders became nationally known in 1976 through her coauthorship of Laurel's Kitchen, a widely acclaimed guide to vegetarian cookery that has been described as a "renowned countercultural cookbook,"[9]:417 and as "the Fannie Farmer of vegetarian cooking."[10]:142 It sold more than a million copies,[5] and cultural historians later contended that "Laurel's Kitchen was as much a lifestyle guide as it was a cookbook."[11]:153 Following the success of Laurel's Kitchen, Flinders began writing a weekly newspaper column that in 1987 was syndicated by 20 newspapers across the US, including the Washington Post and others.[4] She continued writing this column for 12 years, until 1989. During this period she gave birth to one child, Ramesh Flinders.[4]

Turn to spiritual themes[edit]

Beginning in the late 1980s, Flinders published a series of books on spirituality. The first, entitled The Making of a Teacher (1989), was coauthored with her husband Timothy Flinders. It provided an oral history of the life and work of spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, who had helped inspire the creation of Laurel's Kitchen, and who in 1968 at U.C. Berkeley had taught what was believed to be the first accredited course on meditation at a Western university.[12]

Four years later, in 1993, Flinder published Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics, a well-received collection of spiritual portraits of 7 Catholic mystics, 5 of them canonized as saints: Claire of Assisi, Mechtilde of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Catherine of Genoa, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux.[13]

Several additional books by Flinders have focused on various intersections of feminism, spirituality, and cultural and biological evolution. At the Root of this Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst (1998) chronicles her struggle to reconcile the claims of a lifelong meditation practice with her emerging feminism. The book argues that both feminism and contemplative spirituality represent authentic, and complimentary searches for truth.[14] In Rebalancing the World (2003) she explores the historical and anthropological dimensions of the gender divide, and suggests ways that contemporary movements can restore an ancient harmony between the sexes.[15]

In Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action (2006), a "sister volume"[16] to Enduring Grace, Flinders raises questions such as: What would Saint Teresa of Avila or Saint Clare of Assisi do today? She examines the lives of four contemporary women spiritual activists: Jane Goodall, the primatologist and environmentalist; Etty Hillesum, the young Jewish mystic-philosopher murdered at Auschwitz; Jetsumna Tenzin Palmo, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher; and Catholic death-penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.[17]

Flinders is now faculty at the Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names College in Oakland, California, where she teaches courses on mysticism and contemplative spirituality. She is also a Fellow at the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University.[3] In the past, Flinders has taught mystical literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and has taught at the Graduate Theological Union, and elsewhere.[3][18]

Flinders has been interviewed and profiled numerous times in the media (see below).[5][6][19][20] In the 2000s, with her husband and others, she coauthored several reviews of scientific studies of the passage meditation program (see below).[21][22][23] Between 1984 and the 2000s, she also continued to contribute as a coauthor to additional books related to Laurel's Kitchen (see below).[24]

Works[edit]

Books on spirituality &/or feminism[edit]

Flinders has authored or co-authored books on spirituality and/or feminism that include[25]

  • Flinders, Carol (1993). Enduring grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0062502840. 
  • Flinders, Carol (1995). A Little Book of Women Mystics. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0060626852. 

Books on vegetarian cooking[edit]

Main article: Laurel's Kitchen

Flinders' coauthored books on vegetarian cooking[26] include

  • Robertson, Laurel; Carol Flinders & Bronwen Godfrey (1984). The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking. New York: Random House. ISBN 0394537009. 
  • Robertson, Laurel; Carol Flinders & Brian Ruppenthal (1993). Laurel's Kitchen Recipes. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0898155371. 
  • Robertson, Laurel; Carol Flinders & Brian Ruppenthal (1997). Laurel's Kitchen Caring: Recipes for Everyday Home Caregiving. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0898159512. 

Chapters[edit]

Flinders has authored or coauthored several chapters in edited books, on topics that include meditation, spirituality, and feminism.[27] She contributed a chapter to Women, Spirituality, and Transformative Leadership (2012), which won a Nautilus Book Award,[28] and was recognized by Booklist as one of the "Top 10 Religion & Spirituality Books" of 2012.[29] Flinders' chapters include:

Syndicated column[edit]

Flinders published a syndicated newspaper column from 197 through 1989, focused on vegetarian cookery. Entitled Notes from Laurel's Kitchen, it appeared in 20 newspapers in 1987.[4] The column was published in newspapers that ranged from The Washington Post,[30] to The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA),[31] The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR),[32] and the Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, WI),[4][33]

Interviews and profiles[edit]

At different times in her career, Flinders has been interviewed or profiled by several periodicals, including Yoga Journal,[34] the Marin Independent Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune, the Spokane Chronicle, and The Spokesman Review (Spokane):

  • Hilary Groutage (March 14, 1998). "Feminism, spiritual life merge; for author, one idea strengthens the other; author mixes feminism, spirituality [profile of Carol Flinders]". The Salt Lake Tribune. pp. C1 (Religion section). ISSN 0746-3502. OCLC 137343114. 

Flinders' impact has sometimes been mentioned in writings by others. Actress Ashley Judd has referred to Flinders as a "mentor."[35]

Excerpts[edit]

Flinders work was excerpted in Sacred Voices, a 2002 book edited by Ford-Grabowsky:[36]

  • Carol Flinders (2002). "Our Daughters, Our Selves". In Mary Ford-Grabowsky. Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages (San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco): 266–268.  (Excerpt from At the Root of this Longing)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Flinders, Carol Lee 1943-" at Highbeam Research, Contemporary Authors (Jan 1, 2004). (Accessed 24 October 2012)
  2. ^ a b However, the excerpted chapter of Fliders' work in Ford-Grabowsky (2002) states on page 266 that she was born in 1945.
  3. ^ a b c d "About Us" (personal website with husband Timothy Flinders) (accessed 24 October 2012)
  4. ^ a b c d e f Jamie Neely (September 15, 1987). "Author pursues spiritual goals in 'laurel's kitchen'". Spokane Chronicle. pp. F1. OCLC 17365219. Retrieved 21 Oct 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Maura Thurman (August 8, 2006). "Taking a New Path: 'Laurel's Kitchen' Co-Author Writes about Feminism, Spirituality". Marin Independent Journal. ISSN 0891-5164. OCLC 61313188. 
  6. ^ a b Dan Webster (March 5, 1998). "Klaas case bolsters Flinders' theory". The Spokesman Review. pp. D1 (In Life section). OCLC 11102529. 
  7. ^ Flinders, Carol (1972, December). A comparison of the short and long texts of the Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich. Doctoral dissertation in comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley. OCLC 21692658.
  8. ^ Anonymous (July 14, 1971). "Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Flinders: Garden in Albany Setting for Nuptials". Merced Sun-Star. p. 6. OCLC 20681689.  "Miss Carol Ramage of Spokane, Washington became the bride of Timothy Flinders of Merced on June 25."
  9. ^ Elizabeth Hearne & Robert D. Johnston (2009). Raising the Roof: Science, Feminism, and Home Economics. Reviews in American History, v37 n3, pp413-419. doi:10.1353/rah.0.0121.
  10. ^ Mary Drake McFeely (2001). Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?: American Women and the Kitchen in the Twentieth Century. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-333-6 (NB: Laurel's Kitchen is discussed in pp. 141-145)
  11. ^ Megan J. Elias (2008). Stir it up: home economics in American culture. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-4079-0. (NB: Laurel's Kitchen and it impact on American culture is analyzed and discussed in pages 152-160)
  12. ^ Flinders, Tim; Carol Flinders (1989). The Making of a Teacher: Conversations with Eknath Easwaran. Petaluma, CA: Nilgiri Press. ISBN 9780915132546. OCLC 18983479.  ISBN 0915132540
  13. ^ The reviewer for the Catholic magazine America wrote that he "would not have missed" Enduring Grace, and its "message... is what Carol Flinders says is the message of her gathering of mystics: you needn't go out looking for your calling, because it will be apparent to you once you have got yourself out of the way." Source: Thomas H. Stahel (July 17–24). "Of Many Things [review of books including Enduring Grace, by Carol Lee Flinders]". America (American Jesuits) 169 (July 17–24): 2. ISSN 0002-7049. 
  14. ^ Flinders, Carol (1998). At the root of this longing: Reconciling a spiritual hunger and a feminist thirst. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0062513141.  ISBN 006251315X
  15. ^ Flinders, Carol (2003). Rebalancing the world: Why women belong and men compete and how to restore the ancient equilibrium. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062517371. 
  16. ^ Back cover of Enduring Lives (2006) (accessed 14 November 2012).
  17. ^ Flinders, Carol (2006). Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 9781585424962.  ISBN 158542496X
  18. ^ Flinders gave the Fall 2006 lecture at Sonoma State University: "Carol Lee Flinders, Ph.D. Outbreaks of the Sacred Feminine" in Visiting Scholars Lecture Series and Vicki Bailey Lecture Series: 2006 (accessed 25 October 2012); Flinders gave the first annual Catherine of Sienna lecture in 2011 at Dominican University: "Campus Ministry at Dominican University announces the First Annual Catherine of Siena Lecture generously sponsored by the Fenwick Foundation. On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm, Carol Lee Flinders will present a lecture titled: Through a Glass Brightly: The Incandescent Life and Teachings of Caterina Benincasa...." Posting by Carla entitled "Catherine of Siena Lecture" The San Rafael Patch. (accessed 25 October 2012)
  19. ^ Linda Johnsen (1998). "Compassion born of rage [interview with Carol Flinders and China Galland]". Yoga Journal 143 (143, Nov/Dec, 1998): 68–75, 135–138. ISSN 0191-0965. 
  20. ^ Hilary Groutage (March 14, 1998). "Feminism, spiritual life merge; for author, one idea strengthens the other; author mixes feminism, spirituality [profile of Carol Flinders]". The Salt Lake Tribune. pp. C1 (Religion section). ISSN 0746-3502. OCLC 137343114. 
  21. ^ Tim Flinders, Doug Oman, and Carol Flinders (2007). The eight-point program of passage meditation: Health effects of a comprehensive program. In Thomas G. Plante, & Carl E. Thoresen (Eds.), Spirit, science and health: How the spiritual mind fuels physical wellness (pp. 72–93). Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-99506-5
  22. ^ Tim Flinders, Doug Oman, and Carol Flinders (2009). Meditation as Empowerment for Healing. In J. Harold Ellens (Ed.), The Healing Power of Spirituality (Vol. I, pp. 213–240). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-36645-1
  23. ^ Tim Flinders, Doug Oman, Carol Flinders, and Diane Dreher (2010). Translating Spiritual Ideals into Daily Life: The Eight Point Program of Passage Meditation. In Thomas G. Plante (Ed.), Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health (foreword by Huston Smith) (pp. 35–59). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-38256-7
  24. ^ These include The New Laurel's Kitchen (1986), The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book (1984; 2003), Laurel's Kitchen Recipes (1993), and Laurel's Kitchen Caring (1997).
  25. ^ "Books by Carol Lee Flinders," page at Tim and Carol Lee Flinders' website, Two Rock Institite (accessed 18 November 2012)
  26. ^ The earliest and foundational book was Robertson, Laurel; Carol Flinders & Bronwen Godfrey (1976). Laurel's Kitchen: A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery & Nutrition. Berkeley, CA: Nilgiri Press. ISBN 0915132079. 
  27. ^ This is not claimed as a complete list. Most of these chapters can be previewed in large part or in their entirety online (as of 18 November 2012). For example, this link HERE supplies a preview of Tim Flinders, Doug Oman, and Carol Flinders (2007). The eight-point program of passage meditation: Health effects of a comprehensive program]. In Thomas G. Plante, & Carl E. Thoresen (Eds.), Spirit, science and health: How the spiritual mind fuels physical wellness (pp. 72–93). Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-99506-5
  28. ^ a b "2012 Nautilus Gold Award Winners" Winner in category for "Women's Interests" (accessed 26 Jan 2013)
  29. ^ a b Booklist's Ilene Cooper stated "Written by a group of uniformly outstanding contributors, these essays create a dynamic conversation about women’s deepest spiritual roots and explore a global reclamation of women’s rightful place as spiritual leaders." Ilene Cooper (2012, Nov. 15). "Top 10 Religion & Spirituality Books." Booklist (accessed 26 Jan. 2013)
  30. ^ Carol Flinders (June 2, 1982, page E15) "Notes from Laurel's Kitchen" (Nov 18, 1987) The Washington Post (accessed 24 October 2012)
  31. ^ Carol Flinders (March 5, 1980). "Notes from Laurel's Kitchen" (March 5, 1980) The Spokesman-Review. (accessed 24 October 2012)
  32. ^ Carol Flinders (Sep. 30, 1980). "Notes from Laurel's Kitchen" (Sep. 30, 1980) The Register-Guard (accessed 24 October 2012)
  33. ^ Carol Flinders (May 18, 1983) "Notes from Laurel's Kitchen" (May 18, 1983) Milwaukee Journal (accessed 24 October 2012)
  34. ^ This is not claimed as a complete list of interviews. Most of these interviews/profiles can be viewed in large part or in their entirety online (as of 18 November 2012). For example, this link HERE supplies a view of Linda Johnsen (1998). "Compassion born of rage [interview with Carol Flinders and China Galland]". Yoga Journal 143 (143, Nov/Dec, 1998): 68–75, 135–138. ISSN 0191-0965. 
  35. ^ Ashley Judd, Maryanne Vollers, & Nicholas D. Kristof (2011) All that is Bitter, Random House, ISBN 034552361X, ISBN 9780345523617, p. 372
  36. ^ Carol Flinders (2002). "Our Daughters, Our Selves". In Mary Ford-Grabowsky. Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages (San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco): 266–268.  (Excerpt from At the Root of this Longing)

External links[edit]