by Tanice G. FoltzThriving, Not Simply Surviving
Goddess Spirituality and Women's Recovery from Alcoholism
Tanice Foltz is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Women's Studies Program at Indiana University Northwest, where she teaches women's studies, the sociology of women's spirituality, methods, and deviance/criminology and was recently given an I.U. FACET program award for excellence in teaching. Her interest in alternative healing in new religious movements originated with her graduate student research done in an Hawaiian Kahuna’s group and resulted on her book Kahuna Healer. She began her research with a Dianic Witches' coven somewhat hesitantly, but her growing interest in this area and with other feminist spirituality practitioners has led to several publications, the latest of which is "Women's Spirituality Research: Doing Feminism," in Sociology of Religion, Winter, 2000, Vol. 61, No. 4:409-418. Her work led her to spend a sabbatical with Witches and pagans in Australia. Celebrating twelve years since she first participated in a Spring Equinox ritual, she is using the results of these research adventures to provide the context for her new book on Goddess Spirituality and healing.
Foltz's interviews and surveys of American women found that they emphasize wholeness of self and the healing that this wholeness entails. Her chapter focuses on women who are recovering alcoholics and who believe that Alcoholics Anonymous fails to meet their recovery needs in very specific areas and necessitates their denying parts of themselves. They have turned to Goddess Spirituality to supplement, mediate, and sometimes replace the support they had hoped to find in AA. Through Goddess Spirituality, they affirm the totality of their identities and claim their power to heal themselves rather than admit to their powerlessness.
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