The hope of this book is that it awakens desire to know more intimately the God who breaks through our compartmentalization and naming. While most in the West have heard God's name as almost exclusively masculine, a child growing up in Israel would have experienced the Spirit of God, and Lady Wisdom, as female. This ruach, the breath of God, brooded over the face of the deep in the creation story like a hovering mother bird. The God of the Bible and the early church has been described with both masculine and feminine imagery, referred to by the church fathers and mystics as both Mother and Father. In our time we have lost much of this rich feminine imagery. This book explores not only this historical knowing of God but also more contemporary writers, such as Carl Jung, Paul Young (The Shack), George MacDonald, and Thomas Merton. Each of these men engaged with the Divine Feminine, giving us examples of how we too may find God more deeply and more intimately. ""After years of trying, I know that any speaking on gender issues is like walking across a mine field. But you will enjoy here a walk that is so intelligent and spiritually grounded that it will feel like an exciting, faith-filled, and challenging walk through mountain passes and shady valleys. If you are seeking wisdom on these narrow and largely unwalked paths, this is the book to read "" --Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico ""In Awakening Desire, Irene Alexander weaves a rich tapestry, made up of biblical imagery, mystical theology, Jungian psychology, Merton's spiritual theology, and images used by novelists. Irene's unique contribution is the use of male thinkers and novelists to speak directly to men (and also to women, of course). She is absolutely right: men have too often given intellectual assent to the feminine in God without personally embracing it. Her wonderful book offers an important corrective."" --Neil Pembroke, University of Queensland Irene Alexander is a spiritual direction formator and lecturer at Christian Heritage College and the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, Australia, and Asian Theological Seminary, Manila, Philippines. She is the author of several books including Dancing with God: Stories of Hope and Transformation and A Glimpse of the Kingdom in Academia. She is a companion of Northumbria Community.