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Carol Lee Flinders

Carol Lee Flinders

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.

Carol Lee Flinders
Born(1943-12-12)December 12, 1943[1][2]
Other namesCarol Lee Ramage
OccupationWriter, Independent scholar, Educator, & Speaker
Known forEnduring Grace, At the Root of This Longing, Laurel's Kitchen;


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

Beginning in the late 1980s, Flinders published a series of books on spirituality. The first, entitled The Making of a Teacher (1989), was co-authored 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.

In 1993, Flinders 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.[3]

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 complementary searches for truth.[4] 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.[5]

In Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action (2006), a "sister volume"[6] 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.[7]

Books on spirituality &/or feminism

Flinders has authored or co-authored books on spirituality and/or feminism that include[8]

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

Books on vegetarian cooking

Flinders' coauthored books on vegetarian cooking[9] 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.

Syndicated column

Flinders published a syndicated newspaper column from 1978 through 1989, focused on vegetarian cookery. Entitled Notes from Laurel's Kitchen, it appeared in 20 newspapers in 1987.[10]

  1. "Flinders, Carol Lee 1943-" at Highbeam Research, Contemporary Authors (Jan 1, 2004). (Accessed 24 October 2012)
  2. However, the excerpted chapter of Fliders' work in Ford-Grabowsky (2002) states on page 266 that she was born in 1945.
  3. 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, 1993). "Of Many Things". America. American Jesuits. 169: 2. ISSN 0002-7049.
  4. 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
  5. Flinders, Carol (2003). Rebalancing the world: Why women belong and men compete and how to restore the ancient equilibrium. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062517371.
  6. Back cover of Enduring Lives (2006) (accessed 14 November 2012).
  7. Flinders, Carol (2006). Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women and Faith in Action. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 9781585424962. ISBN 158542496X
  8. "Books by Carol Lee Flinders," Archived 2012-01-03 at the Wayback Machine page at Tim and Carol Lee Flinders' website, Two Rock Institute (accessed 18 November 2012)
  9. 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.
  10. Jamie Neely (September 15, 1987). "Author pursues spiritual goals in 'laurel's kitchen'". Spokane Chronicle. pp. F1. OCLC 17365219. Retrieved 21 Oct 2012.
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