In this deeply profound and seriously spiritual book, Madonna Kolbenschlag uses a 1994 lecture trip to Japan as a launchpad for an illuminating series of essays on God and self, gender issues, the other, and the differences between East and West. The author, a social philosopher, looks to the "subjugated knowledge" of women, indigenous people, gays and lesbians, people of color, refugees, artists, people who are differently abled, and other groups for fresh avenues to personal and cultural transformation. She encourages openness as the ability to see clearly, without preference or prejudice, and with empathy.

Kolbenschlag writes cogently about the polytheistic consciousness of the Japanese that enables them to freely sample many different wisdom traditions. Two brilliant essays probe the epiphanies in the lives and works of Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Merton, Mary Catherine Bateson, Audre Lorde, and Joanna Macy. The geography of soul embraced by Madonna Kolbenschlag celebrates convergence, global spirituality, and the ability to hold opposites in tension.