The book takes the form of a discussion between two lively,outspoken women with very different viewpoints and life experiences. We ask an important question, whether God is necessary, and answer it with reference to scriptures, politics, feminism, secularisation and the serious financial and environmental issues which now confront us and which can no longer be ignored. These days, most educated people – men and women – take the attitude that God and religion are outdated and belong only to fundamentalism and the bible belt. We pull no punches, ask all the awkward questions and try to find satisfying answers.
Liz Hodgkinson, a well-known journalist and author of many controversial books, asks the questions, and Sister Jayanti, who has dedicated her life to spirituality, provides the answers. But sometimes, the answers throw up more questions, and we answer these as well. Liz Hodgkinson takes the devils advocate standpoint, and we hope that by so doing, many of the most pressing and urgent questions about morality and ethics which most trouble people today will be addressed.
Liz Hodgkinson is a prolific author and journalist. She was educated at Newcastle University and started her career on local newspapers in the North East. She progressed to writing for a variety of tabloid newspapers in the UK and progressed to so-called quality newspapers before becoming a full-time author and freelance writer. Her fourth book, Sex is Not Compulsory, was a succes de scandale in 1986 and was published in many languages. She has written on health, relationships, property and lifestyle issues, always at the cutting edge. She always thinks she is five years ahead of her time! More recently, she has written about pioneer women in Fleet Street and her latest book, Alex Williams: The Survival of an Artist, is to be published by Quartet Books in Spring 2012. Her biography of the first woman to have a sex-change operation to live as a man, Michael, nee Laura, is now in development as a major motion picture, as they say. Liz is known for her clear, humorous style of writing and frequently writes amusing articles in the Daily Mail, Guardian, Times and other outlets.
Sister Jayanti was born in India but educated at an English grammar school and university. Originally training to be a pharmacist, she chose instead to dedicate her life to spirituality, and is now the UK director of the Brahma Kumaris, the only spiritual organisation of any significance to be led by women. Jayanti is in demand as a speaker all over the world, and is known for her clear intelligence and ability to answer any awkward questions that may arise from the audience. Liz and Jayanti have been friends and colleagues for very many years and although very different from each other, have an unusual rapport which comes across in the many public platforms they have shared. Liz is divorced. She has two sons, Tom and Will Hodgkinson, both well-known writers themselves. Jayanti has remained single all her life, in spite of a marriage being arranged for her at the age of two. She has been completely dedicated to spirituality all her adult life, and is also the author of several books on meditation, one published by Penguin in the UK.