Joan Chittister is a Benedictine sister and author of some 30 books. She is the Executive Director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality and is a past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Chittister is also a regular columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and an active member of the International Peace Council. She has been recognized by universities and national organizations for her work for justice, peace, and equality for women in church and society. A theologian, social psychologist, and communication theorist, she takes seriously her teaching ministry.
Chittister's muscular Christianity is grounded in the spiritual practices of the Rule of Saint Benedict, including listening, hospitality, humility, and peace. Her vibrant understanding of sainthood enables us to see "icons of the human face of God" in fearless women and men who incarnate the imperatives of justice and compassionate service.
In the introduction to this splendid and wide-ranging volume in Orbis Books' Modern Spiritual Master Series, Mary Lou Kownacki, Chittister's colleague at Benetvision, writes about Chittister's personal spirituality, her love of writing, her passion for religious life, her calling as a woman of the church, and her energetic, prophetic, and enthusiastic personality.
This paperback contains a rich and soul-stirring crosscut of the incredible range of Chittister's spirituality that mixes deep mysticism with a profound yearning for justice. The selections here were made by two women who know her well. Kownacki is the author of A Monk in the Inner City and Director of Monasteries of the Heart, and Mary Hembrow Snyder edited Spiritual Questions for the Twenty-First Century, a collection of essays in Chittister's honor. Their choices from Chittister's vast amount of writing include musings on seeking God, the radical Christian life, becoming a prayer, the spirit of God as a wild thing, the church and women, enemies becoming friends, and the nature of God.
We are fans of all of Chittister's books and have profiled her in S&P Living Spiritual Teachers Project; she has led e-courses for Spirituality & Practice. If you are not familiar with her work, or want to refresh yourself with her prophetic teachings, this volume is a great place to start.