Cover image for Called to question : a spiritual memoir
Called to question : a spiritual memoir
Chittister, Joan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Sheed & Ward, [2004]

Physical Description:
xi, 232 pages ; 23 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX2350.65 .C48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BX2350.65 .C48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BX2350.65 .C48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Called to Question is Sr. Joan Chittister's most personal and intense writing to date. Centered around a series of conversations with spiritual writers featured in her private journal, Sr. Joan looks at the common questions or dimensions of life as we know them in our daily lives-not answers as we've been given them-in an attempt to unravel their many meanings, to give them flesh, to honor their spiritual import now and here, in our time and in our own lives. By sharing the questions, doubts, and convictions in her own heart, Chittister explores the heart of faith itself and nurtures a spirituality that pushes readers beyond superficial questioning and unexamined faith. The paperback edition includes a new Prologue about the power of questions in today's society. Following a moving prologue on the nature of faith, Called to Question is broken into six parts that explore key themes- the inward life, immersion in life, resistance, feminist spirituality, ecology, dailiness. Within each theme is a wide array of topics that embody Sr. Joan's life's work as a sociologist, theologian, Benedictine nun, rights activist, and spiritual guide to countless people throughout the world. Alive with the raw energy of a journal and polished with the skill of a master storyteller, each chapter is an engaging dialogue between Sr. Joan and many different wisdom sources about such topics as God's existence and call, experience, struggle, justice, the role of women and men in society and church, living through doubt, and celebrating life. Called to Question is a rare and powerful invitation to look into the center of our own souls, name our questions about God and life, admit the worst, and pursue the best--even when we are unsure where that pursuit will take us.

Author Notes

Joan Chittister is a Benedictine sister, best-selling author, and wellknown national and international lecturer

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

In this hopeful book, best-selling author and Benedictine sister Chittister asks tough questions, some of which have dogged her for years. There came a point in her life when customary answers to big questions didn't speak to her anymore, but left her at a spiritual crossroads. She learned to ask questions no one wanted her to ask, such as, What does it mean to live a spiritual life? and Where do women fit in the iconography of a male-dominated religion? Her journal of that time is the basis of this book focused on seeking answers to life issues and mundane matters that haunt us daily, but which few take time to consider. Besides the questions, Chittister expertly and succinctly discusses the differences between religion, which she sees as an institution, and spirituality, which transcends dogma and creed, she says, and dwells in the heart. She reflects upon love and friendship, solitude and contemplation, power and evil, ecology and nature, and ultimately promotes a feminist spirituality to save the world from looming mass destruction. --June Sawyers Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologue: The Journey from Religion to Spiritualityp. 1
Chapter 1 Religion: A Finger Pointing at the Moonp. 11
Chapter 2 Spirituality: Beyond the Boundaries of Religionp. 17
The Inward Life: A Discovery of the Obviousp. 25
Chapter 3 The God Within: Who Shall I Say Sent Me?p. 31
Chapter 4 The Presence of God: The Truth That Sets Us Freep. 37
Chapter 5 Prayer: Every Time I Do Get Timep. 43
Chapter 6 The Call of God: An Echo in the Heartp. 49
Chapter 7 Insight: The Alchemy of Experiencep. 55
Chapter 8 Solitude: The Balm of the Soulp. 63
Chapter 9 The Self: The Ground of Our Becomingp. 71
Chapter 10 Commitment: The Place of Change in the Spiritual Lifep. 77
Chapter 11 Balance: Going through Life Whole and Holyp. 83
Chapter 12 Darkness: A Way to the Lightp. 89
Immersion in Life: The Other Side of Inwardnessp. 97
Chapter 13 Relationships: To Know and Be Knownp. 103
Chapter 14 Friendship: The Gift of Independencep. 111
Chapter 15 Listening: The Beginning of Wisdomp. 119
Resistance: The Gospel Imperativep. 125
Chapter 16 Justice: Passion for the Reign of Godp. 131
Chapter 17 Power in the Powerless: The Courage to Refuse Evilp. 139
Feminist Spirituality: The Coming of a New Worldp. 147
Chapter 18 Society and Women: The Loss of Soulp. 155
Chapter 19 Men and Women: The Discovery of the Adultp. 161
Chapter 20 The Church and Women: Speaking in the Name of Godp. 169
Ecology: The Other Side of the Spiritual Lifep. 177
Chapter 21 Nature: The Voice of God around Usp. 185
Chapter 22 Creation: The Process That Never Endsp. 191
Dailiness: The Gifts of the Mundanep. 199
Chapter 23 Struggle: The Search for God in Darknessp. 207
Chapter 24 Joy: The God Who Loves Laughterp. 215
Chapter 25 Sanctity: The Task of Growing into Godp. 221
Epiloguep. 227
Notesp. 229
About the Authorp. 231