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Green Sisters
     

Green Sisters

by Sarah McFarland Taylor
 

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Green sisters are environmentally active Catholic nuns working to heal the earth as they cultivate new forms of religious culture. Inviting us into their world, Taylor offers a firsthand understanding of the experiences of women whose lives bring together orthodoxy and activism, and whose lifestyle provides a compelling view of sustainable living.

Overview

Green sisters are environmentally active Catholic nuns working to heal the earth as they cultivate new forms of religious culture. Inviting us into their world, Taylor offers a firsthand understanding of the experiences of women whose lives bring together orthodoxy and activism, and whose lifestyle provides a compelling view of sustainable living.

Editorial Reviews

Toronto Star

A fascinating book.
— Stephen Scharper

Sojourners

In this absorbing and comprehensive study of the "greening of religion" in Catholic religious communities, Taylor takes the reader on a tour of everything from a biodynamic farm in New Jersey to a community garden in inner-city Detroit that replaced a burned-down crack house...[She] gives a stirring account of how Catholic religious communities long committed to social justice and peace have come to connect with environmental concerns and ecological activism...[Taylor] offers a very helpful critique of agribusiness that monopolizes seed distribution worldwide and of the bioengineering that renders seeds sterile, and she describes the myriad ways in which these sisters are confronting our planetary crisis—from greening their vows to speaking out at a General Electric shareholders meeting. The text may be packed with facts and footnotes, but its author—and the women she quotes—are clearly passionate about their convictions, and sometimes funny...Green Sisters is an academic work of wide-ranging research and scholarship, but it should appeal to any reader who is interested in environmental activism, nature mysticism, social justice, feminism, Catholicism, or monasticism. It makes an important contribution both to contemporary American religious history and to women's religious history.
— Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Catholic News Service

Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology, [is] Sarah McFarland Taylor‘s extensive look at how several communities of religious women throughout the U.S. have linked the soil with the sacred. In other words, their service to the people of God is rooted in the land they occupy. How deeply the assistant professor in the religion department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., delved into her topic is indicated by the on-site observation, participation and interviews with some of the “green” sisters, as well as extensive electronic communication with those whose companion planting of religious life and respect for the earth have given another dimension to religious life. Those who ask “What is the church doing about the environment?” will find a detailed story of faith told with the right balance of the nuns’ own words and background provided by the author. Together, they narrate a recent, but important, chapter in U.S. church history.
— Brian Olszewski

Choice

This book discusses how green sisters are "re-in-habiting" sustainable practices as an expression of ecological conviction and religious devotion. It is an account of the greening religious vows modeling sustainability, cultivating diversity, conserving the past, and offering sanctuaries of countercultural reverence for the earth.
— R. A. Boisclair

Roger S. Gottlieb
What a delightful book! Intelligent, informative, enlightening and engagingly written. A sophisticated treatment of the intellectual issues is combined with a passionate concern for the real world. The result is that very rare academic work which is both true to its subject and genuinely hopeful.
Robert A. Orsi
This is one of the best books I have read on the lives and work of Catholic nuns in the United States after the Second Vatican Council. The book makes an essential contribution to the history of Catholic social justice and of American nuns. It is an inspiring call to service on behalf of our endangered planet.
Catherine A. Brekus
This is a superb, beautifully written book about Catholic sisters' involvement in the environmental movement. Taylor is not only an expert ethnographer who offers crucial insights into modern American religion, but a wonderful storyteller.
Sojourners - Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
In this absorbing and comprehensive study of the "greening of religion" in Catholic religious communities, Taylor takes the reader on a tour of everything from a biodynamic farm in New Jersey to a community garden in inner-city Detroit that replaced a burned-down crack house...[She] gives a stirring account of how Catholic religious communities long committed to social justice and peace have come to connect with environmental concerns and ecological activism...[Taylor] offers a very helpful critique of agribusiness that monopolizes seed distribution worldwide and of the bioengineering that renders seeds sterile, and she describes the myriad ways in which these sisters are confronting our planetary crisis--from greening their vows to speaking out at a General Electric shareholders meeting. The text may be packed with facts and footnotes, but its author--and the women she quotes--are clearly passionate about their convictions, and sometimes funny...Green Sisters is an academic work of wide-ranging research and scholarship, but it should appeal to any reader who is interested in environmental activism, nature mysticism, social justice, feminism, Catholicism, or monasticism. It makes an important contribution both to contemporary American religious history and to women's religious history.
Toronto Star - Stephen Scharper
A fascinating book.
Choice - R. A. Boisclair
This book discusses how green sisters are "re-in-habiting" sustainable practices as an expression of ecological conviction and religious devotion. It is an account of the greening religious vows modeling sustainability, cultivating diversity, conserving the past, and offering sanctuaries of countercultural reverence for the earth.
Catholic News Service - Brian Olszewski
Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology, [is] Sarah McFarland Taylor‘s extensive look at how several communities of religious women throughout the U.S. have linked the soil with the sacred. In other words, their service to the people of God is rooted in the land they occupy. How deeply the assistant professor in the religion department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., delved into her topic is indicated by the on-site observation, participation and interviews with some of the “green” sisters, as well as extensive electronic communication with those whose companion planting of religious life and respect for the earth have given another dimension to religious life. Those who ask “What is the church doing about the environment?” will find a detailed story of faith told with the right balance of the nuns’ own words and background provided by the author. Together, they narrate a recent, but important, chapter in U.S. church history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674027107
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
File size:
735 KB

What People are Saying About This

This is one of the best books I have read on the lives and work of Catholic nuns in the United States after the Second Vatican Council. The book makes an essential contribution to the history of Catholic social justice and of American nuns. It is an inspiring call to service on behalf of our endangered planet.
Roger S. Gottlieb
What a delightful book! Intelligent, informative, enlightening and engagingly written. A sophisticated treatment of the intellectual issues is combined with a passionate concern for the real world. The result is that very rare academic work which is both true to its subject and genuinely hopeful.

Roger S. Gottlieb, author of A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet's Future

Catherine A. Brekus
This is a superb, beautifully written book about Catholic sisters' involvement in the environmental movement. Taylor is not only an expert ethnographer who offers crucial insights into modern American religion, but a wonderful storyteller.
Catherine A. Brekus, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, University of Chicago Divinity School
Robert A. Orsi
This is one of the best books I have read on the lives and work of Catholic nuns in the United States after the Second Vatican Council. The book makes an essential contribution to the history of Catholic social justice and of American nuns. It is an inspiring call to service on behalf of our endangered planet.
Robert A. Orsi, Warren Professor of American Religious History, Harvard University

Meet the Author

Sarah McFarland Taylor is Associate Professor of Religion at Northwestern University.

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