Habits of Change: An Oral History of American Nuns

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Overview

A collection of extraordinary oral histories of American nuns, Habits of Change captures the experiences of women whose lives over the past fifty years have been marked by dramatic transformation. Bringing together women from more than forty different religious communities, most of whom entered religious life before Vatican II, the book shows how their lives were suddenly turned around in the 1960s—perhaps more so than any other group of contemporary women. Here these women speak of their active engagement in the...

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Habits of Change: An Oral History of American Nuns

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Overview

A collection of extraordinary oral histories of American nuns, Habits of Change captures the experiences of women whose lives over the past fifty years have been marked by dramatic transformation. Bringing together women from more than forty different religious communities, most of whom entered religious life before Vatican II, the book shows how their lives were suddenly turned around in the 1960s—perhaps more so than any other group of contemporary women. Here these women speak of their active engagement in the events that disrupted their church and society and of the lives they lead today, offering their unique perspective on issues such as peace activism, global equality for women, and the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The interviewees include a Maryknoll missionary who spent decades in Africa, most recently in the Congo; an inner-city art teacher whose own paintings reflect the vibrancy of Haiti; a recovering alcoholic who at age 71 has embarked on her fourth ministry; a life-long nurse, educator, and hospital administrator; and an outspoken advocate for the gay and lesbian community. Told with simplicity, honesty, and passion, their stories deserve to be heard.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rogers has conducted an amazing series of interviews with female members of more than 40 different religious communities, weaving them into a vibrant tapestry reflecting the spiritual continuities and the corporeal changes that have defined their lives and their work during the past 50 years." - Booklist

"Rogers's richly detailed oral history will be welcomed by all who seek a deeper understanding of women's religious sommunities; those who are exploring such a life for themselves will find the answers they seek in these frank, honest, and moving stories." - Foreword

"This is an excellent read for one interested in the personal witness of women religious and how their lives of service are intricately woven into the past and present dynamics of the American Catholic Church." - New Catholic Books & Media

"...provides a rewarding read that offers the reader a compelling portrait of the lives of American women religious. It is a great resource for anyone interested in women religious, women in the church more broadly, or in social ministries." - Catholic Sentinel

"There have been too many books written by persons who have never entered religious life that make multiple judgments on how women religious live out their commitments. Some of them are favorable. Others border on the vitriolic. This author does not succumb to either temptation. Her sincere interest in women religious kept her faithful to the listening, honest in the recording, and sensitive in the integration of her own narrative. On behalf of women religious, I can only say thank you." - National Catholic Reporter

"Throught skillful editing of much longer narratives, the author offers readers a realistic and poignant portrayal of the 'uncommon change' sisters experienced from the 1960'd to the present."—Katarina Schuth, America

"A rare insight into religious life for women as seen through the eyes of the women themselves...a welcome addition to the history of women religious in the United States."—Theological Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199757060
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Series: Oxford Oral History Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 429,540
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Carole Garibaldi Rogers has been an oral historian for more than 20 years. Her research and writing focus on the intersection of women and religion.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Where They've Been

PART ONE: From the Past into the Present
Evolving Mysteries
Chapter 1: In the Schools
Chapter 2: Missionary Work
Chapter 3: In Hospitals and Clinics
Chapter 4: Serving the Undeserved
Chapter 5: Pastoral Work
Chapter 6: Spiritual Companions
Chapter 7: In the Cloister
Chapter 8: On the Cutting Edge

Changing Attitudes
Chapter 9: Encounters with Judaism
Chapter 10: The Creative Dimension
Chapter 11: Two African-American Voices
Chapter 12: Structures and Fissures
Chapter 13: Summoned to Lead
Chapter 14: The Decision to Leave

PART TWO: From the Present into the Future
Chapter 15: Staying the Course
Chapter 16: Living in the Present
Chapter 17: Envisioning the Future

Epilogue: Where They Are Now
Appendix A: Narrators
Appendix B: Religious Communities
Glossary
Selected Bibliography
Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This book has allowed me to see the workings of the women religious in the U.S. They're no longer habit-wearing school teachers. They're real women, working in real life situations. They do more for the people than the bishops have done, hence the inquisition into the LCWR.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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