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Welcome to the Wisdom of the World and Its Meaning for You

Overview

Best-selling author Joan Chittister in this book brilliantly presents universal spiritual insights distilled from five major religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

“Exemplary inspiration from one of the foremost contemporary writers on spirituality.”
— Booklist

“Chittister, a Benedictine nun and prolific author, here turns her attention to a broad range of spiritual authorities and traditions in order to discover and present many models of ...

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Overview

Best-selling author Joan Chittister in this book brilliantly presents universal spiritual insights distilled from five major religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

“Exemplary inspiration from one of the foremost contemporary writers on spirituality.”
— Booklist

“Chittister, a Benedictine nun and prolific author, here turns her attention to a broad range of spiritual authorities and traditions in order to discover and present many models of what it might mean to be a holy person. She wisely avoids any easy answers: spirituality, she assures us, does not permit quick solutions. Chittister's brief chapters and easy, elegant style should captivate and keep many readers. . . . Highly recommended.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

“Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister . . . is a profound spiritual teacher who manages in this book to convey in very clear and easy-to-understand language the deep truths of the world's major religious traditions. She brilliantly puts forward her own unique interpretations, which not only bring old truths to life but really reinvigorate them by showing through her own life experience how these perennial insights can give us guidance for our own lives. This book is an embodiment of the spiritual renewal our world so badly needs.”
— Tikkun

“Chittister has a talent for writing in a clear manner that is easily grasped. This book is no exception. Her use of storytelling helps readers understand spiritual traditions foreign to our own. We learn that all religions are alike in their search for the ultimate source of spiritual awakening. . . . People of all ages and cultures will profit from this book.”
— Liguorian

“A probingly helpful guide to life's most pressing questions. . . . Refreshing.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Chittister, a Benedictine abbess, popular lecturer and prolific spirituality writer (Called to Question ; Transformed by Hope ; etc.), returns with a probingly helpful guide to life's most pressing questions. Spurred by letters from fans who often pour out their hearts and seek advice from her, each chapter tackles a separate existential question such as "Where is God?" or "What does it mean to be a spiritual person?" She begins each of the 25 chapters with a description of a particular person's struggle to find meaning amid hardship, moving the narrative toward a wisdom story or parable from one of five religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A concluding meditation rounds out each section. Ecumenical readers will find that the God that lies behind these stories is acutely aware of human misery and helps us in surprising and meaningful ways. Chittister writes, "If the question is, Where is God? The answer is distressingly uncomplicated: God is wherever we know God to be, wherever we bring God to be, no more and no less at any time, anywhere, or in anyone." This refreshing book will be welcomed by Chittister's many admirers and is sure to win new ones as well. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Chittister, a Benedictine nun and prolific author (e.g., In Search of Belief; Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope), here turns her attention to a broad range of spiritual authorities and traditions in order to discover and present many models of what it might mean to be a holy person. She wisely avoids any easy answers: spirituality, she assures us, does not permit quick solutions. Chittister's brief chapters and easy, elegant style should captivate and keep many readers. An epilog of several chapters addresses elements in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity pertinent to her reflections. Highly recommended.


—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802866462
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/9/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 205,866
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Chittister is executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality, Erie, Pennsylvania. Her many other books include God's Tender Mercy, The Story of Ruth (with John August Swanson), and Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Prologue: Answers from the Ages     xi
Hindu Wisdom     1
Why Does My Life Feel So Hectic?     3
Why Does the Thought of Getting Older Bother Me?     11
What Does It Mean to "Make a Difference"?     20
What Does It Mean to Be a Spiritual Person?     26
How Can I Learn to Let Go of the Past?     32
Buddhist Enlightenment     39
Would I Do It All Again?     41
How Do I Know the Right Thing to Do?     47
How Do I Know Who to Follow?     53
What Does It Take to Succeed?     60
Is It Possible to Make Up for Past Mistakes?     65
Jewish Community     71
Where Did I Lose My Idealism?     73
Why Do I Feel Stuck?     79
What Can I Do When Enough Is Enough?     85
Does Anything Really Matter?     91
Why Was I Born?     97
Christian Love     103
Why Can't I Just Get Away from It All?     105
What Does It Take to Put Excitement Back into Life?     111
How Will I Know Truth When I See It?     117
What's Wrong with Me: Why Can't I Change?     123
What Is the Purpose of Life?     128
Islamic Submission     133
What Is There to Get Up for in the Morning?     135
Where Is God?     141
What Is Happiness?     148
What's Important in Life?     154
Why Do I Feel That Something Is Missing in My Life?     161
Epilogue: The Roots of Tradition     167
Hindu Wisdom and Eternal Meaning     169
Buddhist Enlightenment and Desirelessness     173
Judaism: Community of Justice and Joy     177
Christianity: The Call to the Beatitudes     180
Islam: Community of Witness and Submission     183
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