Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life

Joan Chittister. Convergent, $22 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-451-49517-4
Chittister (Between the Dark and the Daylight), an American Benedictine nun and a prolific spiritual and political writer, is an ardent evangelist for Benedict of Nursia, a 6th-century Italian hermit who’s known as the “father of Western monasticism.” Chittister proselytizes by convincing the postmodern spiritual reader that Benedict’s Rule, a 1,500-year-old manual for monks, can lead to “internal freedom” today. Here Chittister focuses on the tough “spiritual hinge” of Benedict’s Rule: the 12 steps of humility. Through her judicious use of spiritual parables from around the world and events from her own life, Chittister engages readers with narrative and humor, drawing them down a path to self-revelation and spiritual grounding. These thoughtfully choreographed chapters address the individual and offer an antidote to contemporary trends where “demagoguery is the new political brand, where narcissism is too often misunderstood to be leadership.” Chittister writes that humility is the corrective to dangerous grandiosity, which “in religion... makes itself conscience. In government, makes itself a citizen king.” Chittister’s book is wise, sharp, funny, and timely. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/20/2017
Release date: 04/25/2017
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