DAUGHTERS OF THE DESERT: Stories of Remarkable Women from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Traditions

Mary Cronk Farrell, Author, Meghan N Sayres, Joint Author, Sarah Conover, Joint Author, Claire Rudolf Murphy, Joint Author, Betsy Wharton, Joint Author . SkyLight Paths $19.95 (189p) ISBN 1-893361-72-1
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These five authors, of Jewish and Christian backgrounds, originally set out to write about ancient women from their own faith traditions, but realized through the story of Hagar that they also needed to "embrace another branch of the family tree": Islam. Here, they offer 18 fictionalized vignettes about the lives of various women, including important figures from Scripture and tradition (Esther, Miriam, Eve/Hawa). There are also sketches of women who have probably been misunderstood (Mary Magdalene) or simply overlooked (Shiphrah, the midwife who disobeyed Pharaoh's order to murder any baby boys she delivered). The final section explores several women who are important in Islam, such as Fatima, Khadija and of course Hagar, mother of Ishmael. The device of using short stories to better establish these women's characters and spiritual motivations works well and should appeal to a wide audience. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Religion
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