The boldness of religious women

Sister Joan Chittister reminds us that nuns and other “religious women” are among the boldest and unmanageable of Christian revolutionaries:

Holy boldness of women


By Katherine Marshall in the Washington Post’s “On Faith”

“Women are the boldest and most unmanageable of revolutionaries,” Sister Joan Chittister said last week.

Especially religious women. Set against the sorry sagas of errant priests and male church leaders reluctant to confront past and present misdeeds, stories about the courage and stamina of women religious leaders offer a breath of fresh air.

Religious women are rarely seen as ardent feminists. Many religions have worked to keep women in the background. Today, however, many of the most thoughtful and determined advocates for women’s rights and empowerment come with strong religious links.

The same is true where peace is concerned. A quiet, often invisible group of women with strong religious ties is working relentlessly for peace in many corners of the world. There are some efforts to link them so their voices and impact are amplified, including the Global Peace Initiative for Women, which Sister Joan co-chairs. But these networks are still fragile and limited.

Sister Joan acknowledges that religion can put moats between women, with a “theological acid” that makes religions puny and dangerous.

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