Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.95
  • Save: $3.52 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Called to Question: A Spi... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir Hardcover – April 27, 2004


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.43
$2.95 $0.01

Featured Amish Romance by Barbara Cameron
Browse the "Amish Road" and "Quilts of Lancaster County" Series. Learn more
$18.43 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir + Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy
Price for both: $31.36

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this hopeful book, best-selling author and Benedictine sister Chittister asks tough questions, some of which have dogged her for years. There came a point in her life when customary answers to big questions didn't speak to her anymore, but left her at a spiritual crossroads. She learned to ask questions no one wanted her to ask, such as, What does it mean to live a spiritual life? and Where do women fit in the iconography of a male-dominated religion? Her journal of that time is the basis of this book focused on seeking answers to life issues and mundane matters that haunt us daily, but which few take time to consider. Besides the questions, Chittister expertly and succinctly discusses the differences between religion, which she sees as an institution, and spirituality, which transcends dogma and creed, she says, and dwells in the heart. She reflects upon love and friendship, solitude and contemplation, power and evil, ecology and nature, and ultimately promotes a feminist spirituality to save the world from looming mass destruction. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Some leading figures (like the Pope) never say, 'I don't know;' others (like the Dalai Lama) say it surprisingly often. Joan Chittister admirably demonstrates the sparkling wisdom which springs from befriending our uncertainty. Page after page, her spirited questioning makes us feel joyfully alive. (Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., senior member of Mount Savior Monastery, active participant in and author of several works on Buddhist-Christian dialogue)

In Called to Question, Joan Chittister calls us to enter deeply into ourselves as she enters into herself in this memoir that bears the compelling marks of a spiritual classic of our time. Already one of the true voices of the post-Vatican II age, she speaks to us as Woman, as Church, as Spiritual Guide but, most of all, following the mystical poet Blake, in a voice that cleanses the doors of perception so that we may see the universe as it is, infinite. Joan understands that religion is not the work of the will but of the imagination and that the Church is the sacrament of the world, just as it is. Read this to know Joan Chittister better, to know yourself more truly, and to grasp the meaning of sacramental faith more deeply. (Eugene Kennedy, Ph.D., award-winning author, syndicated columnist, and professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University)

This candid memoir takes us immediately back to the challenging spirit of the gospels. Sister Joan reminds us that we have a religious duty to question any authority, however august, and to overturn the idols of orthodoxy. This wise, charitable and humane book will give hope to anybody who has felt diminished by institutionalized religion. (Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God)

Chittister expertly and succinctly discusses the differences between religion, which she sees as an institution, and spirituality, which transcends dogma and creed, she says, and dwells in the heart. She reflects upon love and friendship, solitude and contemplation, power and evil, ecology and nature, and ultimately promotes a feminist spirituality to save the world from looming mass destruction. (Booklist)

The book maps Chittister's 'conscious, perilous journey from religion to spirituality.' (Shirley Ragsdale)

For Sister Joan Chittister, defiance is a form of obedience. And silence in the face of injustice is a sin. (USA Today)

Inspiring and edifying spiritual memoir. Consider this work as an example of the growth and transformation that can come from reading and savoring the spiritual words of others. (Spirituality and Health)

The powerhouse sister may come packaged like a powder puff—a powder-blue suit matching her powder-blue eyes. But her out spoken ways challenge any tired stereotypes of women religious, as catholic sisters and nuns are known. (Cathy Grossman Norwich Bulletin)

This spiritual memoir is not only the story of how Chittister discovered that she was 'called to question,' but a prompting for all of us to discover that vocation within ourselves as well. (Heidi Schlumpf U.S. Catholic)

Sister Joan's book is an inner journey of the soul. (Owen Phelps Messenger)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Sheed & Ward; First Edition edition (April 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580511430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580511438
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #940,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joan Chittister, OSB (1936- ) is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, PA. She is the author of over 50 books--and has won fourteen Catholic Press Association Awards for them. Her latest, published in February 2015 by Random House is: Between the Dark and the Daylight. In September 2014 Orbis Books released: Joan Chittister: The Essential Writings, a collection of the best from her many books, interviews and articles.

Her book, The Monastery of the Heart: an invitation to a meaningful life, is prelude to a movement for all seekers: Monasteries of the Heart, recently begun by her Benedictine community. Sister Joan is an international speaker who inspires both her audiences and readers with her passion for justice, equality and peace, especially for women in both society and the church. She is a regular web columnist for the National Catholic Reporter (ncronline.org) and Huffington Post (Huffingtonpost.com). Her PhD is from Penn State University in Speech-Communication Theory, her masters from the University of Notre Dame. She serves as Executive Director of Benetvision, a research and resource center for contemporary spirituality. (joanchittister.org)

Customer Reviews

I'm thoroughly enjoying this book - beautifully written and thought-provoking.
Christine
Joan's book, despite his obvious disagreement with her contention that it is time for an open dialog about the role of women in the Catholic church.
Ellen England
I would recommend this book to those seeking a better understanding of the spiritual path.
Christine Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Fred W Hood on February 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Upon hearing about Sister Joan from Sir Walter Brueggemann and Patricia Hallum who are both avid readers, I tackled her two latest treasures. Bruegge's awesome evaluation after speaking in Mississippi Conference last year with Marcus Borg, Bishop Spong plus Sister Joan was simply "She is a fearless Lady!" All of her writing has great simplicity, profoundity, richly mined metaphor plus an awesome collection of Epiphanies. Some of her numerous quotations by Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, May Sarton, Sue Monk Kidd, Donna Schaper and Marie Fortune: "In the midst of profound suffering, God is present and new life is possible." As personal response in her Journal: "Why is God in suffering? Maybe because, in those moments, there is little of anything else there! Only in God can we come to see the broader view of suffering....Suffering pares us to the core, strips us of our complacencies, and leaves us naked of ourselves. Suffering exposes us to ourselves!"

Other than Karen Armstrong, who provides her personal accolades on the book cover, Walter Brueggemann, and Barbara Brown Taylor, no one else inhabits my ballpark as equally inspiring, noteable writers! These and others often gift me with courage, Faith and spiritual endurance to guide me through those deeper waters of spiritual growth! Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
131 of 143 people found the following review helpful By veronica on August 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you have questions or doubts or strong feelings about spiritaul matters that are pertinent particularly to women or you are a man who recognizes that the Catholic Church does not think women exist you must read this book. Her spirituality is sound, her questioning of herself and her church are sound. She challenges herself and her life, would that all of us would do the same.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
83 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Ellen England on November 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Please note that the previous reviewer, DS in NJ, did not disclose with "his" opinions, that "his" views are colored by "his" natural gender bias. It is commendable that he recommends Sr. Joan's book, despite his obvious disagreement with her contention that it is time for an open dialog about the role of women in the Catholic church. Hopefully, DS's suggestion that readers skip the section of the book he found objectionable will draw more attention to ideas sorely missing from open discussion between men and women of Catholic faith. DS contends that feminism is dead. Sr.'s serious presentation of long ignored issues concerning women's roles in Catholisism are an indication that feminism has matured and has grown long reaching roots. It is crucial this book is read completely, in order to initiate debate, discourse and deliberation, as Sister obviously intended. My suggestion? Read, think, express your views, listen to others, think more and talk!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Clendenin on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this her most recent book, Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun and author of twenty-five books, continues to think out loud about just what it means to know, love, and follow Jesus in our crazy, contemporary world. This is the third book by her that I have read, and I have come to appreciate her spirit and gift to do what good writers do, which is to connect with the every day experiences and aspirations of her readers. Using her own spiritual journal entries from across a four year period, she pushes, pokes and prods at the various dimensions of Christian living. In particular, I appreciated three themes from this book that also recur in her other works.

Chittister writes from very much "inside the box," the box that is the Roman Catholic Church. But no one likes to be boxed in, much less a feminist like her, and so one theme from this book is what I would call institutional frustration with the church. Our Christian institutions and churches often purvey a sort of "god of the system" that asks us at some level to sublimate our deeply personal identities to the group identity. But then we risk forfeiting conscience and becoming what she describes as "institutional robots." So, we try, often with very limited success, to change the institution for the better. Others just want to leave the church out of frustration. In the end, Chittister pictures herself as a "loyal member of a dysfunctional family" (p. 135).

A keen scholar like Chittister is also full of provocative questions about important issues like women's ordination, the place of gays in the church, global justice, and, as a member of a Benedictine community, obedience to the institutional church.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Pastoral Associate on March 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joan Chittister always has the best sense of melding together the human with the divine, the natural with the supernatural, reality with theology. She's done it again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Scanlon VINE VOICE on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
How wonderful, such a great grace, of Sheed and Ward now to reissue in paperback what appeared some five years ago in hardback, in time for our Lenten Lectio Divina!

Truly this spiritual memoir, this taking stock, this incisive assessment of a life of prayer and of work in God's Church, in the Benedictine Order, including as Prioress, makes edifying reading in this coming time of Lent, in which we earnestly seek our centering upon the firm Rock of Saint Peter, in which we examine our hearts and minds and turn through our passion and suffering towards the Easter miracle.

This book teaches us, as it opens, that when we fall, we get up again, that we are called to question and thereby to grow in Faith, in Love and in Hope.

This book, so timely released now in paperback, makes an excellent gift for every religious community to read together, hearing these helpful and guiding thoughts and prayers from Sister Joan, all speaking to the spirit of these times. This book makes a worthy gift to every hermit, everyone who struggles alone in any desert dwelling, physical and/or interior. Tis book well accompanies every pilgrim of faith, every seeker questioning, every loved one alone.

Sister Joan as ever opens her heart and formidable intellect to us, in healing, in wisdom, in Truth.

Read this book, together with those you love and care for. Discuss this book. Ponder its many messages, and come into the light of God's Love.

When you fall, get up again. Be not afraid; Sister Joan is an intrepid guide.

See also her beautiful gift to us aging:
...Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir
This item: Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir
Price: $21.95 $18.43
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com