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Thea's Song: The Life of Thea Bowman Hardcover – January 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (January 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570758689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570758683
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sister Thea Bowman gained world renown as a scholar, singer, and speaker, promoting intercultural awareness and connectedness in the Catholic Church, which had been fairly cool to African Americans. Born in 1937, she was raised in the small black town of Canton, Mississippi, converted to Catholicism at the age of 10, and joined the Franciscan order at age 15. Despite the culture shock of white La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the racism and sexism within the broader church, Bowman found confirmation of her calling and eventual acceptance of her exuberance and push for inclusion. She was resistant to social injustice and insistent on the healing power of religion and music. As a teacher and a founder of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, she helped to promote the black Catholic identity movement before she died of breast cancer at the age of 52. Thea’s own writings, interspersed throughout the book, give the reader a sense of her lively voice. Personal stories and family photographs add to the warmth of this recollection of the life of an extraordinary woman. --Vanessa Bush

Review

Captivating . . . . This is a story that will rivet your attention from beginning to end. --Fr. Joseph F. Girzone, author, Joshua

Read this marvelous new biography and meet a woman who will show you what it means, even in the midst of death, to live. --James Martin, SJ, author, My Life with the Saints

The authors have chosen a very appropriate title for Thea s biography, for in the words of the psalmist, God put a new song in her mouth which she continues to sing today, challenging us to be instruments of God s peace and love. --Sister Antona Ebo, FSM, National Black Sisters Conference

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Katharyn L. Waldron on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Three books in one surprised me. Thea Bowman's life radiates throughout the "first book" of THEA'S SONG, a biography wrapped around a young black woman in Canton, Mississippi, who dared become the first black to enter the all white Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where not only the women in her religious community but also nearly the entire population of the city were and are as white as Wisconsin winters. Readers learn first of her converting to Catholicism as a child, later of her becoming acclimated both to weather and white folks far from her home in which she had been the only child of highly educated parents, and of her at every age sharing the suffering of others, e.g., Thea's heartbreak upon learning a black sister in another community did not invite her own parents to witness her final vows after she was told she would have to make her vows apart from the other young sisters because the superiors did not want to make white parents uncomfortable.

Reflections on Thea's spirituality are the core of the seminal "second book" of THEA'S SONG. Authors Franciscan Sister Charlene Smith and John Feister masterfully weave together the struggles of an extraordinary woman (1937-1990) who died of cancer at an early age, with civil rights struggles in this country, and the largely unacknowledged disparity of color in the Catholic Church still overwhelmingly top heavy with white European men. Thea's challenging the U.S. Bishops to be open to the fullness of black spirituality is communicated colorfully as are anecdotes about her. One pellucid example is magnificent black liturgist J-Glenn Murray's response to fellow Jesuit Joseph A. Brown's question: "Who is that woman? She looks half crazy to me." Murray aptly answers, "That's Sister Thea Bowman....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew Sister Thea and this writer captures her spirit very well. Everyone should get to know this woman of inspiration.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sister Thea was a remarkable woman and this book makes that abundantly clear. An inspiring read!
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