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The biblical story of Ruth is a woman's story about a woman's life. Though written thousands of years ago, it is nonetheless perennial. It calls us to reflect in every generation on what it means to be a whole woman, a spiritual woman. In "The Story of Ruth", Joan Chittister and John August Swanson reclaim this powerful biblical story as a model for contemporary women seeking a fully spiritual life. Through complementary texts and illustrations, Chittister and Swanson explore a series of twelve defining moments in every woman's life - moments of loss, change, transformation, aging, independence, respect, recognition, insight, empowerment, self-definition, invisibility, and fulfillment. Each chapter and each piece of artwork together illuminate the faithful life of Ruth in relation to these formative moments and lend insights into what it means to be a woman of God today. A lovely combination of art and text, "The Story of Ruth" provides valuable help for women seeking to live wholly in a world still struggling with issues of faith and gender.
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About the Author

Joan D Chittister, an award-winning author and noted international lecturer, is also the executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Centre for Contemporary Spirituality in Pennsylvania, USA.

Reviews

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner -Chittister and Swanson's Story of Ruth is an easy, wise, and instructive lens through which to view one of the gems of the Hebrew Bible. This creative and engaging book is in the highest Jewish tradition of reading 'between the lines' of scripture. . . Should be required reading for Christians and Jews, women and ? above all ? men.- Rosemary Luling Haughton -Joan Chittister's reflections about loss and change, about isolation and empowerment, are both realistic and liberating. . . And John August Swanson's artworks are contemplative experiences in themselves ? quiet, yet glowing and vivid.- Michael Downey -These pages shimmer. Lush, warm colors and patterns together with piercing, prophetic words summon the heart to behold an enduring image of fidelity. Look and listen ? long and lovingly ? to the story of Ruth and Naomi. And receive, once again, the gift of hope still on offer.- Spirit & Life -In twelve unusual chapters, Ruth is portrayed as the prototype of a 21st century 'Everywoman, ' free, independent, and equal with all humankind. Complementing the text, twelve lovely paintings by John August Swanson illustrate the way Ruth wins her freedom and feminine independence. A beautiful book in every way, 'The Story of Ruth' is for treasuring and gift-giving.- Parade Magazine -Writing a book that blends spirituality, inspiration and feminism is no easy feat, but Joan D. Chittister has accomplished it with rare sensitivity in The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman's Life. Taking the biblical narrative of the young Moabite widow who followed her mother-in-law to a new land she relates the story to modern women's quest for independence, respect, empowerment and self-fulfillment. You can agree or not with the lessons she finds, but her analysis is thoughtful and free from treacly interpretations. The book is enhanced immeasurably by John August Swanson's biblical-style illustrations.- The Newark Star-Ledger -Attractively illustrated by John August Swanson, 'Ruth' is 'part self-help book, part poetry, ' with Chittister presenting a God interested and intent on transforming women. . . Though it's the lives of two Old Testament women we're examining, Chittister leaves no doubt about the relevance and practical application to modern women. Don't be surprised to find yourself lingering in those moments that apply to the season of your life. . . Chittister's style is like that of friends whose advice is therapy. No, they haven't got any degrees in counseling, but that's where our feet carry us when we need wise counsel.- Sisters Today -This book is a treat on all fronts. As usual, Chittister is challenging and thought provoking as she uses Ruth to illustrate moments in a woman's life. But the illustrator, John August Swanson has it right in his Notes when he says, 'This is not only a woman's book. . . ' Swanson's colorful and detailed illustrations alone are worth the price of the book, but with the text the book becomes richer still.- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -The ancient biblical tale of a woman who left everything she knew for love of --of all things--a mother-in-law is brought to contemporary relevance by author Joan D. Chittister, a Benedictine nun, and artist John August Swanson. The prose is arresting and the illustrations simple, brilliantly colored and striking enough for second and even third looks. . . This is an old favorite made more so with the retelling.- The Bible Today -The biblical story of Ruth is the basis of these twelve reflections on issues facing every woman. . . The contents of each chapter are a mix of personal reflection on life experience and social concern. Swanson's colorful art enhances every page, and a full page drawing depicting a scene from the biblical story introduces each chapter. The talents of the author and the artist come together to produce a book of note. This will make a fine gift.- Lutheran Woman Today -Occasionally one finds a book so powerful and beautiful that it needs to be purchased and shared with many people! The Story of Ruth is such a book.- Benedictines Magazine -This beautiful book combines the best of many arts--the script of the ancient writer, the insights of the modern feminist-theologian, the portrayal in color, line and form of the illustrator and the glow of vibrant inks on every page. . . This is a book to be savored and appreciated for its form and content. Never at a loss to create a stir in her readers' minds and hearts, Chittister has outdone herself in The Story of Ruth.- Society for Old Testament Study Booklist -This book combines Catholic spirituality and modern art to produce a charming and insightful account of twelve key moments in the lives of two biblical women, Ruth and Naomi, who are seen to function as 'metaphors' for all women.- Barbara Brown Taylor -With characteristic wit and spitfire, Joan Chittister tells the story of Ruth for anyone challenged by loss, change, aging, or invisibility. Basing her reflections on the lives of two marginal biblical women, she reveals their central roles as mothers of faith and dares all their descendants ? both daughters and sons ? to follow their lead.- Publishers Weekly -The best book on Ruth thus far may be Joan Chittister's creative, gorgeously illustrated exploration of the famous Moabitess as archetype for all women. The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman's Life shows how Ruth's journey through loss, change, transformation, aging, independence, respect, recognition, insight, empowerment, self-definition, invisibility and fulfillment mirrors similar stages in many women's lives. . . The text's perceptive, piercing truths are complemented by stunning full-color artwork by John August Swanson.- The Living Church -A beautifully illustrated and printed book on the Book of Ruth with commentary by well-known spiritual writer Joan Chittister on how Ruth's story speaks to women of today in their own quest for spiritual wholeness.-

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