Obedience and Action

Sr. Joan Chittister is a champion to some and an enemy to others.  As a Benedictine Sister, she has been one of the pillars of religious thought in the world, often challenging and reminding the status quo that few things are permanent and absolute.  She has often criticized the institutional Church and yet, she has never left it.

“I’m simply asking that all of us realize that the answers we have right now in those arenas may well not be final answers, that we’re all struggling to find the best answers. We all say that life is our greatest value, but life has never been an absolute value. Having religion in the public arena is one thing, politicizing it is another. If we do that, we’ll lose pluralism for Puritanism,”  Chittister says to Krista Tippett of Speaking of Faith .

In this interview, Chittister speaks openly about the ideas that challenge the institutional Church while at the same time speaking quite eloquently about her love for it and the joy she finds being a Religious sister.

I must confess that my previous view of Chittister was not all-together positive, but my knowledge was also quite limited.   I found this interview remarkably fresh and quite balanced.  For anyone who struggles with the teachings of the Church, this interview will bring understanding to the complexities of multiple points of view.


Credits: Tippett, Krista. “Obedience and Action.” Speaking of Faith. Interview with Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB. American Public Media, October 4, 2007.


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