Friday, December 28, 2007

Welcome to the Wisdom of the World

For the last several weeks, I've begun my day by reading a chapter from Joan Chittister's new book Welcome to the Wisdom of the World: universal spiritual insights distilled from five religious traditions. I've long counted Chittister one of the great modern voices and writers in spirituality, and her newest book adds to the warm-hearted and socially engaged perspectives of her own Catholic/ecumenical faith. I recommend a visit to Chittister's web site: for further connection to this remarkable spiritual leader and author.

In an inviting way, Chittister explores the wisdom/spiritual traditions of 5 of the world' great religions - Hindu, Buddhist, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity- and examines how each intersects with contemporary spiritual concerns. Chittister grounds these explorations in personal encounters she has had with individuals she has known or has counseled through her ministry.

Here's a sampling of the chapters in Chittister's book and the questions about life that she explores from the perspective of each spiritual tradition:

  1. Hindu Wisdom:
  • Why Does My Life Feel So Hectic?
  • What Does It Mean to "Make A Difference?"
  • How Can I Learn To Let Go of the Past?

2. Buddhist Enlightenment:

  • Would I Do It All Again?
  • Is It Possible to Make Up for Past Mistakes?

3. Jewish Community:

  • Where Did I Lose My Idealism?
  • Why Do I Feel Stuck?

4. Chrisianity:

  • What Does it Take to Put Excitement Back into My Life?
  • What's Wrong with Me: Why Can't I Change?

5. Islam:

  • What is Happiness?
  • What's Important in Life?

As I've spent my mornings with one of the chapters of this book, I've savored the deeply caring and wise ways that each of these 5 great spiritual traditions has sought to offer guidance for the human quest for spiritual truth and for the divine And I've wondered, what would it be like if human beings across national and religious divides sought to encounter each other from the best of our respective spiritual traditions.


Post a Comment

<< Home