The Common Good

11 Women Writers You Should Be Reading

Here are some of my favorite women writers of spirituality and theology in no particular order with short comments on why I recommend them.

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  1. Sharon Baker: Her new book, Razing Hell, will put her on the front line of Christian thinkers asking important questions and responding to them in helpful ways.
  2. Phyllis Tickle: I'm one of many who has found in Phyllis a wise big sister and mentor. (The Great Emergence)
  3. Joan Chittister: She is a force of nature. Her books have enriched me for decades. (The Gift of Years)
  4. Rita Nakashima Brock: Rita's book Saving Paradise is a masterpiece.
  5. Cynthia Bourgeault: Cynthia reminds me of Thomas Merton -- she is a mystic with a brilliant mind who deserves far wider readership. (Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening)
  6. Sallie McFague: Sallie explores the boundaries of theology and feminism, ecology, and humanness. I find her ideas stimulating and challenging, page after page. (The Body of God)
  7. Nancey Murphy: Fuller Theological Seminary is fortunate to have this thought leader in postmodernism, science and faith, theological anthropology, and related issues. Her books have influenced me a great deal. (Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism)
  8. Jo-Ann Badley: Though she hasn't published yet, this professor from Mars Hill Graduate School is one of the best Bible expositors I've ever been exposed to.
  9. Diana Butler Bass: Diana radiates balance and insight as she writes on church history, ethics, and politics. (A People's History of Christianity)
  10. Sharon Watkins: She hasn't published either, but her leadership of the Disciples of Christ denomination is exemplary, and her theological instincts are superb.
  11. Ruth Padilla DeBorst and Elisa Shannon Padilla: These two sisters, daughters of Rene Padilla, are formidable theological thinkers who deserve a far wider audience -- not just as Latin American theologians, but as theologians of an emerging, holistic world Christianity. Both contributed to The Justice Project, which I helped edit.

Brian McLarenBrian McLaren is an author and speaker whose new book is A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith.

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