11 Women Writers You Should Be Reading

By Brian McLaren 7-12-2010

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

  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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