A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, Joan Chittister is a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice, peace, human rights, women's issues and contemporary spirituality in the church and in society. She presently serves as the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, especially in the Middle East. Chittister has won 14 CPA awards for her books. Her most recent include Between the Dark and the Daylight (Random House), Two Dogs and a Parrot (Blue Bridge, 2015) and In God’s Holy Light (Franciscan Media, 2015). A biography, Joan Chittister: Her journey from certainty to faith, by NCR’s Tom Roberts, was released in 2015 by Orbis Books. Chittister is the founder and executive director of Benetvision, a resource center for contemporary spirituality in Erie.

Show full bio ↓

Anger: A virtue for our time, because silence is not working

From Where I Stand: It's time for a new set of virtues, starting with anger. To resolve a conversation, we need to advance it. Anger can do that; anger is energy. Anger is a connector. Most of all, anger is a signal from me to the world about the importance of what I'm concerned about. 


St. Benedict's 12th step is the challenge to become humility itself

From Where I Stand: By this time, we are meant to be able to blend into the world around us -- serene, contented, open -- too grounded interiorly to crave public approval.


The 11th step: What we say, and how we say it, defines us

From Where I Stand: Once, I thought that this step of humility was so obvious it was embarrassing. Then I listened to modern political speech, and realized that this step may well be the most fundamental spiritual lesson of them all.


St. Benedict's 10th step of humility: When is funny not funny?

From Where I Stand: Benedict does not forbid humor; he forbids the bawdry and the brutal. He makes the quality of our laughter a measure of our spiritual adulthood.