Archives For Women


Empowering Women
For Over 800 Years

A Feature Review of 

The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement
Laura Swan

Hardback: Bluebridge, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Michelle Wilbert
In this well researched, accessible, and highly readable short history, Laura Swan, professor of religious studies at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, has opened the door to an exploration of a little known spiritual movement that flourished in the medieval period across Europe. Notable for its vigor, clarity of vision, and vocational integrity, it is made remarkable by the singular fact of gender: this was a woman’s movement that aspired to provide its members with real options at a time when virtually none existed. It gave women ownership of their spiritual development and expression, a considerable level of economic and social independence, and a passionately expressed sense of community and purpose.
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In honor of Women’s History Month, here are 10 FREE classics by women author’s that you should have on your e-reader!


Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete


Alt.Kindle and other FREE versions of this ebook


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A New Heroine from the Eighteenth Century

A Feature Review of

Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
Karen Swallow Prior

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2014.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Dorothy Greco


According to author Karen Swallow Prior, “Hannah More might just be the most influential reformer you’ve never heard of.” But thanks to Prior’s 2014 biography titled Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist, that’s about to change. (Look for a movie version in the next three years!)


Hannah More was a writer, bridge builder, reformer, teacher, abolitionist, feminist (long before the term existed), animal welfare activist, and devoted follower of Christ. It would be impressive to list all of those accomplishments on a resume today; it’s simply remarkable for a woman who was born in 1745.

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Megan Mayhew Bergman

I stumbled today on this book trailer video, probably more appropriately a book tribute video, for an excellent new book that was released this week…

Almost Famous Women: Stories

Megan Mayhew Bergman

Hardback: Scribner, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

In the video, Bergman teams up with Tammy White of Wing and A Prayer Farm to design a biscotti in honor of the book.

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Deep Spirituality and Prayerful Reflection


A Review of

Accidental Theologians: Four Women who Shaped Christianity.

Elizabeth Dreyer

Paperback: Franciscan Media, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Kyle A. Schenkewitz


Focusing on Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Thérèse of Lisieux, Elizabeth Dreyer forces her reader to consider again the lasting impact of these women’s holy lives and spiritual teaching. They are revered as theologians, even doctors of the church, and rightly so. Their teaching reflected the “existential, daily engagement in the spiritual life which influenced the life of the Church.” ( 2) These four “accidental” theologians had a tremendous impact on the church of their day and continue to resound in concurrent eras.

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Our Latest Book Giveaway…

We’re giving away FIVE copies of the new book

Fierce Convictions:
The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
Karen Swallow Prior

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2014
Read an excerpt of Fierce Convictions here


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Faithful and Courageous Lives

A Review of

50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from the Heroines of Faith

Michelle DeRusha

Paperback: Baker Books, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon
Kindle ]


Reviewed by Tiffany Malloy


Take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Quickly jot down all of the Christian women you’ve learned about over the years in your community of faith. Next to each name, write a couple words describing what they are known for. How many did you come up with?


I came up with 9.


Thankfully Michelle DeRusha did us all a favor and put some great research and writing into her newest book, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from the Heroines of the Faith. 357 pages of research are filled with brief biographies of 50 courageous, faithful women from all walks of life who have a few things in common: loving the Lord passionately, sensitivity to His voice and obediently walking the path before them.

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A Journey of Beauty and Poetry

A Review of

Nearly Orthodox: On Being a Modern Woman in An Ancient Tradition

Angela Doll Carlson

Paperback: Ancient Faith Publishing, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Amy Gentile
When I first heard about Angela Doll Carlson’s book, I was drawn to it immediately: Nearly Orthodox: On Being a Modern Woman in an Ancient Tradition. Everything about that resonated with me. Like the author, I too am a convert to Orthodoxy and, despite having been a convert for four and a half years now, “nearly Orthodox” feels like an apt description of the reality I inhabit. On some deep level, I know that I am Orthodox, and I am working on trying to gain an Orthodox phronema (mindset), but I also recognize that I have been very heavily shaped by my past religious traditions and experiences, and that sometimes that makes me feel a little bit on the outside edge of Orthodoxy. It was refreshing to hear my story echoed in these pages, but I was also enriched by the places where our stories differed, and the ways in which her Catholic (as opposed to my Protestant) upbringing uniquely shaped each of our journeys. I am pleased to read Carlson’s journey and for the perspective it gives me on my own—and I think this would be true for anybody whose faith has morphed and been continually renewed through the years, not just for Orthodox converts.
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Julian of NorwichToday is the feast of Julian of Norwich.

Very little is known about Julian’s life. Her personal name is unknown; the name “Julian” simply derives from the fact that her anchoress’s cell was built onto the wall of the church of St Julian in Norwich. Her writings indicate that she was probably born around 1342 and died around 1416. She may have been from a privileged family that lived in Norwich, or nearby. Norwich was at the time the second largest city in England. Plague epidemics were rampant during the 14th century and, according to some scholars, Julian may have become an anchoress whilst still unmarried or, having lost her family in the Plague, as a widow. Becoming an anchoress may have served as a way to quarantine her from the rest of the population. There is scholarly debate as to whether Julian was a nun in a nearby convent or even a laywoman.

When she was 30 and living at home, Julian suffered from a severe illness. Whilst apparently on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions of Jesus Christ, which ended by the time she recovered from her illness on 13 May 1373. Julian wrote about her visions immediately after they had happened (although the text may not have been finished for some years), in a version of the Revelations of Divine Love now known as the Short Text; this narrative of 25 chapters is about 11,000 words long. It is believed to be the earliest surviving book written in the English language by a woman. (via Wikipedia)

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I am a big fan of the “Voices of Witness” series, and this volume is essential reading for Women’s History Month…

Inside this Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons

Ayelet Waldman and Robin Levi, Editors

Paperback: McSweeney’s, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Inside This Place, Not of It is essential reading for anyone interested in the stories of women who compel us to see their humanity, tenacity, and value as people.  That the woman who share their stories here have lived within the vast U.S. criminal justice system reveals a hidden and heart-wrenching reality. Their voices insist that the civil and human rights abuses that take place daily behind the walls of our prisons and jails must be out in the open to be recognized and remedied.”
–Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black


Here’s one story from this important book:


Irma Rodriquez

 45, currently imprisoned

 Excerpted from Inside this Place, Not of It edited by Ayelet Waldman and Robin Levi. Published by Voice of Witness Books.

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