Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Inside NCR

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Inside NCR

Article excerpt

This book is dedicated to the questions of the age to come ... It is an exercise in the power of questions," writes Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister in an afterword in Spiritual Questions for the Twenty-First Century. "It recognizes the necessity of questions to test the truth of our own lives."

The newly published book subtitled Essays in Honor of Joan D. Chittister (Orbis), contain leading religious figures, including Sri Lankan theologian Fr. Tissa Brazilian theologian Sr. Ivone Gebara, Protestant historian Martin E. Marty, Fr. Richard Rohr, widely read author and speaker, and Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland. It crossed my desk, in a delightful coincidence, just as Chittister's first installment of Lenten reflections was going into our pages. In those reflections, Chittister digs for the Lenten "questions that, year after year ... measure our progress on the way to fullness of life."

This ruminating over questions, the elevation of the question to a central place in the journey of faith -- an affirmation that questioning and living the journey are not mutually exclusive or contradictory undertakings -- struck me deeply. For if the pages of NCR offer a service to the larger community, I think it is to provide a place, a forum, Where questions can be asked.

It takes just a short rummage through back issues to find the topics -- Dominus, Iesus the death penalty, the place of women in the church, the issue of newly emerging family forms, to mention a few -- that demonstrate the depth of adult discussion and questions that you, readers, bring to the NCR table. …

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