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Sisters: Lives of Devotion and Defiance



"After reading Sisters: Lives of Devotion and Defiance by Julia Lieblich, I'm convinced that audiences of all denominations would be intrigued by this powerful true story ... Sisters offers many answers about the challenging lives of the "new breed" of nuns. Thanks to Lieblich, many of the problems facing lay communities throughout the world find and new and eloquent voice here." Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle.


"Lieblich explores [nuns' connection with God] through mesmerizing portraits of four contemporary nuns ... Through interviews and observation, Lieblich turns conventions inside out. But she never -- and this is the trick -- condemns either the Church of the Sisters. Even when writing about the Sanctuary Movement and abortion rights, Lieblich lets the sisters tell their stories. "Would you change denominations to be ordained?" Lieblich asks a group of nuns. "No," comes the defiant reply. "Before it's my Church too, damn it, and they need to know I'm out there." Now, thanks to Lieblich's proping and insight, we know they're out there too. --Sara Nelson, People magazine.


 "The four central figures in Sisters are heroic women. Their stories are poignant treasures. Their commitment to justice and to authentic religion, their service in the world, often despite the church to which they once gave themselves, can inspire our own efforts to live more deeply in this shallow time. Julia Lieblich has written a powerful book that should be read by men, women, religious people and people who just want to remember what devoted courage looks like." --James Carroll, author of An American Requiem: God, My Father and the War that Came Between Us


"Warm and lovingly crafted, this completely engaging book, a portrait of four quite varied religious women, tells us more about Christianity in our time than a dozen more scholarly tombs could. It is personal, respectful, often funny, and utterly serious. Julia Lieblich's deft touch and genuine affection for her sisters enables us to come to know each of them in a remarkably close way. One cannot help feeling they represent something larger, a genuine movement of the Spirit underway today. --Harvey Cox, author of The Secular City


"The portraits in Sisters are so engaging that I want each of these women for my own sister. In the face of the world's enormities, those of us committed to social justice can too easily lose heart; the actions and insights of Mary Aileen, Donna, Catherine and Darlene offer life-sustaining encouragement. I finished the book reluctantly, wishing to spend more time in their presence, feeling at once humbled and inspired." -- Nancy Mairs, author of Remembering the Bone House


"Julia Lieblich gives us a fresh and respectful take on nuns' lives ... The book resonates with the power of faith, and of prayer -- in short with the good that one dedicated human being can work even in this bad old world." Delia O'Hare, Chicago Sun-Times


The women who emerge from the pages of Julia Lieblich's Lives of Devotion and Defiance are splendidly human -- enraged, passionate, courageous. In addition, the women profiled here are remarkable not for their separateness from the world, but for the intensity or their involvement in it, for their commitment to social justice. Sisters does justice to the complexity of the experience of being a nun ... Here is sisterhood at is best." --Carol LeMasters, Conscience