Generosity is the part
of being human
that completes the
creation of the world.
—Joan Chittister

  • Paul Knitter, Joan Chittister and Leonard Swidler

    Paul Knitter, Joan Chittister and Leonard Swidler presented "New Steps in the "Cosmic Dance of Dialogue" for the Dialogue Institute and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies in April. Photo by James Graves.

  • Paul Knitter, Joan Chittister and Leonard Swidler

    The event, held at Temple University in Philadelphia, featured an engaging and inspiring conversation on intra- and interfaith dialogue—past, present and future—with three prominent scholars/activists and friends: Paul, Leo and Joan. Photo James Graves.

  • Sister Joan signs books after the event.

    Sister Joan signs books after the event. Photo by James Graves.

  • Bishop Spong and Joan Chittister

    Earlier in April, Joan presented for the Fifth Annual John Shelby Spong Lectureship in Morristown, NJ. She is pictured here with Bishop Spong.

Joan Chittister is an outspoken advocate of justice, peace and equality — especially for women world-wide — and has been one of America’s visionary spiritual voices for more than 30 years.

On this website you can explore what makes her a beloved and best-selling author, a soul-stirring speaker, and a gifted spiritual guide.

As a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, Joan Chittister has focused her life’s work on the development of contemporary spirituality, a redefinition and renewal of Benedictine life for seekers today, and justice for the oppressed and marginalized, particularly those in prison. Here are four Good Works that reflect her life commitments:

What's New

New Steps Dialogue
Dialogue Held

In April 2015 the Dialogue Institute/Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, held a New Steps in the "Cosmic Dance of Dialogue” celebration with a dialogue among Joan Chittister, Paul Knitter, and Leonard Swidler. Still photos of the event are available here.

Illuminated Life by Joan Chittister, OSB
New Translation

The Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Life by Joan Chittister has been translated into German (Herder). The book was published in the United States by Orbis.

Reader's Retreat 2015
Reader's Retreat

How does a Reader’s Retreat with Joan Chittister look? In the one held May 17-19 at Peek ‘n Peak Resort in Clymer, NY, it looked like this. One by one participants read aloud from her latest book, Between the Dark and the Daylight, until they came to a place where they questioned the text, needed clarification, or wanted to comment on it. At that point the reader engaged Joan in conversation about the passage while the others listened and then could join the conversation, too. This was the format for the six sessions of the retreat that were centered in Benedictine prayer and included shared meals and leisure time.

“You only cover a handful of chapters during the retreat,” Sister Joan explained, “but you really read them. You get under the words and wrestle with the ideas and what they mean in your life, now.” If you are interested in participating in next year’s Reader’s Retreat—limited to 38 participants—please add your name to the list to receive information.

A Word from Joan

What is Sunday about?
May 25, 2015
The Ten Commandments: Laws of the Heart by Joan Chittister

When I was growing up, I got the distinct idea that to “keep holy the Sabbath” meant to go to church. Now I have come to realize that it means a great deal more than that. I remember the situation very clearly. I was in Jerusalem for the first time. The occasion was an international meeting of professional women, but, as far as I was concerned, the more important thing was that it gave me a chance to see the Holy Land. Anything else was pure bonus.

Spirituality Resources

Between the Dark and the Daylight
Between the Dark and the Daylight by Joan Chittister

New book by Joan Chittister

In words as wise as they are inspiring, Between the Dark and the Daylight explores the concerns of modern life, of the overworked mind and hurting heart. These are the paradoxical—and often frustrating—moments when our lives feel at odds with everything around us.

Joan Chittister Essential Writings
Joan Chittister Essential Writings

#1 best seller in Amazon's Religion & Spirituality category after Oprah interview
Selected by Mary Lou Kownacki and Mary Hembrow-Snyder

This volume, more than any other, captures and distills Chittister's spirit and her message for women and men today—including reflections on her own journey, why she remains in the church, and what sustains her faith and hope.

The Monastic Way
The Monastic Way

The Monastic Way in 2015 is best-selling author Joan Chittister's strikingly beautiful monthly subscription publication. Available as a mailed print subscription or online.

Benetvision STORE

One of the many ways Benetvision pursues its mission as a research and resource center for contemporary spirituality is through a store where Joan Chittister’s books, newsletters, and recorded teachings are available for sale. When you buy from the Benetvision store, the proceeds help support the work of Sister Joan and her Benedictine community.

Joan Chittister Newsletters