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If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission


If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission Cover

ISBN13: 9781497601901
ISBN10: 1497601908
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Veteran reporter Jo Piazza profiles ten extraordinary nuns and the causes to which they have dedicated their lives—from an eighty-three-year-old Ironman champion to a brave sister who rescues victims of human trafficking

Meet Sister Simone Campbell, who traversed the United States challenging a Republican budget that threatened to severely undermine the well-being of poor Americans; Sister Megan Rice, who is willing to spend the rest of her life in prison if it helps eliminate nuclear weapons; and the inimitable Sister Jeannine Gramick, who is fighting for acceptance of gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church. During a time when American nuns are under attack from the very institution to which they pledge, these sisters offer inspiring, provocative counterstories that are sure to spark debate.

Overthrowing our popular perception of nuns as killjoy schoolmarms content to live in the annals of nostalgia, Piazza defines them instead as the most vigorous catalysts of change in an otherwise constricting patriarchy.

About the Author

Jo Piazza is the author of the acclaimed Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money and a novel, Love Rehab. She is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and her work has appeared in the New York TimesNew York magazine, GlamourGotham, the Daily Beast, and Slate. She has also appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR.

Piazza holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University. She lives in New York City with her giant dog.

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sheef93, April 11, 2015 (view all comments by sheef93)
Jo Piazza ("Celebrity Inc.," "Love Rehab") has written long and well about the glamorous and the wealthy (and the intersection between the two). The former gossip columnist has turned her eye on a seemingly-anti-glamorous contingent, modern-day nuns. "If Nuns Rule the World" may not be a scholastic tome or academic treatise, and it may come across as skin-deep heroine-worship, but Piazza has undeniably selected ten wonderful case studies of the benefits of a purpose-driven life.

INRtW is a light, breezy book (around 250 pages) that can be easily digested in tidy chapter-sized bites. Her introductory chapter describes the world of the modern nun - freed from the cloisters, the penguinish habits, and the stereotypical vocation of beating terrified schoolchildren with yardsticks. Today's nuns are educated and dedicated to solving the world's real problems by living among the afflicted, whatever the afflication may be. In a saying that the religious might recognize, if you're going to be a shepherd, eventually you're going to smell like sheep. These nuns believe in the crazy notion that in order to improve the lives of the downtrodden, you must live and fight side by side with them rather than living above like so many other religious figures do.

And perhaps it comes as no surprise that today's nuns aren't exactly fully endorsed by today's Catholic leadership . . . a group that, shall we say, is not exactly balanced in gender composition. Piazza finds ten nuns who have found their calling nonetheless, and Piazza tells their stories in ten brief but moving chapters.

These nuns range from the defiant - taking on global inattention to torture and sex trafficking to denying the reality of age by running Ironman Triathlons at the tender age of 83 - to the compassionate - caring for children born in prison as well as their mothers, or ministering to young women exercising their legal rights to have abortions - to the brilliant - using the church's status as a prominent investor to push corporations toward adopting more ethical business practices. These nuns may come from different starting points, but they each found the same path to the Church. And they love it, in spite of its flaws.

Piazza makes the compelling case that these ten nuns are solving problems through investing their lives in the solutions. These are not women who pay lip service to anything. If these nuns ruled the world, actions might be valued a little more highly than a PR slogan.
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Product Details

Piazza, Jo
Open Road Media
Edition Description:
Print PDF
Publication Date:
203.2 x 133.35 mm

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Related Subjects

Biography » Religious
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Religion » Christianity » Religious Orders
Religion » Spirituality » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

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