A remarkable new book documents how 11 amazing women are changing the world. This is a book about progressive women who are innovative leaders in the public arena. Whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim—their work is religiously or spiritually motivated. They are spiritual entrepreneurs, who have invented organizations or movements to repair the world. What shaped and formed them? How do they integrate a progressive social agenda with their faith? How do they exercise public leadership in a world where women’s public roles are sometimes still suspect? The book is thematically organized and touches on many of the most relevant topics being discussed today: separation of church and state, the intersection of politics and religion, the silence of the progressive left and the embodiment of authentic religious pluralism. This book claims space for progressive forms of religion in an area dominated by the Religious Right.
God's Troublemakers is based on extensive interviews with a group of highly creative women, Henderson refers to them as "alchemists." The 3 best known are Sr. Helen Prejean, the anti-death-penalty activist; Ruth Messenger, former Manhattan Borough President and now executive director of American Jewish World Service; and Helen LaKelly Hunt, who has been a national activist funding women’s causes and a leader in persuading secular feminists to make common cause with religious women. You will want to read their stories, as well as those of 8 others whose names may not be familiar to you. But more important, you will want to share their hope of transformation and the lessons in leadership they offer for all of us. You may also find that the view of God that under girds the accomplishments of these women is an inspiration for your own life and work.
Katharine Rhodes Henderson is an ordained Presbyterian minister, who for the past decade has been the executive vice president of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. She is co-founder of Face to Face/Faith to Faith, a multifaith leadership bringing together teenagers--Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus--from the Middle East, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and the US. (Full disclosure: the author is married to Charles Henderson.)
“Through her probing interviews with twenty change-makers,Katharine Henderson has illuminated the path to ethical action and personified the transformative possibilities of leadership.This book of practical strategy and pure inspiration proves that one personcan change the world by using power differently—not to control but to empower, advocate, and ignite the passions of others.” -Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Ms Magazine
This is a book that paints a healing picture of religious faith through the fascinating lives of women leaders. It is as refreshing in its pluralistic assumptions as it is in viewing religious faith through the life stories of extraordinary individuals of many faiths. Katharine Henderson provides a powerful thesis that will resonate with many people of all faiths in these challenging times when religious exclusionists, both in the West and elsewhere have come to symbolize a troubling picture of the role of religion in society and politics.” -Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor at the University of Maryland and Brookings Institute.
Troublemakers identifies a latent power in each of us to help change the world from ‘what it is to what it could be.’ It describes a process of character formation, which released the power in some remarkable women of faith and action, and it’s certain to move us from silent complacency to conscientious commitment to peace, justice, and compassion…a primer for bold and fruitful progressive witness!” -James A Forbes, Senior Minister, The Riverside Church
“Women and men alike will find lessons in Henderson’s book about the true source of a resilient life: repairing the world.”
-Marie C Wilson, The Whitehouse Project
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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.