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Paulist Press

Schneiders, Sandra: Selling All: Commitment, Consecrated Celibacy, and Community in Cathol

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Does religious life still make sense today? Author of New Wineskins, Sandra Schneiders began a brilliant yet controversial examination of modern religious life in her acclaimed book Finding the Treasure. That first title located religious life within the multiple realities of today's postmodern world and post-Vatican II Church. This new volume examines today's post-conciliar, post-modern religious life "from the inside," looking at the make-up of religious life's specific identity and how it functions today. She does this through the three lenses of commitment, consecrated celibacy, and community. Through the lens of commitment, Schneiders surveys the process of entering the religious life, from the first experience of a call to a final promise of perpetual profession. She also explores the theological concept of divine call, as well as the psychological and spiritual process of human discernment. And she shows how realistic commitment is possible even in today's world of kaleidoscopic change and instability. Schneiders then examines consecrated celibacy from theological, biblical, and feminist standpoints. Last, she explores the theological and prophetic nature of community life as a Gospel imperative both shared by Christians and unique to religious. And she raises sociological and spiritual questions about the forms and lifestyles of community life. Perhaps even more than the first volume, Selling All extends beyond its primary audience of women religious to include male religious, religious of other denominations, spiritual directors, retreat directors, and all lay Christians on a serious spiritual quest. The book is also invaluable for use by general chapters, in formation programs, and by study groups.