Given the significance of spiritual direction in modern Christianity, surprisingly little attention has been given to the tradition upon which today's spiritual direction is built. A Woman's Way shows that there is a long and interesting history. Patricia Ranft sheds light on the understanding society had of women as spiritual beings and on the position of women in a Christian society. This book delineates the history of spiritual direction for women and by women within the larger context of the history of Christian spirituality and its understanding of human perfectibility. By examining the ways in which women practised spiritual direction, this study aims to reveal the degree to which women influenced society by using an avenue of influence previously overlooked by scholars.
PATRICIA RANFT is Professor of History at Central Michigan University. Her books include, Women and the Religious Life in Premodern Europe (SMP 1996) and Women and Spiritual Equality in Christian Traditions (SMP 1998).