25 Books By Women Every Christian Should Read

A couple of years ago Renovaré, with the help of a specially selected board of leading lights in the field of spiritual formation, put out a book called 25 Books Every Christian Should Read. I noticed the lack of women authors as I perused the list. So did Jana Riess, who wrote a post about that lack for beliefnet. Of the 25 books listed, 2 were authored by women, and these two women are both long dead – Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila. In order to procrastinate on my own writing project this sunny summer Saturday, I’ve decided to come up with a list of 25 books By Women that every Christian should read. You may disagree with my selections; feel free to suggest other titles by women.

Note that I’ve tried to match books in the male-author-dominated list with works by women from similar time periods. I begin with the two women who made the initial list, then move on to the 23 I picked out.

  1. Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich
  2. The Interior Castle, Teresa of Avila
  3. Complete Works & Correspondence, Katherine Parr
  4. Psalms of David, Mary Sidney, Countess Pembroke (finishing her brother’s work)
  5. A Short and Easy Method of Prayer, Jeanne Guyon
  6. Flowing Light of the Godhead, Mechthild of Madgeburg
  7. The Golden Sequence, Evelyn Underhill
  8. Writings of Clare of Assisi, Clare of Assisi
  9. Practical Piety, Hannah More
  10. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë
  11. The Forgotten Desert Mothers, ed. by Laura Swan
  12. The Book of Margery Kempe, Margery Kempe
  13. An Essay on Christian Education, Sarah Trimmer
  14. Scivas, Hildegard of Bingen
  15. Book of the City of the Ladies, Christine de Pizan
  16. Writings of Katharina Zell (one collection in English is titled Church Mother)
  17. Collected Writings of Susanna Wesley, Susanna Wesley
  18. Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, Amelia Lanyer
  19. The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, Christina G. Rossetti
  20. Listening to God, Joyce Huggett
  21. Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  22. The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy L. Sayers
  23. Radical Gratitude, Mary Jo Leddy
  24. Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard
  25. Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters, ed. Marion Ann Taylor & Agnes Choi

The last book is a resource for anyone who wants to read more books women wrote through history. There are many more. I’ve tried to go for highlights.


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