A MENNONITE WOMAN Cover thumbnail

Main Page for
Exploring Spiritual LIfe and Identity
Dawn Ruth Nelson

Summary: A Mennonite Woman, part narrative, part theology, part spiritual memoir, Dawn Ruth Nelson asks us to wake up to what is shaping us spiritually as contemporary Christians in North American culture. Discover why Mennonites have been drinking deeply from contemplative spiritual formation wells in the last 30 years. Experience the story of twentieth-century Mennonite agrarian spirituality through the lens of one woman’s life and one seminary.

A Mennonite Woman explores how the shapes people live among in turn shape them. Mennonite Christians are called to be intentional about giving a God-shape to their lives. This book argues that spiritual formation is necessarily changing from a spiritual-formation-by-just-living-in-community to a more intentional spiritual formation-by-contemplative-and communal-disciplines.  

But more than that, here is simply a good story!  Here the author integrates her Mennonite background, her encounter with Irish Catholic faith, and the spiritual life she discovers in her grandmother and in her own everyday life.

Market: College or seminary students, advanced high school students; professors; pastors and church leaders; church study groups; anyone interested in thoughtful reflections on Mennonite spirituality combined with engaging storytelling.

Comment: "Nelson’s search leads from her grandmother’s life in Mennonite community, through peace work in Ireland and engagement with the Roman Catholic tradition, and finally to the essential inner/outer balance of the Anabaptist spiritual tradition—a response of discipleship made possible by the spiritual connection to the living vine, Jesus Christ." —C. Arnold Snyder, Professor of History, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario

"Although Nelson’s six suggestions for contemporary spirituality are focused on Mennonite tradition and experience, their transforming power make them applicable for anyone desiring Christian formation." —Joann Wolski Conn, Professor of Christian Spirituality, Neumann University

"You can live a long time in a spiritual tradition without seeing it clearly, which makes it hard to either claim its gifts or compensate for its weaknesses. This book helps readers do both." —Rachel Miller Jacobs, Spiritual Director; Worship Resources Coordinator, Leader magazine

 "Rooting Mennonite spirituality within the earthy settledness of her grandmother’s story, Nelson lovingly shows the way toward a spirituality of pilgrimage, in the company of Jesus." —Sara Wenger Shenk, President-Elect, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

"Nelson’s work nudges us to look at our spiritual roots and keep finding pathways toward a renewed, contemplative, genuinely Mennonite spirituality for our day." —Marcus G. Smucker teaches at Eastern Mennonite Seminary (Lancaster Campus) and the Kairos School for Spiritual Formation

Spirituality—Mennonite; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature; Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. BISAC:  Religion; RTM: 690 Religion/Ethics

The Author:
Dawn Ruth Nelson, Harleysville, Pennsylvania, is a Mennonite pastor and spiritual director. She has worked in a peace ministry in Ireland and as chaplain among people with disabilities. Nelson enjoys reading novels, eating chocolate, bird watching, seeing movies, experiencing silence, and being with her family.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House LLC
Copublisher: None
Publication date: February 28, 2010
Pages: 184
Format: 5.5 x 8.5" trade paper
Prices: $18.95 US/Can. ISBN 13: 978-1-931038-70-6; ISBN 10: 1-931038-70-8


Buy from Cascadia


Buy from MennoLink


Buy from Cascadia/Amazon


Buy from Amazon.com