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In the Sanctuary of Women

In the Sanctuary of Women

A Companion for Reflection and Prayer  

by Jan L. Richardson
Prayer Spiritual Practice Women

Come spend some time in the sanctuary of women, an often-ignored space in Jewish and Christian history. This devotional book for women highlights six women from around the world and across the centuries, inviting us to discover what their lives tell us about God.

Jan Richardson, a gifted poet, artist, and author, believes it is essential for women to listen to one another's wisdom and bring the fullness of their lives, with all the wonders and messiness, into their prayer life.

In the Sanctuary of Women gathers together these women from scripture and history:

  • Eve
  • Brigid of Kildare
  • The desert mothers
  • Hildegard of Bingen
  • Harriet Powers
  • The Woman of the Song of Songs

Each chapter becomes its own sanctuary, with one of the women serving as a companion as you contemplate the theme that her life offers. Throughout the readings Richardson weaves her own stories, poetry, prayers, and blessings. Midway through each chapter, a section called "The Secret Room" gives you a chance to pause and reflect on unexpected insights.

Reading the book daily will carry you through six months, or you can dip into the readings as you wish. An invitation into reflection and prayer alone or in the company of others, In the Sanctuary of Women is a book to treasure and to share with the women—and the men—in your life.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8358-1030-2
Publisher: The Upper Room
Imprint: Upper Room Books
Publication Date: 10/01/2010
Pages: 320
Dimensions: 9.0000 x 6.0000

Jan Richardson is an artist, writer, and ordained minister in The United Methodist Church. She serves as director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC, and has traveled widely as a retreat leader and conference speaker. With work described by the Chicago Tribune as ""breathtaking,"" she has attracted an international audience drawn to the spaces of welcome, imagination, and solace that she creates in both word and image. Jan's books include In the Sanctuary of Women, The Cure for Sorrow, Circle of Grace, Night Visions, and her latest book, Sparrow: A Book of Life and Death and Life. She makes her home in Florida. For more info, visit


Praise for In the Sanctuary of Women

Jan Richardson provides insights into prayer, contemplation, spiritual journeys, and the grace of personal renewal. We were impressed by the rich material on thin places, the soul of time, sacred reading, loitering in the neighbourhood of the world, a prayer of encompassing, learning to see, the art of hope, finding my tribe, and holy ambiguity.

But our favorite parts are Richardson's blessings. Here is one of them:
"In every season, in every hour,
may the love of God find you,
enfold you, gather you in."

--From a Book Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat,

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