Joan Chittister is one of the most articulate social analyst and influential religious leaders of this age. For over 40 years she has dedicated herself to advocating for universal recognition of the critical questions impacting the global community. Courageous, passionate, and charged with energy, she is a much sought-after speaker, commentator, counselor, and clear voice across all religions. She is one of Chautauqua’s most beloved speakers.
A Benedictine Sister of Erie, PA, Sister Joan is an international lecturer and award-winning author of 60 books. She has won 16 Catholic Press Association awards for her books, as well as numerous awards for her work for justice, peace, and equality, especially for women, in church and in society. The Time is Now: a call for uncommon courage, was published by Penguin Random House in 2019 and, in the fall of 2021, Random House is set to publish her latest book, The Monastic Heart.
Sister Joan is an international lecturer who has appeared with the Dali Lama; on “Meet the Press;” “Now with Bill Moyers;” and on “Super Soul Sunday” with Oprah Winfrey in 2015 and 2019. Additionally, she has been an interview guest on countless podcasts, radio programs, and for magazines and documentaries.
A founding member of The Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the UN, she works to develop a worldwide network of women peace builders. As co-chair of this group she has facilitated gatherings of spiritual leaders throughout the Middle East, in Asia, Africa, the Far East and Europe, in an effort to spread an interfaith commitment to peace building, equality, and justice for all peoples.
Sister Joan has served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), and as prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years. A regular online columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, she received her master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and her doctorate from Penn State University in Speech Communications Theory. In 1996 she was an elected fellow at St. Edmund's College, Cambridge University, and was the Von Huegel lecturer there. She is the founder and executive director of Benetvision: a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality located in Erie, PA, where she lives.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.