Janet Ruffing Suffering

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Isolation. Suffering. Darkness. Author, professor, and scholar, Janet Ruffing argued that laywomen in the early 20th century had no spiritual direction or place in the Christian church, which led to a life of depression caused by painful spiritual isolation, yesterday in the 15th Annual O’Callaghan Lecture at Fairfield University. “Even today, though much improved from the time of these women, non-ordained women need to have more significant roles in the church,” Ruffing answers a student’s inquiry yesterday on women’s present role in the church. Ruffing, author of five books and professor at Yale Divinity School, focuses the October 7th yearly discussion on the troubled treatment of women in the church, which is endowed by the O’Callaghan family, specifically on European laywomen Elisabeth Leseur (1866-1914) and Soeur Marie Goby (1865-1922).…show more content…
“The way her husband taught her work, you couldn’t see the mutual need for a woman to have a spiritual relationship with another, the coming role of women in the next century or the significance of the laywoman’s contribution to society.” With this new translation, Ruffing hopes that others, specifically women, will seek sisterhood in one another and understand that suffering is infused with meaning. “An hour spent in pain units us to the cross—suffering is companionship with Jesus”, Ruffing says. Furthermore, through the archival research and translation process, Ruffing explains that the works provided her with a sense of needed companionship. “Sometimes it 's hard for me. I am an academic and sometimes people find that boring and that’s isolating for me because spirituality is the deep meaning of my life.” Ruffing says she strives to bring together religious educators, students, and theologians to show that, “women have, can, and should be allowed to do
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