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Muslim holy women

· The editorial ·

With our June issue we begin the seventh year of our life with both continuity and innovation. The choice of a subject to look at in depth in each issue is part of this continuity and this deeper examination is now to undergo further perfecting: as many readers have requested, we shall be returning repeatedly to the same subjects. We start in this issue by taking up once again the subject of women and Islam, a topic we first addressed a few months ago and which we are intending to go further into in the future, since it is an issue of great topicality, at the heart of many discussions and often also of errors and misunderstandings. This time too we shall be shedding light on an Islam that is different from the way we imagine it today, an Islam open to important female spiritual presences, as Samuela Pagani explains in her lead article. The discovery of non-marginal female presences in the Islamic tradition will be a baseline on which we shall be drawing in the future too; but we promise also to tackle themes of current interest such as the presence of women in Jihad and the conversion to Islam of Western women.

“Layla and Majnun”, Azerbaijani rug

We are proposing real innovations as well: that is, two new columns, very different from each other, which will replace the columns on the saint of the month and on the artist: Women of value and Consecrated women. With Women of value – a biblical expression – we plan to offer brief but intense biographies of women who have had importance in history, either Catholic or non-Catholic, holy women and laywomen,In this way we envisage bringing back to the attention of our readers little-known women or women who have unjustly been forgotten.

As our readers well know, we have always sought to give a voice to consecrated women who recount their experiences and their thoughts, but as from this issue our collaboration with them will become continuous. With the new column Consecrated women we want in fact to open a discussion on the problems that women religious must face today, from crises in vocations to new missionary proposals, from a necessary and unprecedented reflection on being women and women religious to an examination of the places they occupy in the life of the Church. We have the good fortune to be able to entrust this new column to a religious of vast culture and great experience, Sr Nicla Spezzati, who for seven years was Undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. (lucetta scaraffia)

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