The Tao of Bridget

How Bridget Jones and the gals of chick lit teach us what's sacred about sex, chocolate, gossiping, drinking, and smoking.

Donna Freitas is a professor of spirituality and religion at St. Michael's College in Vermont. There, she is known to wear stylish yet impractical shoes in all manner of weather. When she's not devouring Chick Lit novels and designer chocolates or hanging out with friends, she researches pop culture and women's spirituality.

Beliefnet senior editor Deborah Caldwell recently talked with Freitas about her book Becoming a Goddess of Inner Poise, which describes how Bridget Jones and the other gals of Chick Lit became her spiritual role models.

You've read Christian mystics such as Julian of Norwich, but you've said they didn't satisfy you. Why?


I have a long-standing struggle with the mystics like

Julian of Norwich


St. Augustine

. One of the reasons is that they have very extreme commitments to religion in their lives, in the sense that their whole lives are directed toward living up to a religious ideal. I think our culture has shifted a lot. We have many different commitments in our life. It's difficult for us to imagine becoming like a Julian of Norwich who was a nun who cloistered herself and directed her entire life toward loving God. She made very difficult decisions in her life; prayed for things that we would never pray for, or most of us wouldn't, like sickness so that she could experience Christ's suffering--things like that. And I think while the mystics are very interesting for us to read about, it's also very difficult for us to glean spiritual advice from them, or to look at them as role models because there's so much history between us.

I was looking for somebody who seemed closer to where we are now. And

Bridget Jones
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Interview by Deborah Caldwell
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