Despite the multitudes written about Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ivan Smith explores an often overlooked part of her life and provides insight into the spirituality of one of America’s most famous women. Eleanor Roosevelt believed that we are all global citizens and thus have responsibility for all humans. Her faith translated into intense compassion and spirited political activism, particularly for the marginalized in society.
Despite the criticism she received throughout her adult life for not being the kind of Christian many people thought she should be, Eleanor Roosevelt’s spirituality fueled her commitment to civil rights, women’s rights, and the rights of all people in American society. Eleanor: A Spiritual Biography (Westminster John Knox Press) explains that, “Spirituality, to Eleanor, was ‘that feeling of having something outside of one’s self and greater than one’s self to depend on.’” To Eleanor there was never a better time than the present moment to live out one’s faith.
Harold Ivan Smith is a bereavement specialist on the teaching faculties of Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, and the Carondolet Medical Institute, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.