In Desert Daughters, Desert Sons, professor Rachel Wheeler argues that a new reading of the texts of the Christian desert tradition is needed to present the (often) anonymous women who inhabit the texts. Though these women may have been included by storytellers to provide a foil to the exemplary men in the stories' foreground, Wheeler demonstrates how women's persistence in places they were not welcome witnesses to truths about where wisdom may be sought and found. In this book, Wheeler allows these women's stories to critique the desert impulse, creating a spiritual life devoid of social relationships and responsibility.
Rachel Wheeler is assistant professor of spirituality at the University of Portland where she teaches Bible, ecospirituality, contemplative traditions, and arts as spiritual formation. Her degrees include a PhD in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union, an MA in theology, specializing in monastic studies, from Saint John's School of Theology, and an MA in English from Humboldt State University. She writes on desert spirituality and ecospiritual practice.