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Friends of God and Prophets manifests Johnson's feminist, non-hierarchal assumptions, which are essentially all inclusive. Just as Mary cannot be helpful to women when interpreted as "unique among her sex", so too saints cannot be appreciated today if understood as "heavenly power" petitioned "earthly neediness". The historical overview of the communion of saints in Friends of God Prophets demonstrates how two distinct models of the relationship between the living and the dead in Christ emerged, one based on the biblical model of community and the other on the late Roman system of patronage, which eventually came to dominate. Johnson concludes that the rise of patronage left earlier themes undeveloped in the theology of the saints; thus she returns to and emphasizes the earlier model of "companions and comrades in the one Spirit-filled community."
"[Johnson's] book should be read slowly, thoughtfully and prayerfully by Christians of all denominations, for it has much to say about belonging to the communion of all the saints." -Christian Century
Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J., is distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University. She has received numerous awards, including the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for She Who Is (1993), the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion for Friends of God and Prophets (1999), and the Book Award of the College Theology Society for Truly Our Sister (2004). She was also the recipient of the John Courtney Murray Award of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Jerome Award of the Catholic Library Association, and the Monika K. Hellwig Award of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.