Given the significance of spiritual direction in modern Christianity, surprisingly little attention has been given to the tradition upon which today's spiritual direction is built. A long and interesting history does exist, though, as shown by Patricia Ranft in A Woman's Way . Ranft's insights shed light on the understanding society had of women as spiritual beings and on the position of women in a Christian society. This book delineates the history of spiritual direction for women and by women within the larger context of the history of Christian spirituality and its understanding of human perfectibility. By examining the ways in which women practiced spiritual direction, this study reveals the degree to which women influenced society by using an avenue of influence previously overlooked by scholars.