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New book by bestselling author: Women find support in the Bible in a #MeToo-era

Charlotte Rørth: “Standing tall. A Story on Faith and Motherhood”, The Danish Bible Society, 2021.

What happens when women read the Bible on their own? As a well-educated feminist of present Scandinavia, it was a wild ride for Charlotte Rørth to take a walk in the Bible and one by one surprisingly stand face to face with an amazing amount of stories with the most modern and progressive view of living with the body she – and Jesus – are born from.

Right there in the middle of the most well-known parables she finds a raw strength to draw from as a woman. She finds courage and encouragement to stand by herself and the experiences she, as most women, has lived through with births and deaths, abortions and rape, maljustice and sudden career-endings.

In her latest book “Standing tall. A Story on Faith and Motherhood” the author reveals a completely new and hopeful ground for conversations on seeing the Christian faith as a framework for a future society with equal rights and dignity for all.

She shows us how this new reading of the Bible with her own eyes can unfold how strengthening Christian faith can be (for both sexes) on an everyday basis. She carves a way on which women and men can walk and have a decent conversation despite the harsh tone of the #MeToo-debate.

And she finds a way to live with the motherhood that defines everything in her life from the love of life to the death of her son and the abortion after a teenage-rape to the very prosaic themes of life such as the size of her pension and her salary.

 

What does a non-believing journalist ask Jesus when he appears right in front of her?

Journalist Charlotte Rørth wasn’t a religious or even a spiritually-minded person. Far from it. So when the son of God appeared before her in a church vestry in the Spanish town of Úbeda and spoke – not once, but twice – it came as a bolt from the blue.

The experiences catapulted the experienced reporter into physical and mental turmoil, calling her modern rationalism into question, rocking the foundations of her science-based world view – and sending her on the quest that forms the basis of this extraordinary memoir: “I Met Jesus – Confessions of a Reluctant Believer”. 

The extraordinary book struck a chord in the modern world, giving many people – non-believers included – the courage to recognize faith as an integral part of our shared history and community, and to champion personal choice at a time when the urgency of values such as curiosity, kindness and tolerance has never been starker.

 “Beyond any doubt the wildest thing to have happened in the world of faith and religion in many years.”
Birgitte Stoklund Larsen, Secretary General, The Danish Bible Society

 

The debut was published January 2015, topped the bestsellerlist for 18 months, and has sold more than 100.000 copies. 50.000 in tiny Denmark and the six countries, it has been published in: Norway, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

She has broken down tabus and started a new conversation on faith, science and spirituality in Denmark bridging cultures that before never had any dealing with each other. She continues to be the major center of debates, in 2021 opening up talks on a new take on feminism and faith with her upcoming book “Holding my head up high” on finding strength in seeing the birth of every child as a miracle, struggling with the loss of her son and a teenage rape.

Besides publishing books again in 2017 and 2019 she has given 300 talks/conferences, hosted several radioseries  as well as a tv-series on the national public tv, DR, Danmarks Radio. She continues to appear in all the major media in Denmark and other countries including Germanys Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Dagens Nyheter in Sweden. 

 

“I met Jesus – Confessions from a Reluctant Believer” has Charlotte Rørth researching Jesus in both literature and in history, questioning experts in psychiatry and epilepsy, sifting through international research, meeting Protestant and Catholic priests in Denmark and Spain, dissecting the psycho-spiritual phenomenon known as a kundalini rising, and reading the works of some of the world’s wisest and most literate spiritual practitioners, among them the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Spanish writer and nun Teresa of Avila, the Swedish bishop Martin Lind and the American priest Cynthia Bourgeault. She also writes candidly about the effect that encountering and researching Jesus had on her own psyche, and its impact on her family and wider social circle.

“We Met Jesus – And Why Should It Matter to You” was published October 2017 and held the bestsellerlist for several months in Denmark and Norway. It contains solid documentation for the amount of experiences from international sources like The Alister Hardy Trust at The University of Wales and interviews mainly with Scandinavian scientists, theologians and social science philosophers as well as people having had experiences and excerpts from the more then 2000 letters/mails she has received from them in various countries.

“Oh, My God, you’re right here – Living with an Everyday Faith”- was published February 2019 and also stayed on the bestsellerlist for months. It is a short and almost handy book of not how all should live with a profound faith in a secular world with little knowledge about it, but how she does it – lives an ordinary life, attends the local church, goes on retreats, prays/meditates, tries to have strategic alignment between what she does and says, her culture and experiences, as well as explore the non-dual way of thinking

Praise for “I met Jesus”:

“Charlotte Rørth manages to relate her findings to a modern existence deeply influenced by the scientific mind-set (…) It deserves to be read.”
Sørine Gotfredsen, Kristeligt Dagblad, (the Christian daily)

“A literary cut above the rest.”
Bettina Heltberg, Politiken (the biggest daily, very secular)

“Enthusiasm radiates from its eloquent pages.”
Hans Gregersen, NORDJYSKE (a large regional daily)

“… An admirably brave book…Bubbling through it is a stream of all-embracing, non-proselytizing joy which renders it simply plausible in a way which can’t fail to impress, while providing food for thought.”
Jens Bærentsen, Weekendavisen (the intellectually most respected weekly paper)

”I was captivated from the very first page of this fabulous journey into a world usually inhabited by dubious preachers and excitable fanatics. Detours Charlotte Rørth never takes.”
Chr. Rimestad, Jydske Vestkysten (the largest regional paper)

“Charlotte Rørth has done an immense amount of research in order to understand her experiences scientifically and religiously.”
Maja Arthy, Katolsk Orientering (the Catholic magazine)

Praise for “We met Jesus”:

Rørth takes her research and and wisdom further and gives contemporary faith and religion refreshing new perspectives.”
Jens Bærentsen, Weekendavisen (the intellectually most respected weekly paper)

The author gives access to an in-depth knowledge (on experiences) in a direct and empathetic manner. (…) it is excellent that theologians as well as scientists have been invited to join to form a qualified view on the groundbreaking experiences.”
NORDJYSKE (a large regional daily)

 “A must-read.”
Alt for Damerne and Hendes Verden (two of the largest women’s magazines)

Praise for “Oh, my God, you’re right here”:

“Excellent and soul-enhancing”. Six stars.
Chr. Rimestad, JyskFynske Medier (the largest regional paper)

“An important reminder of our close relationship with God. (…) speaks beautifully to the many, that long for an embodiment of their faith.”
Sørine Gotfredsen, Kristeligt Dagblad, (the Christian daily)

“Has to be read.”
Jens Bærentsen, Weekendavisen (the intellectually most respected weekly paper) 

“I met Jesus” was on the bestsellerlist for well over a year.

“The day I met Jesus” is the title given the book in Dutch (pictured) published June 2017 alongside Elena Ferrante at www.wereldbibliotheek.nl

The Spanish title is “When the light breaks through”, published March same year at www.maeva.es

The Norwegians kept the same title as in Danish:  “I met Jesus”. www.paradigmeskifte.nu were the first to translate and published in June 2015.

Swedish Polaris owned by the Danish Politikens Forlag published in 2017  www.politikensforlag.dk/bokfoerlaget-polaris/c-215

Spring 2018 the book was published in German at the Random House publisher Gütersloher Verlagshaus: www.zukunftsfreude.com

Kathrin Scheel is the authors international agent www.thisbooktravels.com 

 

In the early spring 2017 Charlotte Rørth wrote a column in the newspaper Information about the reactions upon “I met Jesus”: “The fact that there’s a hunger for stories like mine tells me that people are yearning not for strong leaders with answers, but for a community in which they can safely share something that is not just difficult to talk about, but for which we barely have the vocabulary. These discussions about the spirit –something we have all heard of, but know so little about – are breaking new ground. Beginning such a conversation, or taking part in one, is a big step: a leap of faith in itself.”
Read the whole column here. 

“(The author) possesses the most admirable journalistic features: open-mindedness, curiosity and perceptiveness. It rightly deserves be on the bestseller-list. “
Five stars from Johs. H. Christensen, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (the second-biggest daily, very secular.

“We met Jesus” by journalist Charlotte Roerth, published October 9th 2017, headed for a huge succes with excellent reviews and long interviews in the most serious and secular press in Denmark. And from its very first week it, too, was on the bestsellerlists.

Three of the biggest daily papers ran major pieces on the book that states with well researched documentation that half of us have some kind of religious or spiritual experience during our lives. Many just do not dare to talk about it.
In Denmark they are beginning to dare. Being one of the most secular countries in the world this is a huge step forward for freedom of speech.

Berlingske Tidende ran a long story. https://www.b.dk/interview/den-dag-jeg-moedte-jesus 

On the Saturday after the publication Jyllands-Posten wrote a three page interview and a short version on the front page of the whole paper and the front page af the culture section. The interview with the author were about the succes in breaking a taboo, and the two men talked about their fear of being ridiculed and their decision to move forward. Jesper Borup is a respected political journalist. Daniel Baun is head of the organisation Youth for Christ but had not dared to stand up against the christian establishment.

The most culturally and politically respected Danish paper, the weekly Weekendavisen, states in its review, that the author is “respectful and responsive” towards the people she interviews about their experiences “without loosing sight of her project” which is underlined by “the conversations with knowledgeable people, in which Rørth brings her research and reflections to a new level and brings on refreshingly new perspectives.” The book is “thought-provoking” and “captivating” as the first book and “deserves just as many readers”.

The extemely succesful christian paper, Kristeligt Dagblad wrote a full page article with four deeply respected commentators along the interview and a great front page. The subject here was the how the people with experiences should not feel ridiculed to silence. It was a big move for the paper that is traditionally non-tolerant towards spirituality.

The regional paper NORDJYSKE wrote in its review that is is “exemplary” how the author “takes her time to go in-depth, to research thoroughly and shows the necessary seriousness in setting the tone for writing about experiences”. The writing is “beatiful” and it is “excellent” the way theologicans and scientists are invited in as a part of the story” making the book give a “well-founded and nuanced view on something as obsessive as meetings with Jesus must be”.

The leftist paper, Information, published a column by the author this summer and several womens magazines recommend the book and have brought interviews last year, displaying how much the taboo is being broken by just two books.

CV

Charlotte Rørth, born 1962 in Copenhagen, holds a degree in journalism and has 25 years’ experience as a business and cultural journalist, editor and commentator as well as heading and hosting cultural events. She lives in Aalborg with her husband in his grandparent’s house on top of the hill above the city and fjord. Their eldest son lives in Copenhagen with his wife and son, his brother lives in London. Their younger brother died in 2014.

She grew up in Copenhagen in leftwing scientific and literary circles, has always read an incredible list of books and prefers to travel, where she can communicate in depth as well as drink vino fino.

The well-known author Liz Jensen www.lizjensen.com has expertly translated excerpts from the first book.

Read part of the chapter about the first encounter with Jesus here and read about meetings with doctors afterwards here.

 

Contact info here