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Hardcover Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community Book

ISBN: 0787955787

ISBN13: 9780787955786

Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Updated version of spiritual autobiography from an important voice in the church Insights on how parishes have confronted issues of change As a standard in the field of spiritual autobiography, Diana... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

'the human being fully alive'

Spiritual autobiography in the best sense, this rather spare account continually is a continual surprise and a quiet delight, avoiding cliche and the temptation to be too personally confessional. The itinerary inverts the tale common to the post-war generation; the author's early conversion to dogmatic religion and to ritualism gradually yields, against her will, to a more flexible and at the same time more rigorous faith, quite different from the caricature of 'liberalism' inculcated by dogmatic churches. It is full of insight into the interaction between the personal seeker and the social realities of a church-going life, and a remarkable courtesy for the conservative Christians whose company she ultimately departs. The balance between deep feeling and deep reflection is fully achieved, and the story of this 20th century Pilgrim is moving as it is compelling.

A book for the Mind and Heart

Having journeyed thorugh my own myriad religious background and experiences, I found this book in a way reflecting my own story. But more than that, the author sets the personal story in the context of a community of faith's story - and further extends the story into the context of American culture and political system. She exhibits a breath of knowledge of the various tensions at work within in the church, which is never far away from being what it is:"in the world."I was facinated with her personal story of moving from an evangelical - fairly rigid religious orientation as a teenager and college student - to confronting the questions and paradoxes that life brings. In the midst of that honesty with her own life she allows us to listen to her own struggle with faith questions, which are truly interwoven into life decisions and choices. There seems to be a dialogue that forms with the reader as the author becomes open to her changing religious reference points: where the rites, riuals, forms, textures, tastes, smells and sounds of spiritual life become alive within a community of people. The hunger for spiritual nurishment is never quite satiated...but as the author indicates in her title: she is given strength for the journey.

Riveting---Best Spiritual Autobiography I've Ever Read

This is a dangerous book to start reading, unless you have some time on your hands. I couldn't put it down! I've never encountered a book quite like this. The author weaves together many different strands that make up a single, powerful story. On one level she tells the story of her own spiritual development that covers everything from being brought up as a Methodist, to becoming "born again" in high school, and then an Episcopalian (!). If the story stopped there, it would be enough because the writing is so engaging and humorous.But the story doesn't stop there---it keeps on going. She also tells true stories of all the different churches she attended, the inside politics, the everyday drama of community life. The stories come off as honest, both the good and the bad, but the book is never vindictive. She doesn't have an axe to grind, which is refreshing when it comes to organized religion.But again, the story doesn't even stop there. She puts all of this, her personal story and the congregational stories, into the larger social and historical context of religious trends in America.This is a stunning achievement. But again, be forewarned: once you start reading you won't be able to put it down. It's that good!

Each of us is a "work in progress"

Diana Butler Bass gives us a gem of a book that will help each of us on our own faith journey and spiritual struggle. The writing is clear and intelligent, the narrative is often gripping, and I think her book's basic structure, captured perfectly in her subtitle, is brilliant: She describes her story not just as the progress of some solitary pilgrim but as a faithful person embedded in a series of different churches and religious communities. This approach allows the reader to simultaneously learn about the author's own personal faith journey as she lives in different parts of the country and moves through her educational and professional development, but it also illuminates the "dark spots" in our churches, the all-too-human sides of our congregations and the regular folk who fill them on Sundays.I'd like to call this book a "page-turner" because of its fascinating topic and fine writing, but the fact is that many pages had such provocative ideas that I often found myself getting lost in thought--about not only the author's faith journey but my own, about the author's faith communities in conservative and mainline Protestant churches as well as the different churches I've worshipped in, and about the triumphs and pains that marked the author's life as well as those that have comprised my own. This is superb autobiography: While laying bare the author's singular life it illuminates more universal lessons, and consequently allows the reader to see oneself in the pages.This is a mature, serious book and I think readers will find that both their hearts and their minds will be deeply engaged. In addition, though, the reader will be sometimes enraged. The author's story is ultimately uplifting, marked by the typical spiritual ebbs and flows of the mature life of faith, but her journey is affected by the petty politics and small sins of many folks around her, from an unsupportive husband who puts obstacles his wife's faith journey to some clergy and church-goers who, um, do not exactly seem able to walk with Christ and to love what is just and kind. The author lets us in on how she balanced and integrated the good and the bad, the sacred and the profane, in her own spiritual growth.Read this book and get some strength for your own journey.

A hopeful account of mainline religion's potential

As a late twenty-something student of both counseling and religion, I have often found books on spirituality--especially first person accounts--to hover precipitously on the boundary between vacuous platitude and careless self-indulgence. This book is different. Its pages are both insightful and engaging, and its story about the potential of mainline religion is one that hopefully more will feel called to share.Bass manages to embed a keen analysis of the state of mainline religion in the engrossing story of her own faith journey--a journey that was never just her own, but one always linked to those of others. To mainline believers struggling to find their place in contemporary society, Bass shows that serious faith need not be dogmatic and that critical faith can be nutured within communities grounded in the richness of the Christian tradition.To those looking for strength for their journey, Bass is a spiritual friend worth getting to know.
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