My Bright Abyss

Author: Christian Wiman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466836741

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 192

View: 8718


Seven years ago, Christian Wiman, a well-known poet and the editor of Poetry magazine, wrote a now-famous essay about having faith in the face of death. My Bright Abyss, composed in the difficult years since and completed in the wake of a bone marrow transplant, is a moving meditation on what a viable contemporary faith—responsive not only to modern thought and science but also to religious tradition—might look like. Joyful, sorrowful, and beautifully written, My Bright Abyss is destined to become a spiritual classic, useful not only to believers but to anyone whose experience of life and art seems at times to overbrim its boundaries. How do we answer this "burn of being"? Wiman asks. What might it mean for our lives—and for our deaths—if we acknowledge the "insistent, persistent ghost" that some of us call God? One of Publishers Weekly's Best Religion Books of 2013

Theology as Autobiography

Author: Colby Dickinson

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532688849

Category: Religion

Page: 276

View: 3986


Autobiographical writings on faith frequently come from the lives of ordinary persons whose struggles with faith are often lived at the margins of the church, academy, and society. Yet these voices have the potential to reshape the ways in which each of these fields function. To find out what it means to stand before God with all of one's humanity on display is to engage in not only the act of confession, but to demonstrate a bold theological reflection that needs to be more explicitly understood. By turning to spiritual autobiographies as theological source texts, we learn to place our emphasis where it matters most, on the people whose lives of faith move us deeply and cause us to re-examine our own lives in light of their witness. Moving through a range of ancient, early modern, and contemporary spiritual writers in order to demonstrate a profound connection that unites them all, this book portrays how a critical self-examination of one's most personal, internal fractures (our "poverty" as it were) is the only way to develop a life of faith--the dual meaning of the word "confession," which expresses both a revealing of one's sins, or brokenness, and the articulation of what one believes.

Uncommon Prayer

Author: Michael Plekon

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 0268100039

Category: Religion

Page: 280

View: 3916


In Uncommon Prayer: Prayer in Everyday Experience, Michael Plekon wants to change our minds on what constitutes prayer. In doing so, he makes a theological claim that commonplace aspects of the Christian life are best understood as prayer, whereby encouraging us to see that everyday life carries religious import; prayer and the religious life are not restricted to special places and times, but are open to all believers at all times. Plekon examines the works of diverse authors, including many who have challenged the status quo of institutional churches. He asks us to listen to what poets, writers, activists, and others tell us about how they pray at work and at home, with colleagues, family, and friends, in all the experiences of life, from joy to suffering, sadness to hope. Among them are Sarah Coakley, Rowan Williams, Heather Havrilesky, Sara Miles, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, Christian Wiman, Mary Karr, Barbara Brown Taylor, Dorothy Day, Maria Skobtsova, Paul Evdokimov, Seraphim of Sarov, and Richard Rohr. Plekon argues that prayer encompasses a much wider variety of activity than formal and liturgical prayers and that, by recognizing such aspects of prayer, the believer is made more receptive to transformative aspects of prayerful attitudes.

An Undoing

Author: Matthew Hansen

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532675976

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 152

View: 1859


We've all been through events in which we feel, at least in the moment, that there is no coming back. Maybe it was a severe break-up; a fall from grace as a leader; an occupational dream shattered; a psychological and emotional breakdown; or, as in many western films, you are a leader who has come to the middle of your life, the hopes and expectations you held have crashed around you, and all of a sudden you feel lost. Our brains often translate this as some sort of trauma. On paper, my life looked perfect: married, four kids, house in the downtown area of one of the best cities in the United States, and a vocation that many spend much time and money trying to gain. However, at some point, I lost myself. I got swallowed up in the hype and movement, and forgot what it was all about. I want to invite you into my story and take you on a journey of resilience, the same journey that helped me come back better than before, the journey that will help you begin to recreate your life.

God for an Old Man

Author: Thomas M. Dicken

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1498238947

Category: Philosophy

Page: 126

View: 4280


God for an Old Man blends elements of careful academic thought about God with elements of personal autobiography and memoir. The author is deeply influenced by modern process thought about God, stemming from the thought of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, but he also describes his own life as a child, adult, and now a person entering his eighties. The central premise is that a person cannot write about a meaningful God without taking seriously the meaning, conflict, loss, and joy in one's own life. Thomas M. Dicken is immersed in both literature and visual art. He explores the ways in which art and literature can evoke a sense of ultimacy, even though we can never attain certain knowledge of the ultimate. Just as the psychiatrist Erik Erikson wrote about major stages in human lives, Dicken writes with a sense of fulfillment about the insights and values of old age. Old age is the age of wisdom, a time for offering younger people the insight that all the stages of life have been very much worth living. This is not a book of easy or dogmatic answers; it is a book of honest exploration.

Wandering, Not Lost

Author: Barry L. Casey

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532691203

Category: Religion

Page: 260

View: 9870


A spiritual journey may take many forms, from Dante's descent to the pits of Hell and up the other side to the bliss of Paradise, to Pilgrim's progress (or even to Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in time in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five). It could be Elijah running headlong into the desert, or Jonah being flung ashore and shouting in Nineveh, a petulant prophet to the end. Faith can be carried like pennies in the pocket or worn like a coat of many colors. Abraham and Moses, Mary and Peter--all of them carried their faith, and all of them had their doubts. Doubt is the companion of faith, and the mystery that bonds them together comes out in stories. These are stories of faith, doubt, and mystery. Not all who wander are lost.

He Held Radical Light

Author: Christian Wiman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374717818

Category: Religion

Page: 128

View: 1429


A moving meditation on memory, oblivion, and eternity by one of our most celebrated poets What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? These are the questions that animate Christian Wiman as he explores the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion. Above all, He Held Radical Light is a love letter to poetry, filled with moving, surprising, and sometimes funny encounters with the poets Wiman has known. Seamus Heaney opens a suddenly intimate conversation about faith; Mary Oliver puts half of a dead pigeon in her pocket; A. R. Ammons stands up in front of an audience and refuses to read. He Held Radical Light is as urgent and intense as it is lively and entertaining—a sharp sequel to Wiman’s earlier memoir, My Bright Abyss.

Take and Read

Author: Paul G. Doerksen

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1498201512

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 7651


Take and Read is a collection of essays first presented as oral theological reflections on books, written to stimulate conversations among diverse groups of readers, which included farmers, physicians, teachers, poets, novelists, scientists, people involved in business, finance, relief work, and many other walks of life, ranging in age from twenty-something to eighty. These reflections introduce and offer samples of theological readings of a variety of books. The result is a collection of essays addressing a wide range of topics from food security to violence, from dementia to indigenous issues. Perhaps this book is best described as an invitation to joining a conversation about books, and more importantly, about God.

Once in the West

Author: Christian Wiman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374713545

Category: Poetry

Page: 128

View: 2040


One of The New York Times' 10 Favorite Poetry Books of 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A searing new collection from one of our country's most important poets Memories mercies mostly aren't but there were I swear days veined with grace —from "Memory's Mercies" Once in the West, Christian Wiman's fourth collection, is as intense and intimate as poetry gets—from the "suffering of primal silence" that it plumbs to the "rockshriek of joy" that it achieves and enables. Readers of Wiman's earlier books will recognize the sharp characterizations and humor—"From her I learned the earthworm's exemplary open-mindedness, / its engine of discriminate shit"—as well as his particular brand of reverent rage: "Lord if I implore you please just please leave me alone / is that a prayer that's every instant answered?" But there is something new here, too: moving love poems to his wife, tender glimpses of his children, and, amid the onslaughts of illness and fear and failures, "a trace / of peace."

Hammer Is the Prayer

Author: Christian Wiman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374715211

Category: Poetry

Page: 224

View: 4840


A visionary selection from one of America’s foremost poets One of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American poetry, Christian Wiman has forged a singular style that fuses a vivid and propulsive music with clear-eyed realism, wry humor, and visionary lament. In his “daring and urgent” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir, My Bright Abyss, he asks, “What is poetry’s role when the world is burning?” Hammer Is the Prayer: Selected Poems might be read as an answer to that question. From the taut forms of his first book to the darker, more jagged fluencies of his second, into the bold and pathbreaking poems of his last two collections, Hammer Is the Prayer bears the reckless, restless interrogations and the slashing lyric intensity that distinguish Wiman’s verse. But it also reveals the dramatic and narrative abilities for which he has been widely praised—the junkyard man in “Five Houses Down” with his “wonder-cluttered porch” and “the eyesore opulence / of his five partial cars,” or the tragicomic character in “Being Serious” who suffers “the world’s idiocy / like a saint its pains.” Hammer Is the Prayer brings together three decades of Wiman’s acclaimed poetry. Selected by the author, these poems reveal the singular music and metaphysical urgency that have attracted so many readers to his work and firmly assert his place as one of the most essential poets of our time.