Since I work in a small bookshop, I want to pass along to the blog community some information about new, worthy books to nurture your good souls.
PEACE PLANET, by Nan Merrill. Friends of Silence, $15.00
This is a collection of meditations, spiral-bound for daily reading, and including a page for EVERY country in the world, even the most obscure. It is a heartfelt response to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Nan (who is a much beloved author and a personal friend of mine) embraced the world's grief by collecting striking photos from all over the world and pairing them with maps and meditative texts that express hope for the future. Makes an excellent gift. I keep one on my desk.
FAITH AND POLITICS: How the 'Moral Values' Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together, by Senator John Danforth. Viking, $25.95
Danforth, a former U.S. Senator and ordained Episcopal priest examines the controversial intersection of faith and politics in America, and calls for a reconciling rather than divisive role for persons of faith in civic life. (Due out September 19th)
THE LANGUAGE OF GOD: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, by Francis S. Collins. Free Press, $26.00
Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists. He works at the cutting edge of the study of DNA, the code of life. Yet he is also a man of faith. In his view, a "richly satisfying harmony" between scientific and spiritual world views is possible. He proposes a new synthesis, a new way to think about an active, caring God who created humankinf through evolutionary processes.
INTO THE SILENT LAND: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, by Martin Laird. Oxford University Press, $18.95
"We are built for contemplation. This book is about cultivating the skills and openness necessary for this subtlest, simplest, and most searching of the spiritual arts..." (adapted from the Introduction). This is a beautifully written, wise and helpful book for both newcomers to the practice of contemplative prayer and those who are very experienced and desire to journey even deeper into the life-giving silence of God.
GOING TO HEAVEN: The Life and Election of Bishop Gene Robinson, by Elizabeth Adams. Soft Skull Press, $14.95
Gene Robinson's election as the first openly gay bishop in Christendom set off a worldwide firestorm of reaction, but it also elicited an outpouring of goodwill. E. Adams seeks to understand the person and the circumstances that have provoked these disparate reactions. She offers a compelling story of a man who has been thrust into the center of one of the defining social and political struggles of our time.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: LAWS OF THE HEART, by Joan Chittister. Orbis Books, $15.00
"The Ten Commandments are laws of the heart, not laws of the commonwealth. They are laws that last, that lead to fullness of life - beyond the culture, above the culture, and more enduring than the culture..." (From the Introduction). Joan Chittister explores the Ten Commandments as a way of life rather than a set of rules and asks: What does it mean to love God and neighbor in a world where violence, greed and fear threaten our loves, or values, and our hearts?
ENCOUNTERING THE OTHER, by Jean Vanier Paulist Press, $8.95
The author, Jean Vanier, is the founder of L'Arche communities for person with mental disabilities and their assistants, and was friend and mentor to the late Henri Nouwen. For Vanier, the question of peacemaking is centered on trust, and for peace to endure it cannot be imposed by external authority but must grow within each person. In his new book, he provides a spiritual roadmap towards peace and understanding between people from different backgrounds.
If anyone has difficulty finding any of these books, let me know and I'll help.
I hope just the fact that these books are available will be a balm for your weary souls.
All For Love, listener
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