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The author turns to the great teachers of the past-Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Bonaventure, Hugh of St. Victor, Calvin and Luther, George Herbert-to recover a spirituality that is rich with the doctrines and disciplines of theology.
Opening the Prayer Book introduces us to the history and liturgies of The Book of Common Prayer, and helps us understand why the prayer book is such an important aspect of Anglican self-understanding.
Organizing his book according to the monastic hours of prayer, Chet Raymo examines the strength of scientific language to encounter the divine in the natural world.
This is a book about getting, and staying, involved with God-what it takes, what it costs, what it looks and feels like, and why anyone would want to do it anyway.
In this engaging study, the author compares Mary Oliver's poetry and traditional religious language and provides a fresh perspective from which to enjoy her work.
In this selection of new sermons, Barbara Brown Taylor walks us through the church year, from the expectancy of Advent to the fires of Pentecost and beyond.
In Speaking of Sin, Barbara Brown Taylor brings her fresh perspective to a cluster of words that often cause us discomfort: sin, damnation, repentance, penance, and salvation.
In this first volume to the New Church's Teaching Series the author provides a general introduction to the Anglican tradition.
In this new collection of sermons she summons with piercing clarity and wit the Old and New Testament stories that have the power to mend our spirits, strengthen our weaknesses, and restore us to wholeness.
This illustrated dictionary for the Episcopal Church is an essential reference to its terminology, worship, structure, and polity.
Bread of Angels contains twenty-nine sermons about God's providential care, as symbolized by the manna given to the Israelites as they made their way through the wilderness.
In this down-to-earth book on the essentials of prayer, Margaret Guenther answers many of the common questions of the spiritual life.
"e;Reading of God's silence in the Bible gives me courage to explore the practice of restraint in preaching-not as a deliberate withholding of God's word nor, I hope, as a rationale for my own reticence, but as a sober reaching for more reverence in the act of public speaking about God."e;In these 1997 Lyman Beecher Lectures in Preaching delivered at Yale Divinity School, Barbara Brown Taylor focuses on the task of those who preach and those who hear sermons in a world where people thirst for a word from God. How may we approach this seemingly silent God with due respect, proclaiming the Word without violating the silence, by speaking with restraint?Her first chapter examines the late twentieth-century language with which we talk about God in theology and speak to God in prayer. The second chapter addresses the question of God's communication in Scripture and how the "e;voice of God"e; was heard less and less in the land as the centuries progressed. Finally, Taylor explores what the silence of God means for Christians and how we may exercise "e;homiletical restraint"e; in speaking of the divine.
In five interwoven meditations, Mystical Hope shows how to recognize hope in our own lives, where it comes from, how to deepen it through prayer, and how to carry it into the world as a source of strength and renewal.
In her bestselling preaching autobiography, Barbara Brown Taylor writes of how she came to be a preacher of the gospel as a priest in the Episcopal Church.
Margaret Guenther uses the images of the spiritual director as host, teacher, and midwife to describe the ministry of spiritual direction today.
Practitioners of Centering Prayer are known for the great enthusiasm they bring to the practice of this ancient discipline. Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening is a complete guidebook for all who wish to know the practice of Centering Prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault goes further than offering an introduction, however. She examines how the practice is related to the classic tradition of Christian contemplation, looks at the distinct nuances of its method, and explores its revolutionary potential to transform Christian life. The book encourages dialogue between Centering Prayer enthusiasts and those classic institutions of Christian nurturechurches, seminaries, and schools of theologythat have yet to accept real ownership of the practice and its potential.
Deffenbaugh calls us to "e;live in a reciprocal relationship"e; with our biotic communities-the plants, animals, and other non-human cultures that share our particular places in the world. By rerooting our global lifestyles in the ecological knowledge of our homes, we may truly begin to mend the health of our planet. Deffenbaugh marries Christian theology and spiritual disciplines with Native American mythology and the practice of organic gardening to deepen our engagement with the places in which we live.
In this memoir, Mercadante tells of her quest for religious identity, a real home, good work, and a one-faith family. Born just after World War II to a mixed-religion family, she tries Catholicism, a WASP sorority, atheism, Eastern mysticism, and vegetarianism. She works as an airline stewardess and as a journalist. She earns a doctorate and becomes a seminary professor. Her story holds key lessons for people from "e;mixed"e; backgrounds, those who long for the ideal family, and those who shun religion as a dead-end.
Offering a fresh approach to homiletics, David J. Schlafer provides an invitation to preaching by way of metaphor. Starting with the fire of Scripture, and engaging in the work of preaching as play, Schlafer offers new ways of approaching the preaching moment. Taking into account the preacher's call, the stages of preparation, the role of the congregation, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in the midst of it all, we discover that playing with fire is a sacred act indeed. Two metaphors dance together across the pages of this book: fire and play. Two metaphors, plus a hunch: that texts of the Scriptures, the grounding voices of inspiration for Christian preaching, offer more than just truths to be interpreted and transmitted. What we call the Scriptures are the work of a great company of preachers. The Bible is a treasure lode of imaginative insights regarding how the mystery of preaching might be entertained.-from the Introduction
Calling upon teachers G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, Sam Portaro wades into the abyss of confronting a life of faithfulness in a world where the Church has created a dictionary unintelligible to anyone not part of itself. Acknowledging it a risky adventure to attempt to put into printed words his faith, Portaro steps boldly onto the pages of Sheer Christianity: Conjectures on a Catechism.
Robert Farrar Capon is well known as the author of the modern classic The Supper of the Lamb ("e;awesomely funny, wise, beautiful, moving, preposterous,"e; said The New York Times) and other acclaimed books such as Genesis, the Movie. In Light Theology & Heavy Cream: The Culinary Adventures of Pietro & Madeleine, Capon returns to the kitchen to present a spirited collection of pieces he describes as "e;culinary and theological snack food."e; Providing significant nutritive value in terms of both cooking and thinking, Capon offers them "e;as a lark."e; The protagonists of this endeavor are Pietro and Madeleine, a husband and wife with clear resemblances to the author and his wife, Valerie. With Capon's signature wit and precision, Pietro and Madeleine explore such diverse topics as creativity, addiction, televangelism, spirituality, the correct way to slice a leg of lamb, and the virtues of diners. "e;Given the irony of a God who saves the world by foolishness and weakness,"e; Capon writes, "e;and the hilarity by which he gives us corn, wine, and oil-not to mention his wonderfully two-faced creatures such as butter, salt, tobacco, and pork fat-this is no world in which to land on one side of a paradox."e; Nibbling away on Light Theology & Heavy Cream is to encounter an author who has "e;always been perfectly substantial and perfectly silly at the same time,"e; but here "e;propels himself faster and farther in both directions."e;"e;You challenge me to match the sum total of the world's miseries with a fast, but then you complain that I fall short because I have eaten lobster instead of beetles or something. Why, I could starve myself stone cold to death and still fall short. To use your very own argument, the world's miseries are tractable only to God's grace, not my merits. A lobster, obediently ingested, can remind me of that as well as anything else, eaten or not eaten, on the same principle."e;-from the first chapter
All of us educate, teach, and form others; as Christians, the place in which this formation takes place is our community. Every waking moment offers opportunities for education, and the home especially is a place for ongoing Christian formation. At home, we equip the family to know that God is a mystery and a God of life and love, and our families can be much-needed examples of how best to struggle with what it means to know God in everyday life experiences of love, suffering, and death.In Informed by Faith, Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones creates a dialogue between religious educators and parents that is designed to lead to meditation, prayer, reflection, and a new perspective on the ministry of teaching. Through examination of the history of education, education as life, and the meaning of being a Christian, Bozzuti-Jones offers those who teach a sense of refreshment in soul, mind, and body, leading to a new commitment to teaching and proclaiming God's life and love."e;One of the primary purposes of religious formation in the home is to equip the members of a family to know God, specifically to know that God is a God of life, God is love, and God is a mystery. More than ever our society needs the examples of families that struggle with what it means to know God in their daily lives, loves, and encounters with pain, suffering and death."e;
Although Mary is a preeminent figure in Christianity and one of the most celebrated women in history, to many Christians she seems distant and unapproachable, a porcelain perfection of abstract motherhood that is irrelevant to their everyday existence. Still, interest in Mary is high, as evidenced by retreats, pilgrimages, liturgical formulations, and church discussions on her. Many Christians are hearing new wisdom in her Magnificat and are searching for ways to integrate her into their lives of faith.Although we inevitably look at Mary from a twenty-first-century perspective, in this book Duckworth shows that our appreciation will be deeply enriched if we remember the sources that have influenced our tradition and try to comprehend the grand sweep of Marian devotion. As descendants of that tradition, we can look to Mary not only as the mother of our Lord but as the mother of a growing, changing church that is finding its way to a contemporary appreciation of her many dimensions. Duckworth addresses six of those dimensions-Mary as prophet, matriarch, theologian, disciple, intercessor, and paradigm-in this compelling work that combines theology, history, devotion, and meditation on biblical texts.
In this remarkable collection of essays, acclaimed writer Brian Doyle offers "e;resurrections, restorations, reconsiderations, appreciations, enthusiasms, headlong solos, laughing prayers, imaginary meetings with most unusual and most interesting men."e; Geographically and chronologically diverse-Plutarch of Greece; William Blake of England; Robert Louis Stevenson of Scotland; James Joyce and Van Morrison of Ireland; and others-Doyle sees them as men of "e;immense spiritual substance, prayerful fury, enormous grace,"e; men concerned with "e;the moral grapple"e; and "e;the sinuous crucial puzzle of love."e; In telling the stories of these talented, troubled, and extraordinary men, Doyle discerns clues about how to be a good man, headlong in the pursuit of love and capable of greatness.
Irene Zimmerman's scripturally-based poetry has been read from pulpits, savored by individuals, and provided the topics for weekend retreats and discussion groups. Incarnation restores to print the poems from Zimmerman's popular Woman Un-Bent and includes more than four dozen new and selected poems on scriptural themes.
"e;This is no simple 'how-to' book, but rather a profound challenge to consider a totally different kind of life. Lawrence Hart approaches these life changes from several different angles-each leading to the deep kind of knowing that is God's gift to the true seeker."e;-from the Foreword by Jean Dalby CliftFor thousands of years, deserts have been geographical centers of spiritual formation and direct encounter with God. In Christian spirituality, men and women seeking the kind of purification that leads to wisdom of the heart have sought out the desert places. But the desert is also a state of mind or consciousness, a spiritual practice, an inner place where we come to have a first-hand experience of God.Designed for use by small groups or individuals, the Lenten meditations in this book lead us to this interior desert. The forty days of Lent are a time of metanoia (repentance), of emptying our hearts so that they can be filled with that love and presence of Christ we celebrate at Easter. Entering Lent, then, can be imagined as entering the silence of a vast and empty desert that leads to an experience of "e;alleluia."e;What is essential in the spiritual life is, of course, not that we find a dry and sand-blown country far from any geographical city, but rather a desert place of the heart where spiritual transformation can occur. Lent, with its emphasis on taking spiritual inventory, repentance, renunciation, and preparation for Easter, is just such a desert. In fact, we can appropriately think of the forty days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday as a Lenten desert.
From the earliest days of recorded history, conflict has been an integral part of human life. Although conflict and crisis are painful, they are visible and vital signs of the perpetual work of the church and society. Viewed in this light, they become sources of growth and gifts to be pressed into service. The trouble with Jesus was-and is-that he stands in the midst of conflict, and allows the conflict actually to live in him even though it tears him apart, in order that new life might be born. The trouble with Jesus was-and is-that he invites us to follow where he has led.Newly revised and expanded, this book is not a how-to manual for problem-solving, but a hopeful and creative reflection on the positive aspects of conflict in our relationships and institutions, as demonstrated throughout scripture in the life and ministry of Jesus, the early church, the church today, and within ourselves. For those willing to embrace conflict and the work that it requires, the result is a celebration of the community that God has given us. Conflict is frightening. It threatens our sense of control and upsets our notions of order. It touches our vulnerability and reveals uncomfortable realities. Therefore, we tend to deny conflict, or we try to manage it, tame it. In fantasies of ultimate control, we banish conflict altogether. . . . But the ways of God in the real and quite tangible world in which I live are obviously not the same as my ways. In this world, I am rarely in agreement with others and God obviously tolerates much more untidiness than I find comfortable. This conflict, which is with me every hour and becomes quite apparent hundreds of times a day, arouses fear within me. I want to be in control, and yet I cannot be in control. from Conflict and a Christian LifeThis edition features a study guide designed by educator Amanda Millay Hughes, making it a valuable resource for group study by vestries, parish staffs, adult education groups, and anyone wishing to gain greater facility in negotiati
With the sensitivity born of time and experience, Charles Hoffacker presents an unusually warm and caring approach to preaching at a pivotal transition in human life, one which goes to the very heart of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Hoffacker teaches the reader, whether a seasoned preacher or a novice homilist, to find the key to unlocking the mystery of Jesus' promise of eternal life in a mortal life now ended.
How Long O Lord? The prophet's ancient cry for justice sounds as plaintively and passionately today as it ever has. In this penetrating and provocative collection of essays, Maurine and Robert Tobin have brought together a group of peacemakers-Christian, Jewish, and Muslim-whose religious convictions compel them towards a common aim: a just peace for Israel/Palestine. Anyone looking for easy answers to one of the most complicated political and religious struggles on the globe will not find them here. Instead, the voices of these women and men challenge and confront many commonly held assumptions. They disturb and unsettle comforting illusions of order and security, and they unmask and name "e;powers and principalities"e; for what they are-perpetrators of injustice and evil. Those who pray with their Bibles in one hand and the newspaper in the other will find this book an invaluable aid in active prayer and engagement.