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Living from the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism Paperback – January 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827221304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827221307
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,932,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jay McDaniel is professor of religion at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He is the author of Gandhi's Hope: Learning from Other Religions as a Path to Peace (Orbis 2005) and Living from the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism (Chalice 2000). McDaniel is director of New Horizons: Center for Study of World Religions and Science and the Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy, both of which are based at Hendrix College

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Adams Farmer on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Jay McDaniel does the near impossible with this long awaited book on spirituality: he manages to speak to our minds, our souls, our hearts, and our culture in one integrated, beautiful work. He speaks from the perspective of a Christian process theology which lends itself both to the mystical beauty of the contemplative movement and all the loving kindness of Buddhism. His critique of our consumer culture does not end with what's wrong, but offers an alternative that is rich, compelling, and Christian in the best sense of the word. I found his original, imaginative language to describe God (e.g.Open Space, The Freshness Deep Down, Sacred Whole)refreshing in a world of burned out images and buzz words. Like looking at piece of art, there were breathless moments in the reading of this book. A true masterpiece in the field of spirituality!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Borland on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was fortunate enough to have Dr. McDaniel for several classes in college, and I came into the first class, an introduction to the world's various religions, as a wounded product of a strict Baptist upbringing. That year, Dr. McDaniel introduced me to a way of accepting all religions and all forms of spirituality as part of the same beautiful tapestry. He introduced me to hidden beauty in Christianity, which I had forgotten existed, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judiasm, and places in between. In the years to come, other classes with Dr. McDaniel showed me how spirituality can rejuvinate and enhance our everyday lives. After graduation, I experienced a difficult time in my life, and by chance stumbled upon this book in a local store. I devoured it in once night, making notes throughout. It spoke directly to a part of me that was starved for spiritual food and had been burned by organized religion. One reviewer here noted that it is as if McDaniel is creating his own religion. I think he would take that as a compliment, and in some ways that is the greatest thing you can do with spirituality... make it your own and make it personal. This book rescued me literally and taught me to appreciate the divine in everyday life, and I highly, highly recommend it. If Jesus and Buddha had a conversation, the result would be something like what McDaniel says in this wonderful work. I'm waiting for more, Dr. McDaniel!!!
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Format: Paperback
Living from the Center in an Age of Consumerism is timely and essential for our times. It is non-judgemental and encouraging as a do-able concept of spirituality. In his writing, the author reawakens the simple awe of God in nature and getting back to simplicity in what is truly valuble in this life, improving the quality of life for ourselves and others. A new concept that I found helpful was fasting, not from food, but from shopping. No matter what your "religion" this book on spirituality, if taken seriously, could change our world dramatically.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Moten Swing on September 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
The author is obviously quite heavily influenced by Buddhism. He
often mentions, for example, what are in Buddhism
called "The Three Poisons": greed, anger and delusion.
You want to stay away from them.
But he certainly doesn't push Buddhism. His main aim
seems to be to add meditation practices to
Christianity--which for many Christian contemplatives,
have always been present--and that makes perfect
sense. Trying to be more present with one's children
and spouse, slower to anger, more responsive and less
reactive--those aren't really "Buddhist" in any sense
other than Buddhism stresses meditation, which is the
main instrument to attain those goals. So it's not
really a Buddhist book, but rather a meditation book
for Christians, perhaps (with lots of politics thrown
in).
His anti-consumerist argument seems, from a Buddhist
point of view, rather beside the point. We can get
caught up in all sorts of stuff that isn't good for
us. Compulsive shopping is a problem because it's
compulsive, not because it's shopping. Granted,
television pushes consumerism, but then the problem is
really one of watching too much TV. As for the
economics in the book, I wasn't impressed. All that
"community-owned businesses" stuff is fine for us
middle-class folks, for example. But I guarantee that
when the poor people want to buy cheap clothes for
their kids they don't care whether WalMart is a
multi-national or a multi-vitamin: they want cheap
clothes. And locally owned businesses don't tend to
provide that; that's why they keep going out of
business. So he should stick to theology.
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