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Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life Paperback – August 5, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (August 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684835347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684835341
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Here is an astoundingly rich and needed addition to spiritual literature. With Sisyphean diligence, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat have managed to compile an extraordinary array of spiritual passages from writers across time and regardless of religious denomination, from the lyricist Leonard Cohen to the philosopher Jacob Needleman, from the mystic Christian Meister Eckhart to the novelist Annie Dillard, from the Zen master Robert Aitken to the poet Robert Haas. Read this book, contemplate it and learn the ABCs of spiritually, of life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The Brussats have put together a wonderful book in the William Bennett style that embraces the spiritual rather than the virtuous life. Believing that "Life is a sacred adventure" and that "Everyday we encounter signs that point to the active presence of the Spirit in the world around us," the Brussats break their book into such categories as "Place," "Nature," "Leisure" and "Creativity." Each chapter draws upon a wide variety of sources, including oral traditions, poetry and film, that pertain to the chapter's theme. Exercises at the end of each chapter are intended to help readers become more in tune with the spiritual in everyday activities.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
This book is page after page of wonderful spiritual readings.
emmers
As one of the top spiritual books in print today, it is a wonderful source of wisdom and insight into the spiritual life we all try to hone.
Dr. John Laughlin
This book allows you to see different sides of things and it has really great TRUE stories, poems and more!
W. Owens

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Frances Kay Vickery on September 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
If you aren't clear on the difference between religion and spirituality or think spirituality is weird, this book makes a clear and essential exposition of the differences. They use volumous resources to point out the basic values in life that count. As a therapist I use this book literally every day to help me meet the needs of my patients to understand themselves and where they are going with their lives and the importance of nourishing one's self, one's unique spirit. Spirituality applies to all aspects of life and the Brussart's start with the ABC's and go from there to explore the voice of hundreds of spiritual and religious persons to describe and enhance one's understanding of the basic values that apply to all of our lives if we intend to live up to any of our secret desires to be better persons.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John Laughlin on December 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat are the Directors of SpiritualityandPractice.com. Both

are journalists who have spent more than thirty years identifying and reviewing resources for people on spiritual journeys. They also write a monthly column on "Spiritual Practices" for The Lutheran magazine and their book is on the recommended reading list of Luther Seminary.

Spiritual Literacy is a collection of 650 spiritual vignettes culled from a vast array of literary and religious sources and held together with personal commentaries and anecdotes. Each is designed to cultivate our ability to listen deeply--to hear "with the ear of our hearts." As one of the top spiritual books in print today, it is a wonderful source of wisdom and insight into the spiritual life we all try to hone. The editors have included passages of poetry, prose, every conceivable vantage point and different religious orientations ranging from lyricist Leonard Cohen to philosopher Jacob Needleman; Christian mystic Meister Eckhart to writers Maya Angelou, Annie Dillard, Wendell Berry, Ram Dass, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Robert Fulghum, Thich Nhat Hanh, Barbara Kingsolver, Kathleen Norris, Henri J. M. Nouwen, Anne Tyler, and many more.

With such diversity there is much to inspire us to "read the signs that point to the active presence of Spirit in the world around us" --signs written in the very texts of our own experiences. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of spirituality: objects, places, animals, nature, leisure, creativity, service, relationships, community and more. At the end of each section, the authors provide suggestions for activities, exercises, and rituals.

Here is a timely selection that G. K.
Read more ›
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By kkastila@elca.org on January 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Oprah said, "I keep Spiritual Literacy right on my bedside table. I love this book!" when she introduced the segment devoted to it on her show last year.
Well, I beat her to it. I fell in love with the uncorrected advance proof which landed on my editor's desk because the Brussats are regular columnists for the magazine I work for, The Lutheran. It wonderfully teaches the reader how to see the spirituality already present in each of our daily lives--if only we know what to look for. That's given in a primer of spiritual literacy, from A for attention, B for beauty and C for connections straight through to X for the mystery, Y for yearning and Z for zeal. You don't have to retreat from the mundane to find spiritual truth. You have, rather, to plumb it.
My copy of Spiritual Literacy still sits on my bookshelf headboard. This is a book to last a lifetime.
And a marvelous bonus: Among the 600 some excerpts and passages you find authors that are old friends and are introduced to others destined to become new teachers.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Marion VINE VOICE on April 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Imagine my pure glee at finding this book on a $5 sale table at Wal-Mart! I bought all five copies there and gave them to my daughters and closest friends. This book is full of jewels and small treasures that make you stop, think and appreciate the everyday miracles in your life. Many of my favorite authors are excerpted or quoted in these pages. A must read for every book lover and those with a seeker's heart. A very comtemplative, heartfelt book that feeds my soul and spirit each time I pick it up. I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a book that can bring you joy and enlightenment on every page.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Ferle on December 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Holding this hefty book in your hands, you cannot help but admire and respect the editorial efforts of the Brussats. They have put together a dazzling compendium of spiritual wisdom -- and have certainly done a lion's share of promoting many wonderful books that probably wouldn't have gained public attention otherwise! Many of the books they've quoted are now prized possessions on my book shelf, and I am grateful for having had this resource to light the path.

My only caveat -- and maybe it's just my issue -- is the way the book is organized and categorized. I find I have to spend a lot of time with the book before I can navigate its pages and figure out how/where to find things within the categories. To be fair, there's A LOT of material here, and not being an ediotr, I am not sure if there IS an easier way to package it all for the reader (?) Thankfully, there is a decent index and the book is worth keeping at your bedside for daily inspiration. You can dip into it anywhere and be nourished.
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