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The Soul's Religion: Cultivating A Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life Paperback – March 25, 2003


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The Soul's Religion: Cultivating A Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life + Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals + Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060930195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060930196
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Spirituality should never be used as an escape route, according to Thomas Moore's Soul's Religion. Rather, it should be the catalyst that helps us face our everyday failures, angst, and emotional entanglements. This has always been Moore's anthem: that spirituality rests in the depths of experience, in the ordeals and challenges that initiate us into a stronger sense of life's meaning. "This book may look simple, but it is not naive," promises Moore, who sees Soul's Religion as a companion volume to the bestselling Care of the Soul.
It doesn't coddle the ego. It offers challenge to the person fully in the flesh while developing at the same time an intelligent and deep-seated spiritual identity.... In this spirituality justice is more important than enlightenment and humor holier than ambition.
This is Moore at his best--taking spiritual teachings out of the texts, temples, and churches and applying them to everyday life. The former monk draws upon Christianity, Zen, and Taoism as he shows readers how religion should not be used as a shield. Rather, it should be a tool that cracks open our defenses so we can live without fear and judgments. Time and time again Moore takes readers to the daily place of "emptiness and not knowing," the place where we can best meet God. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Moore's long-awaited companion volume to his popular 1992 book, Care of the Soul, delves into religion as a way of enhancing the life of the soul. A former monk and therapist, Moore reimagines religion not as a set of beliefs or a strict moral code, but as a romantic adventure. He draws heavily on his background in world religions, calling upon sources as diverse as poet Emily Dickinson, Lutheran martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Zen master Shunryu Suzuki. The result is not a frothy mixture of spiritual comfort and pat answers, but a thoughtful guidebook for seekers willing to go beyond instant messaging in their religious journeys and do their own work. Moore expresses some impatience with the "new spirituality" that has cropped up on the talk-show circuit with its "glowing, bloated terminology." But he clearly offers another way one in which ignorance can be holy, unbelief is as important as belief and "God is as much in the mess as in the beauty." In this collection of short essays, Moore is provocative, yet respectful of traditional religion. His thoughts are not always wrapped tightly or arranged in an easy flow, but he never creates the expectation that they will be, depicting himself more as a fellow explorer than an all-knowing guru. Readers involved in traditional religious structures may not agree with all of Moore's ideas, but they cannot fail to be challenged by them, as will independent spiritual travelers who have forged their own paths.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and ecology. He lectures frequently in Ireland and has a special love of Irish culture. He has Ph. D. in religion from Syracuse University and has won several awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Humanitarian Award from Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University. He also writes fiction and music and often works with his wife, artist and yoga instructor, Hari Kirin. He writes regular columns for Resurgence and Spirituality & Health and has recently published A Life at Work and Writing in the Sand. He is a patron of Re-Vision, a London center of spirituality and counseling, and on the board of Turning Point, a bereavement counselors training program in Dublin, Ireland.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I find it very thoughtful, interesting, and unique.
Frank Bryant
His openness models the deep self-acceptance he advocates for all of us.
Barbara Molfese
In fact, if you are just going to read one of them, I suggest this one.
Tw Rutledge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Tw Rutledge on June 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book is billed as the companion volume to Moore's Care of the Soul, but that is not the same as a sequel. Reading Care of the Soul is not a prerequisite to benefiting from The Soul's Religion. In fact, if you are just going to read one of them, I suggest this one.
In my work as a psychotherapist and author (Embracing Fear, HarperSanFrancisco) I have defined wisdom as "the accumulated knowlege of our ignorance." Thomas Moore understands and emphasizes the importance of acknowledging all that we do not know (our ignorance), and takes my definition into the spiritual realm by suggesting that it is in that often uncomfortable --- sometimes painful --- place of "not knowing" where we are most likely to meet God.
All great thinkers are independent thinkers and Thomas Moore challenges readers to think independently, rather than soliciting our membership to the "Thomas Moore Is My Guru" Fan Club. This book is an excellent guide into individual exploration of spirituality, and it never once loses touch with the real-world considerations of daily life. In brief: The Soul's Religion is useful. Can you tell that I recommend it?
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a most luminous, magical, lyrical and compassionate book. There is much wisdom contained in 'Soul's Religion' & its more detailed than 'Care of the Soul'. Moore addreses life's crucial questions and meditates upon them with profound, ritualistic rhythm. He is able to translate, so eloquently and poetically, his finely-tuned sensibility with an understanding of decades of theological scholarship. Moore honours history and integrates it into his work with dazzling finesse. Moore reminds us of the artful philosophies of the Renaissance. Encourages us to revel and rejoice in the mystery of the Church. In divine, holy ignorance.
Solomon 6:'Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates'
I have found her in this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Contrarian on June 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Readers will enjoy this book most if they are relatively similar to Thomas Moore, the author. If a person was raised in a narrow minded faith and is hungering to look beyond it to other forms of spirituality, he or she is likely to find encouragement in this book. This would be especially true for Catholics. Thomas Moore is a former Catholic monk who now has "radically reinvisioned" his catholicism. He also is of an artistic bent, with a special affection for poetry and music. Having transcended the Catholicism of his youth, Moore remains a man of faith. He did not leave religion behind. He did not become anything like an atheist. In fact, he became a kind of polytheist. Any readers interested in a similar path, will probably enjoy this book.

However, anyone who likes clarity might be disappointed. Moore's writing style is exceptionally vague. I do not recall a single paragraph of this book that could be considered crisp or vivid. The book is vague from beginning to end. It all sounds rather good. I cannot argue with many of Moore's ideas and he mostly seems to know what he is talking about. The problem is that often I was not sure what he was talking about. There is an impressionistic, non-concrete, slant to his writing which makes his ideas hard to pin down. This is not mere style. He often shifts meaning, such as making a distinction between soul and spirit but then does not always stay true to his own distinction. He often redefines words or concepts in his own way, but fails to make his definition clear. He is also often imprecise with words. For example, the subtitle to the book is "Cultivating a Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life" but his approach is more broad than it is profound. He prefers breadth over depth.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By tom m on November 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have been on a long and winding spiritual journey for twelve years. Part of those twelve years I attempted to become a minister in an enormous "red tape" denomination. I finally decided to turn the church loose and find out who God truly is.
Since that time I have been trying to define myself (spiritually). This book has truly been a key to that definition. The key authors that have guided me have been Thomas Merton, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Thomas Moore, Thomas Keating, and Harold Kushner. Each of the authors have played a major role in my spiritual development.
I recommend the book, "The Soul's Religion: Cultivating a Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life" by Thomas Moore, to anyone truly wanting to discover ways to the "core of life"!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over several books, Thomas Moore has talked about the soul, how it defines who we are and helps shape the direction and essence of our lives. Just when you think he has said all that can be said on the subject, "The Soul's Religion" appears with page after page of fresh insights and analogies.
A refreshing part of this book and all his work is that he readily admits he does not have all the answers. In his words, he is "...a simple person struggling as much as anyone else." Yet, if he does not have the answers, he seems to know where they can be found, he guides us to the proverbial water where we can uncover them for ourselves.
Moore often refers to the mystics and philsophers of centuries past to help us find insights into the mysteries of the soul. There is no doubt that future generations will refer to his work. No one in our time has spoken so beautifully and masterfully about spirituality and the soul. His words have the ring of truth.
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