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Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God Hardcover – March 31, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A gorgeously written and compelling investigation into what it means to strike up a friendship with the Living God.” (James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage)

“The images Lauren introduces me to in Wearing God have stayed with me, enriching my prayers and broadening my view of God. I love her writing, and this book is no exception.” (Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine)

“In Wearing God—a book both winsome and erudite—Winner convenes a salon of saints and biblical writers to reveal that God is much more than just Shepherd or King and far more interesting than we thought.” (Fred Bahnson, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, author of Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith)

“Lauren’s curiosity about the life of faith is so compelling—and her intelligence so engaging—that there is nothing more satisfying than settling down with a new book from her. The only problem is that it is impossible to read her without being changed; so advance at your own risk.” (Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark)

“Combining spiritual insight and beautifully descriptive prose . . . Winner looks at the ways God can be known through the everyday and familiar. [Her] honest, charming reflections stir the imagination and invite the reader to explore . . . the treasure trove the Bible provides.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“If Christianity is to regain its credibility, or even its positive character, people are going to have to read books like this! Winner opens up Scripture in ways that are loyal to the Great Tradition, and yet readable, faith-filled, and applicable to the world we actually live in.” (Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of Falling Upward)

“Lauren Winner explores less familiar biblical descriptions of God and how each shapes the way we think about who God is. Wearing God is a warm, playful reflection that not only expands our understanding of God, but also highlights the delicate interweaving of language and imagination.” (Relevant Magazine)

“With her trademark acerbic wit and wry honesty, Winner delves into a few seldom used biblical images for God. . . . A mixture of anecdotes and thought-provoking analysis, Wearing God proves a wise and appealing companion on the journey.” (Shelf Awareness)

“Provides a playful and thoughtful excursion into fresh ways of seeing and savoring the Divine in the unfolding of our ordinary lives.” (Spirituality & Practice)

” [An] appealing book . . . a thoughtful mediation on God, spirituality, and the fabric of life.” (Booklist)

“Lauren Winner’s Wearing God is playful, serious, informative, devotional, and as important as it is gratifying. . . . I read it with the sort of joy one feels when watching someone utterly hit their stride.” (Christian Century)

“Winner is a gifted writer (and a voracious reader).” (The Charlotte Observer)

“[These] metaphors clarify and inspire. Winner, no iconoclast, has painted us some pictures worthy of veneration.” (Aleteia)

“This book begs to be savored, to be revisited, to be slept with, prayed over, and pondered.” (RevGals)

Winner parses centuries of people trying to make sense of God [and] deploys her lively spiritual imagination and bookworm sensibility to take us beyond cliché and into new territory. . . . She sees invitations to consider mystery where many of us see only a wall. (The Rumpus.com)

From the Back Cover

"Around five years ago, I began to realize that my pictures of God were old. This intersected, not coincidentally, with my newfound wakefulness to the scriptures, and it led me on a search: what pictures, what images and metaphors, does the Bible give us for who God is, and what ways of being with God might those pictures invite?

"One of the invitations of this book—and, I think, of the Bible—is this: you can discover things about God by looking around your ordinary, everyday life. There is a method here, and it is Jesus's method. Jesus, after all, specialized in asking people to steep themselves in the words of the scriptures and then to look around their ordinary Tuesdays to see what they could see about holiness and life with God. This is not merely entertaining wordplay to give overactive minds something pious to do. It is the Bible's way of making us aware of God and of the world in which we meet God."

—from Wearing God

So begins a wise and lyrical journey as scholar and Episcopal priest Lauren Winner tries on overlooked metaphors for how we meet and experience God. Chapters on God as clothing, laughter, flame, food, wine, and a laboring woman not only invite us to understand God in a new way, but each reveals God to be much closer and more intimate than we imagine, opening up the opportunity for experiencing and knowing God more deeply. If God has felt distant or absent, or if your reading of scripture has become cold or rote, reading Wearing God can serve as the hymn that revives you.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 31, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006176812X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061768125
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love this book! If you've been looking for new ways to see God in the world and in your own life, Lauren Winner does so in an accessible way. She's so good at taking academic knowledge and making it relevant to contemporary life. It's a great book for further reflection on the spiritual life; one that can rejuvenate a stale relationship with God.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, more than any other, is one that captures the essence of Lauren Winner's writing style. She has the uncanny ability to invite God into the chair on the front porch for an intimate dialogue as friends. Perhaps she can do so because she wrote this book in conversation with diverse groups of people - bringing insights from those of Jewish and Christian faiths; the perspectives of strangers, of loved ones; and the voices and stories of both the incarcerated and the free. She paints a picture of God for us that is worth further meditation.
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Format: Hardcover
Winner promises to surprise us with "overlooked" ways of meeting God, and she does not disappoint. In fact, she goes one step further, and surprises us with new ways to actually understand God. It's really remarkable. A couple of chapters approach metaphors somewhat common in liturgical faith communities, like clothes, bread, and wine. These chapters are still very rich.

But what really stand out are chapters on "Laboring Women," "Smell," "Flame," and a concluding postscript on her ministry in a women's prison. In these chapters, I found myself reading about God and encountering God in ways I literally hadn't before, not because they had been unavailable to me (they are, after all, in my personal experience and in theological literature) but because I had overlooked them. Literally.

As just one example, Winner spends much of the chapter on "Laboring Women" actually describing the birth process, and recognizing the shift that has occurred in our culture where more men than ever are present at births, but also more women than ever don't know the personal experience of birthing because, for a variety of reasons, they aren't having children. But then Winner goes on to look at Trinitarian language for God, offering one such image--Mother, Baby, Midwife--I had never considered, even though one is able to find language for this analogy in Scripture itself, and all over the patristic and medieval writings.

This is the other surprise of Winner's book, all the wonderful short quotes she pulls from throughout Christian history. Her book is already powerful enough as it is. The quotes make for a faith compendium I will be returning to over and over to inspire me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book so much that I devised curriculum to accompany it and have taught it to small discussion groups. A very thought provoking read.
What I loved most about it was that it took me out of my comfort zone but in a worthwhile way. I'm a richer person from the insights offered in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Writing from the point of view of a barely-in Christian (way more comfortable as a Unitarian), I found Wearing God to be engaging and thought provoking. I run with many Southern Baptists who are, IME, far too fond of God-the-Father-we-are-his-children, and Wearing God gave me a lot of grist for rejoinder. That's not the only way to think of God...

I take a random walk through Christian literature and most of it goes back to the library within 30 pages. I found Wearing God on the New Book shelf at the library; off to buy her backlist now. Rob Bell is the only other writer who has made me want to read more in this field.
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Format: Kindle Edition
One thing I have grown to love about Lauren Winner through reading her books is her incredible curiousity. She wants to know things, and she will keep asking questions, and keep turning the answers over and over until she gets new ones. And the answers she gets are surprising, hilarious, brilliant and insightful. This book is no exception. I am grateful, as I am sure any reader will be, for Lauren's curiosity about God, and her willingness to share what she has found with everyone else. By constantly challenging her own faith, she challenges ours, and we are all the better, and the closer to God, because of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lauren Winner gets better and better. So many beautiful reflections on God that we might be tempted to bypass in the scriptures if we become too familiar with the text. Winner helps us un-familiarize ourselves and become shocked—as if for the first time—with scriptures we have read a thousand times. Metaphor is crucial to biblical understanding, and to faith as a whole. Winner takes us on a journey of scriptural metaphor that challenges our daily journey in the shockingly common metaphors used in scripture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was such a lovely and thought-provoking exploration of several images and metaphors for God, even while holding in tension our inherent inability to speak thoroughly about who God is. Lauren Winner weaves together her own reflections and experiences with prayers and poetry from theologians and mystics throughout history, and isn't afraid to let difficult questions hang in the air. This was part journaling, part academic writing, part history and part unfinished -- I felt encouraged to sit with the images of God that are resonating with me.

"God hides in bread and wine, in silence, in gardens, in cities, in prisons, in hunger and privation and poverty, in song. The self-hiding God seems to be the God who wills Her own disclosure" --LW
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