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Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith Paperback – April 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
She does this in a series of very brief essays--about 80 in less than four hundred pages--covering such words as : Dogma, Heresy, and Pentecostal. Between the number of topics she covers and the very personal reflections they provoke, no one will agree with everything she has to say, and many will disagree with most of it. But she brings two extremely important qualities to the task : humility and skepticism.
People of faith are commonly caricatured as people whose minds are closed to all but their own beliefs. Kathleen Norris exemplifies the fact that quite the opposite is often true, that faith often comes to those whose minds are most open, to both doubt and possibility.
Ms. Norris is a rare find. In "Amazing Grace" she combines deep, honest reflection with beautiful, unassuming prose to construct short, sweet, and insightful pieces about words (things like "grace," "judgment," and "hell") that have always unsettled or scared her a bit. She examines each word carefully. Often, she thought of sides of a topic I had never considered. The following is part of the passage on grace...Ms. Norris approaches the subject in a unique and enlightening way (She is speaking in the context of Jacob's flight from his brother Esau as told in Genesis 28):
"God does not punish Jacob as he lies sleeping because he can see in him Israel, the foundation of a people. God loves to look at us, and loves it when we will look back at him. Even when we try to run away from our troubles, as Jacob did, God will find us, and bless us, even when we feel most alone, unsure if we'll survive the night. God will find a way to let us know that he is with us in this place, wherever we are, however far we think we've run. And maybe that's one reason we worship-to respond to grace. We praise God not to celebrate our own faith but to give thanks for the faith God has in us. To let ourselves look at God, and let God look back at us. And to laugh, and sing, and be delighted because God has called us his own."
Kathleen Norris is to be commended for the courage she displays in pondering the questions these often loaded words have left her with. All who read her book will benefit from her thoughts.
"Amazing Grace" was a true joy to read. I recommend it highly.
Part of the impression this book made upon me may have had something to do with the fact that I started reading it towards the end of a retreat I was on. It was at the Benedictine Convent and Abbey where Ms. Norris spent much of her time. I hadn't even considered the connection when I took the book along but I was quickly in tune with her comments about her experiences with the Benedictine nuns and monks. Part of the appeal of her book to me had to have something to do with so many events taking place in locales I am familiar with. However, the broader appeal of the book lies in her sincere devotion to the Benedictine Way while equally active in the main stream Protestant Church. She seems intent on exploring ways to find a closer and clearer meaning to her faith. Like Ms. Norris, I had experienced years apart from religion before returning to it with a sincere intention to become a "Good Christian". However, I needed to first understand what it is that comprises a "Good Christian".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author's aim to learn & relearn faith- how to daily love God, love others and love ourselves with humility of articulate language was met AND surpassed! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
En route to leaving formal religion in the 90's and instead opting for caring community groups, I read Kathleen's Norris and was moved by her gentleness, her reluctance to define,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eleanor Cowan
Illuminating in many ways. Easy to understand yet profound in subject matter. Provides comprehensive opinion on various topics regarding religion.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I use this book for study at church and it always proves to evoke conversation and growth in faith!Published 4 months ago by patricia l. jones
As a pastor of 44 years I found this book as other writings of Norris to be interesting and insightful.Published 10 months ago by Robert M Mink
I have had my copy for a number of years. The copy I just bought was for my daughter. I keep referring back to my book over and over. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Priscilla A. Bain
Amazing Grace is an amazing book. She has a wonderful way of helping us understand the real meanings of the vocabulary of Christian faith. Read morePublished 12 months ago by H. Eelman
Wonderful illustrations and explanations that bring to life the language of the Church.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am partial to anything written by Kathleen Norris. I especially like her book, A Cloister Walk, but this book speaks to me, too and I could identify with much of it, growing up... Read morePublished 15 months ago by L. Bernholz