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Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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“I’ve been grateful for Bass’s sharp mind, but upon finishing Grounded, I found myself in love with her mystical heart and gorgeous storytelling. We need to believe that God is with us, in dirt and water and suffering and homes and neighborhoods. God is definitely in this book.” (Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On, Warrior)
“Provocative and well-researched, Grounded is an admirable contribution to the understanding of contemporary American Christianity, which is in constant needs of reformation. May the church listen.” (National Catholic Reporter)
“A profound and literary book.” (Christian Century)
“Bass’ credentials... frequently help bridge the gap between those who practice Christianity and those who research it. ‘What makes her an unusual voice among commentators in American religion right now is that she’s a proponent of hopeful religion.’… Grounded champions a return to nature and an embrace of hospitality.” (Religion News Service)
“In her excellent treatise, [Bass] declares the current state of religion as not dying but transforming…. Bass’s biblical and effusive style, always mixing the personal with the political and scriptural, finds a deeper, more profound register in this latest book.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Grounded is a wise and beautiful book. It is, in fact and in places, almost an anthem to the sacred unity of the physical and the spiritual in the formation of human faith and in the maturation of the human soul.” (Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence)
“In Grounded, Diana Butler Bass brings theology back down to earth. She writes about the environment and about the church in a way that makes sense, feels authentic, and doesn’t put you to sleep. A stunning book that will open up new conversations in the church and beyond.” (Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution)
“I absolutely love this book. I’ve long respected Diana Butler Bass for her intelligent, academic approach to the religious conversation, and never more so than in the pages of this book. Grounded made me love this beautiful world more deeply, and made God’s presence more visible everywhere I looked.” (Shauna Niequist, author of Savor and Bread & Wine)
“An absolutely gorgeously written book about real faith in the real world.” (James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage)
About the Author
Diana Butler Bass is the author of eight books on American religion, including Christianity After Religion, Christianity for the Rest of Us, and A People's History of Christianity. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University, has taught at the college and graduate level, and is currently an independent scholar. She was a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate, and blogs for the Huffington Post and the Washington Post on issues of religion, spirituality, and culture. Bass is a popular speaker at conferences, colleges and universities, and churches across North America. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and dog. Her website is dianabutlerbass.com and she can be followed on Twitter at @dianabutlerbass.
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Grounded teaches a vital truth that needs teaching, and it’s done with breathtaking simplicity through wonderful anecdotes from the author’s life. There are no complex parables or confusing academic language, just pure storytelling that grips the reader from start to finish. I give it my highest recommendation.
The premise of Grounded is simple: God is everywhere: in the earth and all creation but also in that which connects us to the earth, our roots, our sense of home, our neighborhoods, and even in the commons where we gather. Therefore, being grounded is a vital step in the process of discovering God as He is within us and us within God. This is not to be confused with the “personal relationship” used by evangelical groups that preach what Ms. Butler Bass calls “the vertical God,” the one “up there” in “Heaven.” Many Christians consider spirituality and mysticism to be “new age” and dangerous to the saving of one’s soul, but Ms. Butler Bass makes the most powerful opposing arguments that I’ve ever read. Anyone on a spiritual journey that includes the deconstruction and reconstruction of their own faith needs to read this book. It’ll help you better understand the tugging your own soul, the one that says, “There has to be more.”
Let me close with a word of caution for other readers of this and other spiritual auto-biographies. When we, as a people, come to realize that our religious affiliations have hampered, instead of encouraged, our spiritual growth and break away from it we rapidly come in contact with facts and events that we have been denied previous entree into. From this explosion of thoughts we have a strong tendency that because we took the ‘brave step’ and rejected past teachings we must now be experiencing what we have been blinded to see previously; THE TRUTH. While I can certainly understand the feeling and the freedom that accompanies it, please do not delude yourself or others to your newly found stance of being the trail blazer that all others should follow. For an example, let us say that we have a neighbour friend whose name is Bill. In addition to your friendship he is also friends with ten other people in the neighbourhood and each one of these are treasured by him but, more importantly, each one of these relationships is different and unique from all the others. Does this mean that Bill is a different person when he encounters another person? Of course not! Bill is simply Bill and always will be. In my mind this is identical to our relationship with God. Each person’s relationship is both different and unique as it is with Bill and his friends. When a person breaks away from a ‘group think’ set of beliefs, as the church presents, the new relationship you experience with God is also different and unique from everyone else’s. So please do not write books, as this one is, about how you have found the ‘truth’ and attempt to convince others to take the same path, form the same thoughts, or experience eternity the same way as you have for all of us are individuals and, being as such, are not meant to have the same experiences that you have had. Each one of us is to experience God in the manner that are abilities lead us. None of us need to create a list of tenets and encourage others to follow. None of us should recreate another set of rules, regulations and belief systems, for this is the binding factors that we escaped our original church to begin with...............
But if you're sitting in a pew (or a line or circle of chairs) week after week, year after year, and you're thinking "there has to be something more" and if you're hungry for it, then you'll get a lot of good from Butler-Bass's theology and personal experiences. I can't recommend this book enough to those who want to unlearn God-as-superbeing-in-the-sky and relearn God as the ground we are all rooted in.