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Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters--and How to Talk About It Paperback – January 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Tippett, host of the weekly NPR radio show Speaking of Faith, offers a challenging book that is part intellectual autobiography, part rumination on the issues of the day. It begins with a fairly detailed discussion of the death of "secularization theory" as outlined by Harvey Cox and others—not a typical opening salvo for a spiritual memoir—and then reveals Tippett's own intellectual and spiritual formation. She discusses at length how her views were shaped not only by her Southern Baptist grandfather in Oklahoma, or by her adolescent rejection of his rigidity, but by the time she spent in East and West Germany in her 20s, first as a journalist and then as a diplomat. She followed this period with marriage and a stint in England before taking the plunge and enrolling in divinity school in the early 1990s. More than a personal chronicle, however, this is a rigorously brainy piece of work, as informed by the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, Charles Darwin and Annie Dillard as it is by Tippett's fascinating interviews with figures like Elie Wiesel and Karen Armstrong. As Tippett takes on issues from the science-and-religion debates to the future of progressive Islam, she shows herself to possess the same "imaginative intellectual approach" that she admires in some of her interview subjects. (Mar.)
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"In a day where religion-or, rather arguments over religion-divide us into ever more entrenched and frustrated camps, Krista Tippett is exactly the measured, balanced commentator we need."
-Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
"Tippett's prose is lyrical and profound; her arguments should move the secularist and the dogmatist alike to a new vision of peace."
-Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
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Top Customer Reviews
The book itself is extraordinary. I found the harcover in a sale bin and thought it was a collection of her interviews on NPR. But it is her memoir, her own faith development - filled with thought provoking, faith enriching and spirit stirring insights. Beautifully written and definitely motivating the reader to go one his/her own spiritual journey. Her analysis of power and influence of religion, especially fundamentalism, gives great understanding of what is happening in our world today. And even more, may help individuals understand their own knee-jerk reactions to their own ungospel-like attitudes of exclusion, rather than inclusion. For me the book holds wisdom that deserves a wide readership. And that is why I buy many copies to give to friends, and to encourage people in church ministry to use as a guide in faith/ministry/awareness expansion. I myself am a Catholic priest - and I felt the Holy Spirit's "ru'ah" upon me the whole time I was reading this book.
This was my kind of book. I love to write in the margins, pose questions, add counter points etc.. It is not supposed to be a light or fun read. She is asking questions, hard questions that even the best and brightest of her guests struggle with. It is as others have suggested, an extended conversation. And it is a conversation that we can sit in on! My only regret is that I could not physically be there to ask my own questions or put in my 2 cents worth.
Krista is no slouch herself. She was the perfect person to have all these opportunities. I hope she has the strength to continue these conversations. I worry a little that the shear weight of all the uncertainties and complexities she immerses herself in will take a toll. As she ends the book I can't tell if her glass is half full or half empty. But I know I desperately want to reach out to her and say, here are a few more pieces I have found to put in your glass.
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