The Life of Meaning

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2008-05-06
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
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Extraordinary people will say extraordinary things, especially when it is Bob Abernethy and his team at PBS' Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly doing the asking. The Life of Meaning presents fifty-nine contributors speaking candidly about their search for meaning in their own personal lives, their experience of God, and for some, the struggle to reconcile faith and doubt. They include Jimmy Carter, Francis Collins, the Dalai Lama, Robert Franklin, Irving Greenberg, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Harold Kushner, Anne Lamott, Madeleine L'Engle, Thomas Lynch, Martin Marty, Mark Noll, Rachel Remen, Marilynne Robinson, Barbara Brown Taylor, Studs Terkel, Thich Nhat Hanh, Phyllis Tickle, Desmond Tutu, Jean Vanier, Marianne Williamson, and many others. Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, which Bob Abernethy conceived for PBS in 1997 and anchors, has been described as "the best spot on the television landscape to take in the broad view of the spiritual dimension of American life" by The Christian Science Monitor. In The Life of Meaning, Abernethy, co-author William Bole, and the staff of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly turn their attention to making a book that asks all the big questions-and elicit the most surprising answers from a who's-who of today's serious religious and spiritual thinkers from across a spectrum of faiths and denominations. Bob Abernethy is the executive editor and host of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. Before launching the series, he had served as a correspondent for NBC News for more than four decades. William Bole's articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Commonweal magazines.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Meaning Makersp. 5
Limning the Rites of Deathp. 9
Staring Down the Gods of Warp. 17
Exposing the Spiritual Crisis of Modern Medicinep. 25
More Than Is Dreamt of in Your Theologiesp. 31
Naming the Realp. 37
Discovering Things Nobody Knew Before but Godp. 41
Waltzing with the God of Chaosp. 47
The Meaning of Mudp. 53
Evil and Sufferingp. 57
A Faith Difficult to Understandp. 61
Easing the Divine Sufferingp. 67
Evil Acts, Sacred Placesp. 75
Like Living in the Book of Jobp. 87
Damning the Disease, Not (Ultimately) the Deityp. 91
Smells Like Hopep. 95
Redeeming the Devilp. 101
Hope Dies Lastp. 105
Prayer and Meditationp. 111
The World's Prayersp. 115
Through the Valley of the Shadowp. 123
The Former President on Unanswered Prayerp. 129
Warming Oneself Before the Glow of Godp. 133
Talking to God Straight and Angryp. 135
On Wintry Spirituality and Nappingp. 139
Praise Every Three Hoursp. 143
The Jesus Prayer and Praying with Iconsp. 147
The Hum of the Universe, in a Minor Keyp. 151
Finding God's Presence in Darknessp. 155
"I'm Spiritual, Not Religious"p. 159
On the Altar of Consciousnessp. 163
Unlearning Religionp. 171
Blessing the Doubtersp. 177
With or Without Religionp. 181
We're Spiritual and Religiousp. 185
Religion Makes Hospice Callsp. 191
The Good, without Godp. 195
Being Religiousp. 203
All Is Giftp. 207
Eileen's Uncle and His Catholic Imaginationp. 217
Stuff Countsp. 223
Is God Still the Center?p. 229
The Inerrant, Infallible Word of Godp. 235
The Genius of Evangelicalismp. 241
Who Is Winning-Evangelicals or American Culture?p. 245
Mainline Protestantism
God Is Not Going to Whomp Youp. 249
Vital Signsp. 257
The African-American Church
Safe Harbors and Defiant Spiritualityp. 263
The Miracle of Existencep. 269
Reading the Book of Our Lifep. 279
The Soul Is Hoveringp. 285
Bearing Witness to the One Godp. 289
The Hajjp. 297
A Message from the Dalai Lamap. 305
Being Mindful and Engagedp. 309
The Smaller Sufferingsp. 315
Many Deities, One Godp. 323
Paths Up the Mountainp. 331
The Measure of Diversityp. 335
Many Paths, Many Waysp. 343
Evangelizing by Deedp. 347
Our Great Challengep. 359
The Passions of Jerusalemp. 363
Lives Well Livedp. 367
Where the Weak and the Strong Dance Togetherp. 371
"Oh, Annie, Whatever"p. 379
No Returnp. 389
Changing Your Social Footprintp. 395
Healing Body and Spiritp. 403
The Cathedral of Charityp. 409
Listen to Your Lifep. 415
Raging against Boredomp. 421
Photo Creditsp. 427
Index of Contributorsp. 432
About the Editorsp. 429
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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