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Saints As They Really Are
Voices of Holiness in Our Time

By Michael Plekon

In his new book, Saints As They Really Are, priest and scholar Michael Plekon traces the spiritual journeys of several American Christians, using their memoirs and other writings. These "saints-in-the-making" show all their doubts and imperfections as they reflect on their search for God and their efforts to lead holy lives. They are gifted yet ordinary women and men trying to follow Christ within their flawed and broken humanity--"saints as they really are," as Dorothy Day put it.

Saints As They Really Are is the third book in Plekon's critically acclaimed series on saints and holiness in our time. He draws on the autobiographical work of Dorothy Day, Peter Berger, Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris, and Barbara Brown Taylor, among others, as well as from his own experiences as a Carmelite seminarian and brother. Plekon shares the power of these individuals' stories as they unfold. The book offers a strong argument that our failings and weaknesses are not disqualifications to holiness. Plekon further confronts the institutional church and its relationship to individuals seeking God, focusing on some of the challenges to this search-the destructive potential of religion and religious institutions, as well as our personal tendencies to extremism, overwork, pious obsessions, and legalism. But he also underscores the healing qualities of faith and the spiritual life. Plekon's insights will help readers better understand their own spiritual pilgrimages as they learn how others have dealt with the trials and joys of their path to everyday holiness.

About the Author

Michael PlekonMichael Plekon is a professor in the department of sociology/anthropology and the Program in Religion and Culture at Baruch College, City University of New York. He is also an ordained priest in the Orthodox Church in America.

He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Hidden Holiness (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009) and Living Icons: Persons of Faith in the Eastern Church (University of Notre Dame Press, 2002).