Book Recommendation: “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”

Wow. Good book to read if you're looking for one: "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman. A child from the Hmong immigrant community in Merced, California presents at the County Hospital with a severe form of epilepsy. Due to cultural differences, failures in translation between the medical community and the child's family, and constant misunderstanding about the roles of medical intervention and traditional Hmong spiritual healing arts, the child's life and health go … [Read more...]

Friendship shared in letters: a review of Love and Salt

 Maybe fifty years ago, two young women could meet each other at school or a party, and rest assured that they shared some commonality of belief. In today's post-Christian American culture, those same young women would guard their belief like a neurosis, waiting for the moment when it would have to be revealed, probably in a piece of writing or a late night heart to heart, that they were one of those "God people." Such was the case for Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith, who … [Read more...]

From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart: Chris Haw’s journey from Catholicism to the Evangelical Church and Back Again

It's been my very good luck to read some excellent books lately for the Patheos book club. One of my favorites so far has been Chris Haw's "From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart: Rekindling my love for Catholicism." Even before I had finished reading, I had a list of at least ten people to whom I wanted to pass on this book. I have many friends and family who are Evangelical, and at times have felt we were speaking past each other when engaging the topic of religion."You need to purify your … [Read more...]

My Sisters the Saints

A review of Colleen Carroll Campbell's new book. When I was going through confirmation, I chose Saint Teresa of Avila for my patron saint because I liked her name, and that she was a Doctor of the Church. I'm pretty sure that when I was fifteen, I still sort of wanted to be the first woman president, and while saints--almost--excited me at the time, what I really liked seeing was a woman getting ahead in a man's world.Since then, I've observed that while it's easy to admire … [Read more...]