Mysticism, Hallucinations, and Designer Spirituality

The dustcover of Joshua Steven Grisetti’s new book God in My Head announces that the author “experienced an accidental prescription drug overdose at a dentist’s office and subsequently had an unexpected encounter with the Almighty Creator the Universe.” Grisetti’s drug induced hallucinations opened the doors of perception, to use Aldous Huxley’s language, and awakened him to [Read More…]

Balancing Self Interest and World Loyalty: On Dee Dee Risher’s ‘Soulmaking Room’

This post is part of a conversation on the new book The Soul-Making Room by Dee Dee Risher, for the Patheos Book Club. Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead claims that religion, at its best, aims at world loyalty. It begins, as the philosopher notes, with solitude, with our own personal experiences of the holy and the privacy [Read More…]

Can a Saint be a Badass?

Can a saint be a “badass”? Can a saint be tough, sometimes abrasive, embodied, highly imperfect, and sensual? Can a saint be married, possibly divorced, but still God-centered? Author Maria Morera Johnson’s clear response in her new book is “Yes.” Or as Oscar Wilde asserted, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a [Read More…]

Staying Put: Stability and Novelty in the Spiritual Journey

Carl McColman’s Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality presents a mystical spirituality for everyday people. You don’t have to be in a monastery to experience God. You can be an everyday mystic, while you’re fixing breakfast for your children, driving to work, caring for an elderly parent, or giving your spouse a massage. [Read More…]

Walking with Jesus: Reflections on Danielle Shroyer’s “Where Jesus Prayed”

In her new book, Where Jesus Prayed, Danielle Shroyer takes us on a spiritual walk with the Lord’s Prayer as her companion. She reminds us that faith is always on the move, and on the move, she discovers new dimensions of this ancient prayer, often lost when we repeat it sitting in church. [Read more…]

Within The Trauma, A Blessing: Reba Riley’s “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann describes three interconnected moods in the Psalms – psalms of orientation, celebration of the goodness of life and our current blessed personal and social location; psalms of disorientation, lamentations when things fall apart and the future is dim; and new orientation, the joy of healing and recovery, in which things never [Read More…]

The Heroine’s Journey: On Jody Gentian Bower’s “Jane Eyre’s Sisters”

On my study desk sits a paperweight that announces “solvitur ambulando,” or “it will be solved in the walking.” Jody Gentian Bower’s Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story could easily be described as “it will be solved in the wandering.” As I read this insightful text, transformative for both women and [Read More…]