Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core, on SOULJOURN, the new novel from Patheos Press: “The spiritual journey is at the heart of what it means to be human and America, with its stunningly diverse devotions, may the perfect place to undertake such a quest. Reverend Jim Burklo, someone who has gone through his own ‘souljourn’ and facilitated the journeys of many others, has written a wonderful guide to the cosmic, both without and within. This book will enrich you!”
soul*journ \ˈsōl-ˈjər-n\ n (from the eponymous novel by Jim Burklo) 1: an exploration of religion and spirituality by visiting places of prayer or worship of many different faiths
— a new novel with a mission: to inspire readers to engage personally with religious communities other than their own. It also inspires people to put their faith to work for the common good. The book is a conversation-starter – in dorms, living rooms, classrooms, coffee shops, and faith communities. It is a companion text for reflection on “souljourning”, and a curricular supplement for courses in comparative religion, world religions, and sociology of religion. Order SOULJOURN here – print or e-book. The author is Jim Burklo, Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California.
— a movement to encourage all Americans to discover, in person, the rich religious diversity in their own “back yards”. It’s an opportunity for houses of worship and prayer to invite “souljourners” to their congregations. Congregations can indicate their welcome to “Souljourners” with the graphic below.
— a campus program that brings students to congregations of many different faiths, and encourages reflection on these experiences. See how it works at the University of Southern California… create a similar program at your campus! If you start a SOULJOURN program in any form, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your program information so it can be listed here at this site.
About the book: A thirst for God leads Joshua T. Stoneburner on a quest through the spiritual landscape of America. In his pickup truck, Joshua T. Stoneburner bounces down the back roads of America’s vast and irregular religious landscape, his tires kicking up dusty rooster-tails of questions about the nature of God and the purpose of life. Was it God he saw in the cactus? Josh isn’t giving up till he finds out, even if it turns his teenage years upside-down. His search for clues leads him into every form of spirituality he can find — enlightening, exasperating, and entertaining the people along his path. Each faith exposes more of the pattern in his vision, tantalizing the reader with religious revelations. Along his way, Josh is drawn toward stranded immigrants, a tormented church janitor, a café waitress and her young fraternal twins, a Native American scout for drug smugglers, and his own fumbling father’s love. Josh Stoneburner is the “coyote” spiriting the reader back and forth over the border of laughter and tears. By the end of the book, Josh has questioned his way into faithful compassion, rather than affiliating with any particular faith. SOULJOURN taps the aquifer of humor that exists under every religion, while it explores the ways that American culture, and every faith that crosses the US border, infect each other. SOULJOURN is an entertaining way to learn about the religions of the world, and to get inspired to learn a lot more.