Coming Next Week

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be writing about the essays in the newest book by the author who penned the book that I names the 2008 Religious Book of the Year.  Please join me:

Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country In Between by Jeff Sharlet

No one explores the borderlands of belief and skepticism quite like Jeff Sharlet. He is ingenious, farsighted, and able to excavate the worlds of others, even the flakiest and most fanatical, with uncanny sympathy. Here, he reports back from the far reaches of belief, whether in the clear mountain air of “Sweet Fuck All, Colorado” or in a midnight congregation of urban anarchists celebrating a victory over police.

From Dr. Cornel West to legendary banjo player Dock Boggs, from the youth evangelist Ron Luce to America’s largest “Mind, Body, Spirit Expo,” Sharlet profiles religious radicals, realists, and escapists. Including extended journeys published here for the first time, Sweet Heaven When I Die offers a portrait of our spiritual landscape that calls to mind Joan Didion’s classic Slouching Towards Bethlehem.

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  • I’m really looking forward to your thoughts on this, Tony.
    Just finished the Cornel West essay, fascinating stuff. Sharlet nails his speech cadence, I can absolutely hear West talking to him. Seems to me the “subversive joy” idea is well worth more exploration.
    The essay even does the impossible: makes me want to give Matrix 2 & 3 another chance!

    “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Beautiful.