How could I say no when presented with the opportunity to review Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints by Daneen Akers? This book couldn’t be a more perfect fit for what my blog is all about, as it’s essentially a collection of profiles of hippie heretics.
If you’re new to my blog, understand that when I use the phrase “hippie heretic,” I am reclaiming these words from their negative connotations to refer to those who are willing to step outside the bounds mandated by gatekeepers of religious hierarchy. These are the folks who care more about seeking justice and mercy than conforming to whatever façade their faith traditions demand of them. And this book is full of 36 such individuals.
These hippie heretics come from multiple faiths and from different periods throughout history or the present. I didn’t count it out exactly, but I’d estimate that roughly half of them are contemporary and the other half historical. They span an incredible diversity of genders, orientations, races, and nationalities. And they are united in their pursuit of justice for all—and particularly for the most marginalized of society.
Some of these holy troublemakers have been long-standing favorite authors of mine. Some were entirely new to me and will have to be added to my to-read list. And a few of them I count myself privileged to consider my friends.
Every story in the book is accompanied by a beautiful full-page artistic portrait of the person being profiled. These are stories to read for yourself, to encourage you in your own pursuit of justice. They are stories to read to your kids, to inspire a new generation of justice seekers. They are stories to come back to over and over again when you need a reminder of what this life is all about.
This book is informative and fascinating. And at times it is hard to read—I found Rachel Held Evan’s profile particularly difficult to get through without becoming teary-eyed. But it’s incredibly worthwhile. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough, and I eagerly await the forthcoming second volume!
Thank you to Speakeasy for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.