More Mystery, More Orthodoxy: What We'll Be Reading in 25 Years

Rather aligned to the return of an affinity for the Orthodox heritage of the Faith will be an increase in books about monasticism and vowed living, whether it be fully communal or not; and out of that expanding stream, I suspect some truly classic and enduring titles will surface and swim forth. The Orthodox writer's trick of employing the third-person perspective instead of the first-person one that has traditionally been so dear to western writers will take firmer root among us, making the spiritual memoir or autobiography less appealing and/or less desirable as a vehicle for producing classic Christian material.

Finally, fiction, that great mainstay of all people's literature in all content areas, will thrive among us—not, however, the ordinary fiction that tells a romantic or even insightful story, allowing us pleasantly to pass a sequestered and non-electronic hour or two. The seeds of the fiction that is coming can, rather, be seen in the work of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter saga or in the non-Christian spiritual work of Philip Pullman's His Dark Material trilogy where again the mystery—the ineffable, the sacred known that is unknowable—seduces the whole sum that is each of us and then, having seduced, begins to infiltrate and sculpt what we are and how we live.

In sum, like the old sailor man, I may be wrong about the weather, though like him I doubt it. But either way, there is one certain thing, and that is that there will indeed be weather for as long as we human beings dream of sailing.

Visit the Patheos Book Club on 25 Books Every Christian Should Read for more conversation on essential spiritual reading for our time.

11/16/2011 5:00:00 AM