Provident Book Finder

January 1, 2022

The U.S.A. seems to be increasingly godless, yet polls show that most Americans believe in God, many say they go to church, and an astonishing number of them hold to traditional religious beliefs. How can this be?  Are we just a nation of hypocrites who say one thing and do another?

One answer comes from Phyllis A. Tickle, whose role as contributing editor in religion for Publisher’s Weekly and editor-at-large of its Religion Bookline gives her extensive exposure to books of every stripe which fall into the “religion” category.
She is in a unique position to know what people in America are saying about God in print.  Tickle is also up on TV and movies, radio talk shows, even Internet “chat rooms” where amazingly heavy theological discourse takes place. Tickle offers her analysis of the foment and developments in our nation’s religious life from what is surely the “cutting edge.”

Here are two quotes to give you a taste of this book. (The first is from the Forward; the second is the book’s concluding sentence.) Comparing her book to a folk dance, Tickle says,

“.. most of all, this book was written for those of my fellow Americans who are dancing in their own spaces on the floor and would like for a few minutes to see the
whole pattern of which they are a part.”

And “. . . faith in America today and the god-talk that is its most audible expression are …a constellation of millions of shining parts, each an integer in its own right and each the luminous guardian of its own light.”

A warning: don’t let the folksy title or cover illustration fool you. Tickle has a brilliant mind, and she can’t resist long and/or unusual words. Her rich insights are well worth the scramble to keep up with her, but scramble most readers will!

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