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Amazing Grace
     

Amazing Grace

4.2 11
by Kathleen Norris
 

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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Cloister Walk, a book about Christianity, spirituality, and rediscovered faith.

Struggling with her return to the Christian church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith

Overview

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Cloister Walk, a book about Christianity, spirituality, and rediscovered faith.

Struggling with her return to the Christian church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith. Words like "judgment," "faith," "dogma," "salvation," "sinner"—even "Christ"—formed what she called her "scary vocabulary," words that had become so codified or abstract that their meanings were all but impenetrable. She found she had to wrestle with them and make them her own before they could confer their blessings and their grace. Blending history, theology, storytelling, etymology, and memoir, Norris uses these words as a starting point for reflection, and offers a moving account of her own gradual conversion. She evokes a rich spirituality rooted firmly in the chaos of everyday life—and offers believers and doubters alike an illuminating perspective on how we can embrace ancient traditions and find faith in the contemporary world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engaging meditation on the language of faith."—The New York Times Book Review

"It's hard to imagine less off-putting or pious writing about religion than this sublimely commonsensical lexicon of words and concepts that, as Kathleen Norris explains them, have rarely sounded less frightening—or quite so simple to understand."—Elle

"Definitely worthwhile reading... She combines an impressive understanding of theology with personal experience, making her essays read like letters from a highly literate friend."—People

"A unique and glorious voice."—Boston Globe

"[Kathleen Norris] writes about religion with the imagination of a poet."—Chicago Tribune

"One of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time...frequently irreverent and funny... She makes us converts to her simple faith of warmth." —San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573227216
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
238,412
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.22(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"An engaging meditation on the language of faith."—The New York Times Book Review

"A unique and glorious voice."—Boston Globe

"[Kathleen Norris] writes about religion with the imagination of a poet."—Chicago Tribune

"It's hard to imagine less off-putting or pious writing about religion than this sublimely commonsensical lexicon of words and concepts that, as Kathleen Norris explains them, have rarely sounded less frightening—or quite so simple to understand."—Elle

"One of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time...frequently irreverent and funny...She makes us converts to her simple faith of warmth."—San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

"Definitely worthwhile reading...She combines an impressive understanding of theology with personal experience, making her essays read like letters from a highly literate friend."—People

Meet the Author

Kathleen Norris is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Cloister Walk and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, among others. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, in various anthologies, and in her own three volumes of poetry. She divides her time between South Dakota and Hawaii.

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Amazing Grace 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read the Cloister Walk and Amazing Grace by Ms. Norris. She writes in a conversational tone which is easy to read and understand.I especially liked her treatment of the word doubt. It helped me tremendously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very enlightening book for any Christian. As a person who was always afraid of 'organized religion', it gave me a new understanding of what it means to be a Christian. The author found that it was often the vocabulary of the church that most distanced her from it. The book helped me to realize that 'Christ died to take away my sins, not my mind.'
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Haze76 More than 1 year ago
Although I have some fundamental differences with Norris's theology -- in her effort to be ultra-inclusive, she conspicuously omits one of the basics of Christianity that require one to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour (among others), I found a lot of compassion and beauty here. I too grew up the daughter of protestant ministers and converted to Catholicism later in life for many of the same reasons Norris became a Catholic Oblate. There is a lot of wisdom here, a lot of searching, and seemingly a great desire to level the field (which at times reduces Chirst from being "God" to little more than an "everyman"). This is a great book for discussion and introspection. Once I read it, I bought several as gifts that should be greatly appreciated by open-minded people who honestly seek the truth and wish to expand their own ideas. Norris's writing is a bonus--she is a master, weaving words into beautiful gifts page by page.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Norris' book is an excellent read whether you are a new Christian, one who has been on the Christian journey for many years, or merely seek to understand many of the theological terms used by Christians. The personal reflections, incorporating the words discussed, is enlightening, as Ms. Norris continues her faith journey. These reflections, and the 'definitions' used by Ms. Norris, can not only take the fear out of these terms, but can help each of us understand that many times the different factions of Christianity are divided by 'words' instead of 'beliefs'