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A Dynamic God Large Print Edition: Living an Unconventional Catholic Faith

Overview

When Nancy Mairs published her spiritual autobiography Ordinary Time, Kathleen Norris greeted it in the New York Times Book Review as “a remarkable accomplishment,” calling Mairs “a relentlessly physical writer, as fiercely committed to her art as to her spiritual development.” A Dynamic God is Mairs’s return to the subjects of religion and spirituality—a passionately individual book of meditations on a life of engaged faith.

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Overview

When Nancy Mairs published her spiritual autobiography Ordinary Time, Kathleen Norris greeted it in the New York Times Book Review as “a remarkable accomplishment,” calling Mairs “a relentlessly physical writer, as fiercely committed to her art as to her spiritual development.” A Dynamic God is Mairs’s return to the subjects of religion and spirituality—a passionately individual book of meditations on a life of engaged faith.

“A Dynamic God owes its power to Mairs’s sensitivity, her attention to detail, her honesty about herself. Wheelchair-bound with multiple sclerosis, she is increasingly unable to take care of herself. Throughout the essays here, she touches on these and other issues to get at not just the roots of her progressive Catholicism—Dorothy Day is a favorite role model—but the nature of faith in a world where it often doesn’t seem to be rewarded, where ‘most of us face, from time to time, more than we can handle.’” —David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“An eloquent and witty account of a spiritual quest to find the holy within and without. It suggests a way back to the sacred for Catholics of all varieties.” —Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly

“For those struggling with contradictions between organized religion and their personal beliefs, this testament to living an intimately unique brand of Catholicism will be welcome reading.” —Booklist

“Mairs is an extraordinary woman . . . able to write with passion about a God that others in her position would have walked away from a long time ago . . . Her self-deprecating humor iswonderful—much like the writing of Anne Lamott, although Mairs manages to create her own style.” —Publishers Weekly

“Early in the book, the author states that her intent is to throw wide the door for the Holy One to enter. She has done that and much more.” —Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Mairs is an extraordinary woman. The acclaimed author of the spiritual autobiography Ordinary Timesuffers from multiple sclerosis, yet is able to write with passion about a God that others in her position would have walked away from a long time ago. A convert to Catholicism, Mairs often finds herself on the other side of the political and ideological fence from her church's hierarchy, but her gift for finding the sacred in everyday life is so steeped in a Catholic worldview that she must keep practicing her faith. The author draws strength from prayer and some religious devotions, but she focuses that strength through her political activism in a world that needs justice. Her self-deprecating humor is wonderful-much like the writing of Anne Lamott, although Mairs manages to create her own style. As one who suffers from a debilitating disease, Mairs has been continually challenged with the spiritual truth that it is who people are rather than what they do that makes them worthy of divine love. This is a tough but integral lesson for anyone who takes spiritual matters seriously. Through her writing, Mairs illustrates the difference between orthodoxy and faith. She chooses the latter, and given her life experiences, she should know. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

In these essays, Mairs (research associate, Southwest Inst. for Research on Women; Ordinary Time) describes an alternative approach to Catholicism she herself experiences in the American Southwest. A convert from Congregationalism, Mairs describes herself as a "Zen Catholic" as well as a feminist, radical, and political activist who worships with a community dedicated to peace and justice. She explores her sometimes contradictory relationship with the church through such topics as the role of prophecy in the modern world, contemporary liturgy, Our Lady of Guadalupe and social issues, how to discern one's purpose in life, God as verb or process, the need to be satisfied with what we have despite society's consumerist mentality, and the ways in which fear and greed are destroying our world. Some of her stances are avant-garde by traditional standards, but they express an increasingly prevalent viewpoint among those within the church who are frustrated by recent scandals and the institution's official positions on issues such as the role of women. Recommended for public libraries.
—Denise J. Stankovics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807098820
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.99 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Mairs is author of several acclaimed books, including Ordinary Time, Carnal Acts, Remembering the Bone House, and Plaintext.

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Table of Contents


First Words     ix
Why I Am the Catholic I Am: A Journey
Left at the Altar     3
Coveting the Saints: Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Soup     24
A Calling     36
Faith Matters: Meditations on God, Sin, and Abundance
Poor God     51
God in Love     62
Enough Is Enough     80
Risen? Risen Indeed!     94
Called to Action: God in the World
The End of the World     105
Where God Lives     120
Last Words     134
Notes     138
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