Search for God at Harvard

Search for God at Harvard

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by Ari L. Goldman
     
 

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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

In 1985 Ari L. Goldman took a year’s leave from his job as a religion reporter for The New York Times and enrolled in the Harvard Divinity School. What began as a project to deepen his knowledge of the world’s sacred beliefs turned out to be an extraordinary journey of spiritual illumination, one

Overview

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

In 1985 Ari L. Goldman took a year’s leave from his job as a religion reporter for The New York Times and enrolled in the Harvard Divinity School. What began as a project to deepen his knowledge of the world’s sacred beliefs turned out to be an extraordinary journey of spiritual illumination, one in which Goldman reexamined his own faith as an Orthodox Jew and opened his mind to the great religions of the world.

In his year at Harvard, Goldman found to his surprise that his fellow students were not straitlaced, somber clerics, but a diverse, vibrant, and sometimes embattled group from every major religion, united by their deep spiritual commitment. Even more surprising was the spiritual climate of the Divinity School itself: Far from being an ivory tower or a bastion of old-time Christian piety, the school was a forum for passionate debate on the relationships between religion and politics, social mores and sexuality.

Written with warmth, humor, and penetrating clarity, The Search for God at Harvard is a book for anyone who has wrestled with the question of what it means to take religion seriously today.

Praise for The Search for God at Harvard:

“Personal yet informative, warm and humorous, beautifully written. In a word, superb.”
–Elie Wiesel

“Is it possible to honor the truth of one’s own religion while being genuinely open to others? In The Search for God at Harvard, Ari Goldman tells his story in so fine a manner that he helps us to understand why the answer must be yes.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“Excellent: intelligent, informative, infused with humor.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Enriching . . . well-written, absorbing.”
–The Boston Globe

“A valuable and unique contribution.”
–The Washington Post Book World

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
New York Times reporter Goldman's offbeat, soul-baring, spiritually challenging odyssey describes his year at Harvard Divinity School, in 1985. Sent by his newspaper to immerse himself in the world's religions, this Orthodox Jew felt irresistibly drawn to the rite of Catholic communion; he experienced Buddhist meditation, found close parallels between Judaism and Islam, and gauged the disarray in mainstream Protestantism. Studying sacrificial rites of the Nuer, a Sudanese tribe, helped him better understand Jewish tradition. Besides crystallizing his own beliefs, his encounters at Harvard triggered a personal catharsis as he sorted out the early trauma of his parents' divorce, a repressive yeshiva environment, his sexual liberation in the 1970s and his rise from copyboy to Times religion reporter. His painstakingly candid account is an enriching read.
Library Journal
Here's something you don't see every day: an Orthodox Jewish reporter attending Harvard Divinity School. That's what Goldman did in 1985, as much for his own edification as for professional purposes. Goldman, religion writer for the New York Times , here chronicles his year at Harvard, where he tested the waters of his own faith while immersing himself in the study of the major religious traditions. He comes away with a disdain for the Divinity School (more reputation than reality) and a profound sense of the richness and depth of his own religious convictions. For Goldman, Judaism is strengthened as it is challenged; this insight is finally the message of this thoughtful, well-written pilgrimage. Highly recommended for all searching souls and lovers of spiritual autobiographies as well as those concerned with contemporary religious education.-- Sandra Collins, Trinity Sch . for Ministry, Ambridge, Pa.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345377067
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1992
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,136,418
Product dimensions:
7.96(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.03(d)

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Search for God at Harvard 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BlockM More than 1 year ago
Maybe this was the wrong book for what I was looking for. I wanted a book that inspired/changed my religous thoughts. I wanted something to wake me up spiritually. This did not do it. I think this book would be great for those who are embedded in their spiritual beliefs. But if you are still searching for answers with your faith this is not the book for you. I found myself quickly in over my head and never once found myself really engaged in the book. I was always searching for clarity with what I had just read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ari Goldman tells an interesting story, and gives a somewhat critical description of Harvard Divinity School. But he tends to stray from the topic too much, and the book is overall very disorganized. He tells some interesting stories and presents some nice information, but then he goes off on too many tangents and doesn't really get his points across.