The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talkby Lawrence Kushner
In the incomparable manner of his award-winning The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet, Kushner now lifts up and shakes the dust off 30 primary religious words we use to describe the spiritual dimension of life. With creativity (and occasional heresy), he makes The Words take on renewed spiritual significance, adding power and focus to the lives we live
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In the incomparable manner of his award-winning The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet, Kushner now lifts up and shakes the dust off 30 primary religious words we use to describe the spiritual dimension of life. With creativity (and occasional heresy), he makes The Words take on renewed spiritual significance, adding power and focus to the lives we live every day.
For each word, Kushner offers us three to four pages of startling, moving and insightful explication, with pointed readings from biblical and more recent sources to further heighten our understanding. He concludes with a short exercise that helps unite the spirit of the word with our actions in the world.
"This is a powerful and holy book. Whatever our religious traditions, it is a beautiful place to forever be beginning to know the Lord, our God."
- M. Scott Peck, M.D., author of The Road Less Traveled and other books
"A richly imaginative work that can be read with profit by persons of all traditions."
- Publishers Weekly
"What a delightful wholeness of intellectual vigor and meditative playfulness, and all in a tone of gentleness that speaks to this gentile."
Rt. Rev. Krister Stendahl, former dean of Harvard Divinity School, bishop emeritus of Stockholm
"It is wonderful! A surprise at every page. His translations and elaborations provoke and stimulate the religious imagination."
Rabbi Neil Gillman, chair, department of Jewish philosophy, Jewish Theological Seminary
“Lifts the spirit from the mundane, through the vast expanse of tradition, to the face of God and then, quite miraculously, returns the spirit to daily life. . . much more than a book of words; it is a way of faithful living.”
The Rev. Dr. Richard Valantasis, assistant professor of theological studies, St. Louis University
“We have another Buber here, a Heschel ... Kushner expresses the truly profound with joy, lightness and humor.”
Father M. Basil Pennington, St. Joseph's Abbey
“Breathes new life into a vocabulary that many may have thought to be irrelevant or outdated. Kushner is one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. He once again succeeds in offering us wisdom and inspiration.”
Dr. Ellen M. Umansky, coeditor, Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality
“To bring new light to old words is the gift that a wise person gives to us. For that reason we are all deeply in debt to Rabbi Lawrence Kushner.”
Dr. Lawrence S. Cunningham, chairman, department of theology, Notre Dame
“Provides wonderfully easy access to the riches of Jewish spiritual tradition.... He is a seeker who blazes a trail for others to joyously journey.”
Dr. David A. Teutsch, president, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
- Turner Publishing Company
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Meet the Author
Lawrence Kushner, author, lecturer and spiritual leader, is regarded as one of the most creative religious thinkers and writers in America. A commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, he has focused us on spiritual renewal with wisdom and humor. Through his books and lectures, people of every faith and background have found inspiration and new strength for spiritual search and growth. It has been said that some spiritual leaders blend religion and psychology to help us walk better on the ground, but Lawrence Kushner draws on the wisdom of the mystics to help us dance better on the ceiling.
Kushner's acclaimed books include I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego; Honey from the Rock: An Easy Introduction to Jewish Mysticism; Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary; The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet; Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians; and In God’s Hands, an inspiring fable for children, with Gary Schmidt (all Jewish Lights).
Kushner served as rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts, for almost thirty years; he is currently the Emanu-El scholar at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, and an adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He is fascinated by graphic design and computers (designing most of his Jewish Lights books). He enjoys Mozart, hanging around sailboats, and making his granddaughters giggle.
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