Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life

Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life

by Lauren F. Winner
4.7 19

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Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life by Lauren F. Winner

Like most of us, Lauren Winner wants something to believe in. The child of a reform Jewish father and a lapsed Southern Baptist mother, she chose to become an Orthodox Jew. But as she faithfully observes the Sabbath rituals and studies Jewish laws, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Christianity. Taking a courageous step, she leaves behind what she loves and converts. Now the even harder part: How does one reinvent a religious self? How does one embrace the new without abandoning the old? How does a convert become spiritually whole.

In GIRL MEETS GOD, this appealingly honest young woman takes us through a year in her search for a religious identity. Despite her conversion, she finds that her world is still shaped by her Jewish experiences. Even as she rejoices in the holy days of the Christian calendar, she mourns the Jewish rituals she still holds dear. Attempting to reconcile the two sides of her religious self, Winner applies the lessons of Judaism to the teachings of the New Testament, hosts a Christian seder, and struggles to fit her Orthodox friends into her new religious life.

Ultimately she learns that faith takes practice and belief is an ongoing challenge. Like Anne Lamott's, Winner's journey to Christendom is bumpy, but it is the rocky path itself that makes her a perfect guide to exploring spirituality in today's complicated world. Her engaging approach to religion in the twenty-first century is illuminating, thought-provoking, and most certainly controversial.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565127456
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 09/16/2002
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 280,491
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lauren F. Winner, the former book editor for, is a regular reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a contributing editor for Christianity Today. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, and many other journals. She has degrees from Columbia and Cambridge Universities and is currently at work on her doctorate in the history of religion at Columbia.


Charlottesville, Virginia

Date of Birth:

October 13, 1976

Place of Birth:

Asheville, North Carolina


B.A., Columbia University, 1997; M.A., Cambridge University, 1999

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Girl Meets God 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has already been recommended by me to 100 of my friends, and I only began reading it three days ago. And just today, finished it. It is without a doubt one of the most compelling books I've read in a long time. But, unlike other reviewers, I would not compare Girl Meets God to any work by Anne Lamott, (though I love Anne Lamott). Rather, Girl Meets God is more like an ageless classic, after the style of C.S. Lewis...but with a little more flair. Like the book Mere Christianity I predict, Girl meets God will be read over and over and be popular for generations to come. And yes, there is a charm to this book, but it's a haunting charm. A charm that stalks you and keeps your thoughts turned towards the possibility that what this woman is writing about may be something I need in my own life, as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All I can say is, I had read three paragraphs when I called up my friends and said, 'get this book. Listen to the way this woman writes. What a voice.' Oh, and yeah, the story is good too. This book will be a classic. One you'll want to read over and over!
JSchooler More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the best spiritual memoir I've read. Totally honest and highly intelligent. Coming from her double background of orthodox Judaism and liberal academia, Winner's journey into the Christian faith  delivers some incredible insights that she is uniquely able to see. Her personal story is moving and surprising,  yet it's greatest value may be in the quiet, unstated challenge she presents to the reader. This book is truly  special. It will require investment of both your mind and your heart. Read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be an incredibly slow read that meandered through a young woman's thoughts on her conversion to Orthodox Judaism and further conversion Christianity.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just incredible. Winner appears to be an academic but her writing is easy to access as it's almost conversational. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally a Christian woman who thinks for herself. Lauren Winner is inspiring and delightful. She doesn't take herself too seriously, but she takes her faith(s) very seriously. Her unique perspective on Christianity and Jesus made me stop and think all the way through her well-written memoir.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seekers of any faith will see themselves in some part of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this account of Lauren's spiritual quests and especially enjoyed the glimpses into Judaism (of which I know little). The very best thing about this book is that it illustrates how present God is in every aspect of our lives (if only we choose to see Him). Uplifting in every aspect, I highly recommend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿girl meets God¿, a Memoir, is first the story of an extraordinary woman, Lauren Winner, who explored two faiths with devotion and courage. Lauren Winner is the daughter of a Southern Baptist mother and a Jewish father, and was raised as a Reform Jew. During college, she converted to Orthodox Judaism and then, to Christianity. Her story is filled with the challenges that such changes imply, from dealing with family and old friends, to presenting herself anew to the world. The book is a collection of personal stories, and follows a religious chronology articulated around the Christian and Jewish calendars of one year. However, even if the book appears to be the story of one year, it is in fact a lifetime story condensed in one ¿religious¿ year. One should keep this in mind in order not to be confused with the real (temporal) chronology of events. ¿Girl meets god¿ is also a book about tolerance. One will learn a lot of things about Judaism, and what Judaism and Christianity have in common. Lauren is an excellent teacher and conveys an original way of thinking in this regard. Moreover, although Lauren has finally chosen to be a Christian, her book is not about converting one to Christianity or offering support to Christians. Her story shows that Christianity is not the only right path in one¿s life. Her story is above all, a story about God. Finally, ¿girl meets God¿ is a book for EVERYONE. It does not matter that one has nothing in common with Lauren, one surprisingly relates to her story, and recognize oneself in her interrogations and aspirations. Lauren just found the words for you. This book is a great companion for everyone who wishes to undertake (or re-undertake) a spiritual journey in order to make more sense of their lives. One laughs, one cries with Lauren throughout her stories. And at the end, it is like one made a new friend. ¿girl meets God¿: A Book for the Soul.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winner writes bare-bones and with great humility about the spiritual walk her life has become. What may be (mis)interpreted as an aimless soul just searching for some sort of a spiritual connection is revealed as a brilliant young woman who delights in her search for those most enigmatic of virtues: truth and peace, and, most importantly, communion with God. By interweaving and dovetailing two of the world's great religions, Judaism and Christianity, she leaves the reader wrapped in a rich tapestry, one laden with brilliant pearls of wisdom. Upon finishing Girl Meets God, I chose to keep it on my nightstand. Winner's book is too priceless to be relegated to the shelf of 'already read books.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winner's book is wonderful not only because of her obvious talent, but because of her excruciating honesty. As a self proclaimed 'nerd' I find comfort in academia and understand the difficulty of reconciling knowlegde and faith. While this book does not give easy answers (I don't think I would like it so much if it did), it is thought provoking and encourages the reader to view things through different glasses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fascinating story, well-written, Lauren Winner clearly has talent not only as a writer but as a spiritually-sensitive and honest human being. The story is not run-of-the-mill in that it describes two distinct spiritual awakenings, not one, and it is absorbing. My only complaint is that at times it feels like the story of a grad student (which it is, albeit a serious one)thereby limiting its message to a youthful audience (note some of the reviews on the dustjacket making reference to R.E.M.). Nonetheless, an absorbing read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The power of the unadorned truth is amazing. This woman is killer smart, funny, and immensely entertaining. She creates these wonderful constructs that conclude in statements that go straight to your heart, and you cry because you are more than you were, and you know she speaks the truth. Thank you Miss Winner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I relate to Lauren so much! What I like about her book is, although I don't know the author personally, I feel that I know her now and could sit down and talk to her about her life, experiences, thoughts, and feelings for hours. It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating story of a young woman's path from Judaism to Christianity (Episcopalianism). I loved it for two reasons: first, boys howdy can she write! Second, the story was very accessible and touching, and the spiritual insights applicable, even for a reader who (like me) didn't know much about Judaism or Episcopalianism. Readers who like Annie Dillard, Jan Karon, or C S Lewis will love Girl Meets God.