Item description for In a Dark Wood: Journeys of Faith and Doubt by Linda Jones & Sophie Stanes...
Overview This book features a diverse group of voices describing unlikely and often moving journeys toward or away from faith - Protestants, Catholics, and Jews; laypeople and professionally religious activists, poets, politicians, and ordinary folk. In dozens of readings, poems, and prayers, the Psalmists, medieval saints, and other poets reflect on belief and doubt, on the loss of faith and its rediscovery.
Publishers Description Doubt is as natural an experience as faith and what theologian Paul Tillich called an indispensable component of authentic faith. In this book an extraordinary range of writers talks about the moment-often devastating-when they turned to God only to find neither God's presence nor consolation. Where once silence was filled with peace, now that silence signals only emptiness. In a Dark Wood features a diverse group of voices describing unlikely and often moving journeys toward or away from faith-Protestants, Catholics, and Jews; laypeople and religious professionals; activists, poets, politicians, and ordinary people. In addition, dozens of readings, poems, and prayers reflect on belief and doubt, on the loss of faith and its rediscovery, from the Psalmists, medieval saints, and such luminaries as W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot, James Baldwin and Joseph Heller, Maya Angelou and Isabel Allende, Henri Nouwen and Walter Brueggemann, Nelson Mandela and Daniel Berrigan.
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Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.18" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.68 lbs.
Release Date Feb 2, 2004
Publisher Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN 0800636244 ISBN13 9780800636241
Reviews - What do customers think about In a Dark Wood: Journeys of Faith and Doubt?
In a Dark Wood May 4, 2006
Anyone with a deep-seated religious faith knows that doubt is an essential part of the spiritual process. The failure to doubt your faith (whether it's faith in God or faith in atheism) often leads to arrogance, then militance, then apostasy. But because there is a stigma attached to doubt in the community of the faithful, it is very difficult to understand where you stand as a true believer suffering a genuine crisis of faith.
The core of this album is a series of interviews, rearranged into essay form, with people who have suffered doubt in their spiritual life. Ranging in scope from a single page to small autobiographies, these essays contemplate the multifaceted aspect of doubt in a person of faith. Some of the people are still doubters, including someone who has completely rejected belief in God and a priest who doesn't even enter the church anymore. Others have weathered their doubt and come out stronger believers, while some are caught in the midst of trying to figure out where they stand.
Between the essays, little snippets of literature reflect the experience of faith and doubt in the English language. Writers like T.S. Eliot (a devout Anglican), Joseph Heller (an agnostic), and Ralph Waldo Emerson (who believed in God but thought He was distant and disinterested) reveal bits and pieces about their own faith and doubt, and that of people around them.
The only through-line to this book is the conflict between faith and doubt. Because this is a pretty thin skeleton for a book, the pieces don't necessarily all hang together all that well. And because the book was originally published in the U.K. and has a predominance of British respondents discussing British themes, some of the book may come across as inscrutible to Americans who don't follow British culture.
But for a true believer, or a true doubter, who wants a more global means of comprehending these states in a universal sense, this book is a rewarding read. The simple, unaffected statements of people who have stared doubt square in the eye will help you grasp what it means to be where you are, enduring what you're going through. And whether you believe at the end or turn your back of your faith, this book will help you comprehend that you have arrived at the place you stand in a good, honest fashion.