Item description for Bloomfield Avenue: A Jewish-Catholic Jersey Girl's Spiritual Journey by Linda Mercadante...
Overview In this memoir, Mercadante tells of her quest for religious identity, a real home, good work, and a one-faith family. Born just after World War II to a mixed-religion family, she tries Catholicism, a WASP sorority, atheism, Eastern mysticism, and vegetarianism. She works as an airline stewardess and as a journalist. She earns a doctorate and becomes a seminary professor. Her story holds key lessons for people from mixed backgrounds, those who long for the ideal family, and those who shun religion as a dead-end.
Publishers Description In this memoir, Mercadante tells of her quest for religious identity, a real home, good work, and a one-faith family. Born just after World War II to a mixed-religion family, she tries Catholicism, a WASP sorority, atheism, Eastern mysticism, and vegetarianism. She works as an airline stewardess and as a journalist. She earns a doctorate and becomes a seminary professor. Her story holds key lessons for people from mixed backgrounds, those who long for the ideal family, and those who shun religion as a dead-end."
Citations And Professional Reviews Bloomfield Avenue: A Jewish-Catholic Jersey Girl's Spiritual Journey by Linda Mercadante has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 08/14/2006 page 200
Christian Century - 11/14/2006 page 49
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Studio: Cowley Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.57" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2006
Publisher Cowley Publications
ISBN 1561012785 ISBN13 9781561012787
Availability 0 units.
More About Linda Mercadante
Linda Mercadante is professor of theology in the B. Robert Straker Chair at The Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and author of three books.
Reviews - What do customers think about Bloomfield Avenue: A Jewish-Catholic Jersey Girl's Spiritual Journey?
One woman's struggles Nov 9, 2006
Bloomfield Avenue in Newark is where Linda Mercadante grew up. Linda grew up amongst her Italian Catholic relatives with her Jewish relatives were nearby. It was the 1940s when she was six years old and her parents were a "mixed" marriage, which just didn't happen back then. Her father was Catholic and her mother was Jewish but they didn't practice any religion in the household. Both parents didn't approve of Protestants though and all agreed they were destined for hell.
At the age of six, Linda wanted a crucifix, more than anything else. She tells of how she didn't feel like she belonged. Religion was very segregated. Her own grandmother treated her as if she was guilty of some sin for being born.
Along with her confusion about religion, she didn't feel she fit in with the 'girl protocols' of the times. It wasn't fair that she couldn't wear pants, cowboy boots or go out after dark. Linda refers to her childhood, saying there were "always disadvantages and stress." She portrays the picture of a child that just didn't fit in anywhere.
Throughout her adulthood Linda went from religion to religion trying to find one that fit. After being disillusioned by the Catholic religion, she became a feminist during college. Then she went off to Europe to enter an Evangelical commune/teaching facility. Many of their beliefs were hers but there wasn't a big role for women within the commune. She came back to America and there were other colleges and programs where she studied different denominations, finally becoming ordained.
During her PhD study courses, she was in an abusive marriage and struggling to get through that because she felt that with her faith it should be fixable--but it wasn't.
This whole story gives the impression of a very unhappy life. The author started at an early age worrying about religion and fitting in. Throughout the book she never seemed to quite fit into anything she attempted. It's a story of continual searching and bumps in the road along the way.
Hopefully the writing of this book has been cathartic for her as she doesn't give the impression of much happiness throughout her search.
Armchair Interviews says: Unique look at one woman's struggles.
Bread for the journey Oct 11, 2006
When I got home from school Wednesday night I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me...Linda Mercadante's delightful book. I ordered it in August and in the crush of semester demands had forgotten about it. I was happy it had come and decided I would look forward to reading it at the end of the semester. But then Friday night I picked it up and started to read it. It was late and I was tired but as soon as I woke up the next day I started reading. I finally got out of my pajamas around 1 p.m. and finished it by 2 p.m. For me, the bread of life is always best found in books that share the gifts and graces of life's beautiful journey. This is one such book. Many things about it inspired me and have left me pondering. I love the description of bakery food as a "liturgical year in food." And I found Mercadante's recognition that she no longer needed to rely on "someone else's pats and hats," as particularly confirming. I found myself often stopping to consider my own situation as she described her journey and wrestlings. I wonder, am I free? Do I ask the questions I need to ask and do I challenge the people I need to challenge like my classmates and friends? I hung on every word as she described her marriage to an abusive alcoholic. I want to believe in the possibility of wholeness for people whose illness and choices lead to such distruction, yet I do not want to be in complicity with evil. Mercadante's book has given me a lot to think about. It was a beautiful and inspiring read and I am so thankful that she has shared her journey. I will look forward to getting copies for my mother and sister for Christmas.