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Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary Of Faith (Revised) [Paperback]

By Kathleen Norris (Author)
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Item description for Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary Of Faith (Revised) by Kathleen Norris...

The author blends history, memoir, and theology with a strong grasp of language in an investigation into the key words of Christian belief, such as "judgment," "prayer," "faith," and "Christ"

Publishers Description

Struggling with her return to the Christian church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith. Words like "judgment," "faith," "dogma," "salvation," "sinner"--even "Christ"--formed what she called her "scary vocabulary," words that had become so codified or abstract that their meanings were all but impenetrable. She found she had to wrestle with them and make them her own before they could confer their blessings and their grace. Blending history, theology, storytelling, etymology, and memoir, Norris uses these words as a starting point for reflection, and offers a moving account of her own gradual conversion. She evokes a rich spirituality rooted firmly in the chaos of everyday life--and offers believers and doubters alike an illuminating perspective on how we can embrace ancient traditions and find faith in the contemporary world.

Awards and Recognitions
Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary Of Faith (Revised) by Kathleen Norris has received the following awards and recognitions -

  • Society of Midland Authors Award - 2000 Honorable Mention - Adult Nonfiction category
  • Christianity Today Book Award - 1999 Winner - Top 25 category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary Of Faith (Revised) by Kathleen Norris has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • New York Times - 04/25/1999 page 32

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Riverhead Books
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.25" Width: 5.49" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 1999
Publisher   Riverhead Books
Age  18
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  1573227218  
ISBN13  9781573227216  

Availability  7 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 17, 2017 02:23.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Chambersberg, PA.
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More About Kathleen Norris

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kathleen Norris is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Cloister Walk and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, among others. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, in various anthologies, and in her own three volumes of poetry. She divides her time between South Dakota and Hawaii.

Kathleen Norris currently resides in the state of South Dakota. Kathleen Norris was born in 1947.

Kathleen Norris has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 40-Day Journey
  2. Embracing
  3. Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality
  4. Pocket Canons

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( N ) > Norris, Kathleen > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( N ) > Norris, Kathleen > Paperback
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary Of Faith (Revised)?

How sweet the sound of Norris's writing  Dec 9, 2007
I loved Kathleen Norris's earlier books, "The Cloister Walk" and "Dakota". She's an odd mix--a poet, feminist, theological conservative, and country bumpkin. But I guess it's the poet I relate so strongly to. Her prose is lyrical, and I find myself thinking about something she has said at odd moments for some time after I've put her books down. Her words resonate, and her descriptions and stories convey a vocabulary of faith. She has the courage to ponder the tough questions and deal with doubt and possibility while sharing her inspiring observations.
Spiritual blessings abound  Jan 7, 2007
My aunt recommended this book to me several years ago but I was involved with other things at the time and did not get it. Then this site recommended it to me again later and that time I did get it. I read it one essay at a time as a part of my daily devotional. It's a great feeling when an articulate, gifted writer puts into words one's own beliefs as this one did for me.
Page 310: ". . . Here, too, is the justification of the mystic's certainty, as in Shaw's 'St. Joan,' when she responds calmly to an inquisitor's pouncing on the word imagination, as if to spring a trap. 'I hear voices telling me what to do,' Joan says. 'They come from God.' 'They come from your imagination?' her interrogator asks, and she replies, 'Of course. That is how the messages of God come to us.'"
Kathleen Norris's extensive study of the Christian religious history is expressed in this book and benefits the reader.
It is poetic in parts which presents a difficulty for me because although I value poetry and admire poets, as an analyical person, I often don't get it. (She says her husband is both poetic and analytical -- a wonderful gift.) Nevertheless it was a priceless experience.
This is not a book for fundamentalist Christians. It is a book for us spiritual seekers who love God with all our hearts.
Looking At Words In a New Way  Feb 23, 2006
I really enjoyed the fresh look at words used in faith discussions. I particularly liked the one on Silence.
Amazing Grace  Jul 23, 2005
Unlike the the Author, Katherine Norris , I have been a Catholic all my 71 Years and She has renewed my faith and spirituality and taught me more about the religion I grew up in then all the catechism classes and college courses in theology I studied.
She is right up there with Henri Nouen and Edwina Gateley.
What beautiful reading.
Rita Peters
Amazingly Good  Dec 18, 2004
This book impressed me immensely; well beyond what I had expected and I had read two previous books by Kathleen Norris. It is a marvelous format that works like a sort of "Day by Day" series of inspiring and/or compelling theological thoughts. Rather than follow a litergical order of verses, Norris uses different words and terms associated with Christianity to fuel her observations. I honestly was expecting a sort of academic treatise on what various terms meant. What I got instead was an illustration of the essence of the meaning of various aspects and perspectives of Christianity. From the very beginning I was inspired by what Ms. Norris was sharing. She has observed a lot through her years and has a remarkable ability to recall those observations into illuminating stories.

Part of the impression this book made upon me may have had something to do with the fact that I started reading it towards the end of a retreat I was on. It was at the Benedictine Convent and Abbey where Ms. Norris spent much of her time. I hadn't even considered the connection when I took the book along but I was quickly in tune with her comments about her experiences with the Benedictine nuns and monks. Part of the appeal of her book to me had to have something to do with so many events taking place in locales I am familiar with. However, the broader appeal of the book lies in her sincere devotion to the Benedictine Way while equally active in the main stream Protestant Church. She seems intent on exploring ways to find a closer and clearer meaning to her faith. Like Ms. Norris, I had experienced years apart from religion before returning to it with a sincere intention to become a "Good Christian". However, I needed to first understand what it is that comprises a "Good Christian". Kathleen Norris spoke to me in the voice of experience of someone who has gone quite a bit further than I. I say that even though my journey has led me to ordination as an Episcopal Priest. Ms. Norris shares a lot of her experiences as a somewhat reluctant lay minister in the Presyterian Church. I am satified that she has found her vocation.

Ms. Norris is a Poet in the literal sense because it is her real profession. I'm not one for poetry but I have always enjoyed the rare author who can write prose and leave the impression that one has read poetry. Her book, "Dakota" is a masterpiece of that style as is "Amazing Grace". I confess that I was not as drawn into her book, "The Cloister Walk". I think that is why I was a bit shy about starting "Amazing Grace". However, I am very greatful that I took it on that retreat. I would recommend this book to anyone who aspires to know more about the Christian faith. Those even mildly interested will find a voice that speaks in a clear, compelling and informative manner. Too many similar book instruct; Ms. Norris inspires.

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