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Amazing Grace

Kathleen Norris - Author

Paperback | $15.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781573227216 | 400 pages | 01 Apr 1999 | Riverhead | 5.55 x 8.38in | 18 - AND UP
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Awards
  • Books for a Better Life Award: Finalist
    New York Times Notable Book 1998
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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.

Amazing Grace Preface

Eschatology
Antichrist
Silence
Salvation
Inheritance: Blessing and Curse
Incarnation
Detachment
Conversion: The Family Story
Exorcism
Perfection
Prayer
Belief, Doubt, and Sacred Ambiguity
Repentance
Annunciation
Inheritance: What Religion Were You Raised in, and WhatAre You Now?
Commandments
Idolatry
Bible
Righteous
Conversion: The Stories
God
Blood
Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Anger
Conversion: The Feminist Impasse
Chosen
Fear
Conversion: One More Boom
Grace
Intolerance/Forbearance
Christ
Sinner, Wretch, and Reprobate
Faith
Good and Evil
Preaching
The Bible: Illiteracies and Ironies
Heresy/Apostasy
Creeds
Orthodoxy
God-Talk
Inquisition
Oppression
Herod
Conversion: The Wild West
Ecstasy
Medieval
Christian
The Bible Study
Worship
Conversion: My Ebenezer
The Bible: Give Me a Word

"Organized" Religion
Hospitality
Church
Lectio Divina
Mystic
Trinity
Seeking
Conversion: The Scary Stuff
Evangelism
Imagination (Or, How Many Christians Does It Take to Balance N. Scott Momaday?)
Unchurched
Hell
Judgment
Apocalypse
Prayer as Remembrance: The Expert Marksman's Medal
Dogma
Angels
Wickedness
Interpretation: "I Know Not"
Revelation
Pentecostal
Prayer as Mystery
Neighbor
Theology
Asceticism
Heaven
Infallibility
Truth
The New Jerusalem

Acknowledgments

"An engaging meditation on the language of faith."—The New York Times Book Review

"A unique and glorious voice."—Boston Globe

"[Kathleen Norris] writes about religion with the imagination of a poet."—Chicago Tribune

"It's hard to imagine less off-putting or pious writing about religion than this sublimely commonsensical lexicon of words and concepts that, as Kathleen Norris explains them, have rarely sounded less frightening—or quite so simple to understand."—Elle

"One of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time...frequently irreverent and funny...She makes us converts to her simple faith of warmth."—San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

"Definitely worthwhile reading...She combines an impressive understanding of theology with personal experience, making her essays read like letters from a highly literate friend."—People


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