Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review: The Best American Spiritual Writing 2006

Yes, this is one of those anthologies, but I think of it as having a friend who reads a lot of magazines tell you which articles she liked best. Somewhere since 2000 they changed the adjective from "Christian" to "Spiritual," but 75% of the writing is still Christian or general theistic. A few short essays deal with Buddhism or the Norse Gods, and one detailed story describes a traveler in present-day Afghanstan going to the place where the two huge Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001. Malcolm Gladwell describes Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. John Updike has a haunting poem about the Cathedral at Rheims. I got a few pages here and there to use in my Weter Lecture, and a list of rules given to those who paint icons for "how" to paint. I'm going to put that up next to my desk for when I write.

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