Recommended Reading

Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular and American Literature
Tracy Fessenden
Many Americans wish to believe that the United States, founded in religious tolerance, has gradually and naturally established a secular public sphere that is equally tolerant of all religions--or none.Culture and Redemption suggests otherwise. Tracy Fessenden contends that the uneven separation of church and state in America, far from safeguarding an arena for democratic flourishing, has functioned instead to promote particular forms of religious possibility while containing, suppressing, or excluding others. At a moment when questions about the appropriate role of religion in public life have become trenchant as never before, Culture and Redemption radically challenges conventional depictions--celebratory or damning--of America's "secular" public sphere.

Examining American legal cases, children's books, sermons, and polemics together with popular and classic works of literature from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, Culture and Redemption shows how the vaunted secularization of American culture proceeds not as an inevitable by-product of modernity, but instead through concerted attempts to render dominant forms of Protestant identity continuous with democratic, civil identity. Fessenden shows this process to be thoroughly implicated, moreover, in practices of often-violent exclusion that go to the making of national culture: Indian removals, forced acculturations of religious and other minorities, internal and external colonizations, and exacting constructions of sex and gender. Her new readings of Emerson, Whitman, Melville, Stowe, Twain, Gilman, Fitzgerald, and others who address themselves to these dynamics in intricate and often unexpected ways advance a major reinterpretation of American writing.

 (From Amazon)


Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred
Beverly Lanzetta

Emerging Heart is Lanzetta’s most personal and profound book.  She weaves together a tapestry of personal narrative, interreligious reflection, and spiritual insight with eloquence and force.  This book heralds–and helps to catalyze–the emergence of a global spiritual wisdom grounded on interfaith exchange, contemplative practice, and creative participation in Mystery.”

Jorge N. Ferrer, California Institute of Integral Studies.


Radical Wisdom
By Beverly J. Lanzetta

Radical Wisdom: A Feminist Mystical Theology, Beverly Lanzetta

“There is a classic statement in the wisdom of the spiritual life that if you need a spiritual guide, the guide will appear.  Such a guide is Beverly Lanzetta and her wisdom is richly contained in her present book [Radical Wisdom]. She know profoundly what she calls the ‘via feminina” in its classical form in Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich and how it appears in the spirituality of women in our time.  She writes with penetrating depth and with firm, yet senstive authority.  Her wisdom illumines the way of both women and men to become companions on their mutual spiritual journey.”

Ewert Cousins, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Fordham University and General Editor of World Spirituality.


The G.O.D. Experiments: How Science is Discovering God in Everything, Including Us, Gary Schwartz, Ph.D.

According to highly esteemed scientist Gary Schwartz there is compelling scientific evidence that we no longer have to accept God on faith alone.  Through a multidisciplinary approach, Schwartz blends psychology, quantum physics, and mathematics to examine the science of spirit.  Faith and science are not mutually exclusive, and a better understanding of their relationship can lead us to recognize how God operates in everything as a Guiding-Organizing-Designing process.  Scientifically rigorous and spiritually reassuring, this book is a wake-up call for anyone who longs to believe in the existence of a universal intelligence.