Saturday, February 06, 2016

New Hampshire author Tom Paine reads Moore

New Hampshire Public Radio's The Bookshelf talks with "Portsmouth Author Tom Paine on Fiction, Teaching Creative Writing, and Nature". His new collection of short stories, A Boy’s Book of Nervous Breakdowns, features people on the verge of losing their minds ..." "Paine teaches in the MFA program of the University of New Hampshire and his stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, and other publications." Thomas Moore tops Paine's recommendation of 5 books on his bookshelf.
"1. Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. 'There are some books one keeps by the bedside table, and this is one of them. Finding an author who speaks to you is as hard as finding a good friend. But Moore finds the soul in everyday life. He made it okay to be an everyday mystic, jaw agape, and allowed me to think I am okay as I am in this hustling, chilly, mercantile world. He's a genius.'"
Listen to Paine's conversation with Peter Biello, or read the transcript.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Gospel: The Book of Matthew is a fresh view of life

In "Religion Publishing Preview: 2016 " for Publishers Weekly Lynn Garrett writes, " At the beginning of 2016, PW asked a range of publishers in the segment about ongoing issues, evolving points of view, and the big books they expect to affect the business this year. One topic for many is dealing with the rising number of Americans (especially young Americans) who have no religious affiliation and are wary of organized religion. Many publishers in the category have made reaching out to the disconnected and disenchanted a priority."

In her coverage of publishers "focusing on connecting with readers who have no religious affiliation," Garrett quotes Stuart Matlins of Jewish Lights/ SkyLight Paths:

"In this 25th anniversary year of Jewish Lights, we’ll be continuing our focus on the relevance of religious traditions to everyday life and on reaching out to the growing number of ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ readers'. Thomas Moore’s Gospel: The Book of Matthew, A New Translation with Commentary, the first in a four-book series, 'strips the Gospels of their theological agendas and reclaims them as a radically new way of imagining human life,' Matlins says."

Spirituality & Practice shares this view of Moore's approach, evident in his Lent 2016 e-course: "This is a spiritual vision in and about the world," [Moore] notes. "It's a spirituality that does not have to be tied to a particular tradition and is accessible to anyone — people lovingly involved in the Christian tradition, lovingly involved in another tradition, not interested in religion, or somewhere in the gray areas of this spectrum."

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Faith in life's spirit, hope for earth's community

Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Josh Pawelek shares his sermon "When Seeing isn't Believing" that focuses on the depth of living rather than the strength of believing. He writes:
"I’ve been forming some new ideas about what religious living means. It started when I decided to teach a course on Thomas Moore’s 2014 book A Religion of One’s Own. Thomas Moore is a former Catholic monk, a psychotherapist, and a popular spiritual writer, perhaps most famous for his 1992 book, Care of the Soul. It took me a while to decide to teach this book, mainly because, as a parish minister who wants people to participate in the life of the congregation, promoting the idea that one doesn’t need organized religion to be religious, that one can simply have a religion of and on one’s own, well, that doesn’t seem consistent with growing a congregation. But Moore doesn’t devalue church, synagogue, mosque, temple or sangha."
Pawelek shares examples of soulful living from his own experiences and suggests how the distinctions between spirit and soul may help others.