By Tom Stella
Stella, a Catholic priest and author of The God Instinct, writes for those wanting to think about faith as well as practice it?what Hindus would call the path of reflection.
The author devotes a chapter each to 15 familiar key concepts from religion (hope, sin, salvation, etc.), beginning with a simple definition such as might be taught a child, then adding reflection and complexity.
Chapters conclude with prayerful meditations that invite some slow examination of the author's deepened meanings.
works to broaden teachings beyond the literal, which is a level good enough for some believers but not for him or others who would seek a mature faith beyond the childish.
challenges some essential Christian doctrines?such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus or virgin birth?while simultaneously acknowledging the symbolic meaning and importance of such teachings.
is critical of the parochialism that religion can promote, he
also recognizes and honors what religion intends: the provision of a framework of morality, relationship and understanding of God, self and neighbor.
This book will be especially useful for those who consider themselves "hurt" by religious teaching and who may be angry about religion as a result.
writes without anger and with honesty.
, is the author of The God Instinct
and is widely recognized as a spiritual director and retreat leader.
A Catholic priest in the congregation of Holy Cross, Stella initiated a spirituality-in-the-workplace program at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, where he is a chaplain.
He cofounded Soul-Link, a not-for-profit organization that creates opportunities for spiritual seekers to discover one another and communicate through retreats, small group discussions, and a variety of educational programs.