Spiritual Exploration and Religious Life

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Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC
Buechner F. Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC. HarperOne; 1993.Abstract

In Wishful Thinking, the first book in his much-loved lexical trilogy, Frederick Buechner puts the language of God, the universe, and the human spirit under his wry linguistic microscope. In his often ironic and always keen-sighted reflections on such terms as agnostic, envy, love, and sin, he invited us to look at theses everyday words in new and enlightening ways. Freshly revised and expanded for this edition, Wishful Thinking is a "beguiling" [Time] adventure in language for the restless believer, the doubter, and all who love words.

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From the Heart of Our People: Latino/a Explorations in Catholic Systemic Theology
ed. Espin, Orlando. and Migues H. Diaz. From the Heart of Our People: Latino/a Explorations in Catholic Systemic Theology. Orbis Books; 1999.Abstract

Contributions from a wide array of Latino/a scholars deepen our understanding of Catholic theological exploration and theological education among and for Latino/a Catholics. 

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A Conspiracy of Goodness: Contemporary Images of Christian Mission
Messer D. A Conspiracy of Goodness: Contemporary Images of Christian Mission. Abingdon; 1992.Abstract

After describing the biblical mandates for the mission of ministry, Dr. Messer calls church leaders to:

  • understand the world as God's body
  • live as a covenant of global gardeners
  • work as bridge builders
  • form a company of star-throwers and peacemakers
  • embrace a community of fence movers.
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Theologizing en Espanglish: Context, Community, and Ministry
Nanko-Fernandez C. Theologizing en Espanglish: Context, Community, and Ministry. Orbis Books; 2010.Abstract

"In the United States," writes Carmen Nanko-Fernandez, "las teologias latinas are theolgies dreamed in Spanish, articulated in English, and lived in Spanglish." The title of her book conveys the creative tension of this complex, multidimensional reality. Latina theolgoies participate in that 'irruption of contextuality' that characterizes our time. Using fresh, playful language that tweaks the pretentions of mainstream academic theology, she covers a range of topics, from the implications of population shifts on the identity of the church, to the role of the 'everyday' or 'lo cotidiano' in theology, and even the global phenomenon of 'beisbol.'

A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience
Neafsey J. A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience. Orbis Books; 2006.Abstract

What does it mean to find and follow our personal calling? How do we distinguish between the "still, small voice" of our authentic vocation and all of the other competing counterfeit voices in ourselves and in our culture? Specifically, how do we balance the inward listening to our hearts and the need to listen with our hearts to the realities and needs of our world? Drawing widely on the wisdom of saints, sages, and the traditions of spiritual direction, Neafsey describes a path to living in the place, as Frederick Buechner has put it, "where our deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

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Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith
Parks SD. Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith. Jossey-Bass; 2011.Abstract

Building on the foundation she established with her ground-breaking book, The Critical Years, Parks invites us to take up responsibility for providing thoughtful mentorship and mentoring environments during the wilderness years of young adulthood. In this updated edition she addresses recent current events: violence in our culture, smart phones, mixed spirituality/religious identities, social media/networking, the economic crisis, changing racial identity, cultural shifts and other forces shaping the narrative of young adulthood today. She provides concrete ways of employing the theory in different types of mentoring communities, more on the relationship between meaning-making (faith/religion/spirituality) and disciplinary learning and includes new (and more timely) stories and illustrations.

Parks SD. The Critical Years: Young Adults and the Search for Meaning, Faith, and Commitment. Harper Collins; 1991.Abstract

Examines the development of the religious faith and beliefs of young people and discusses how to achieve a mature view of life.

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My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging
Remen RN. My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging. Riverhead Trade; 2001.Abstract

Life has given us many more blessings than we have allowed ourselves to receive. My Grandfather's Blessings is about how we can recognize and receive our blessings and bless the life in others. Serving others heals us. Through our service we will discover our own wholeness—and the way to restore hidden wholeness in the world.