When Nancy Mairs published her "spiritual autobiography" Ordinary Time, Kathleen Norris greeted it in the New York Times Book Review as "a remarkable accomplishment," calling Mairs "a relentlessly physical writer, as fiercely committed to her art as to her spiritual development." Mairs's new book on spirituality describes the alternative brand of Catholic worship that she observes in the American Southwest. Raised Congregationalist in New England, Mairs is a convert to Catholicism. She is also feminist, radical, political activist—and all this in a church that tends to scorn her kind of progressive iconoclasm.
A Dynamic God explores why and how Mairs deals with those contradictions and still identifies Catholic (Zen Catholic, as she sometimes says), and what she finds to love in that tradition. Doctrinally, Mairs parts ways with the mainstream Church with few regrets.
In this book, Nancy simply tells her story with conviction.
Much like the old "testimonies" one finds in revivalistic churches, this is how she came to believe and practice her faith. It's not academic theology, but more like a cup of tea with a friend. Worth listening to, especially if you enjoy hearing people talk about what is most important to them and can do so while refraining from judgment.
Nancy herself does not fall neatly into any one category of ideology or belief. Traditional Catholics will find her too New Agey and New Agers will find her too Traditional. She would probably be fine with that. She's not out to agree with you or convince you to agree with her. Along the way, she makes interesting points that had me asking questions about my own faith and what I believe. All in all, isn't that the point of any good book or conversation? I highly recommend it.