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Publisher's Summary

When poet Kathleen Norris was a child, the words judgment, prayer, salvation, sinner, and even Christ all formed what she calls religion's "scary vocabulary" - words that intimidate and alienate people from their faith. As an adult, Norris set out to reclaim her religion, redefining these words using her own experience. In Amazing Grace, she shares her wisdom, challenges our fear of difficult theological ideas, and offers an illuminating perspective on the vocabulary of faith.
Copyright ©1998 by Kathleen Norris; Recording (P)1998 by Audio Literature

Critic Reviews

  • Winner of Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award: Best Audio of 1998, Religion / Spirituality

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I only wish that it was longer.

I definitely enjoyed this book; I, too, have spent some time with the monastic community at St. John's, and her story mirrors many of my own experiences as a Catholic "revert," someone who left the Church for a time, only to return with a faith that had been rebuilt from the ground up.

I am honored to have attended the Liturgy of the Hours in the same choir stalls that Ms. Norris has graced. I have also attended Mass there, much to my delight. It is a truly remarkable place, and I regard myself as very blessed to live sufficiently close to the monastery to make pilgrimages both possible and relatively straightforward. :)

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Very Helpful

I am in the stage or rethinking my faith and redefining the terms that I grew up hearing. I found this to be a great book.

  • Overall
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 11-09-08

a poet reflects on "religious" words

Norris' refections on the deeper meaning of words we use in everyday spiritual conversions (like "heaven," "prayer" or "silence"), as well as on words more theological (like eschatology" or "hermeneutics") make for joyful listening. Winger's reading is OK (though I think she sometimes mispronounces), but I would have preferred Norris' own voice for a book like this.

I think those who like writers such as Thomas Moore, James Finlay, or Rob Bell would enjoy this. Norris claims to receive criticism from both liberal and conservative Christians, but I think her reflections are food for thought for both (though more agreeable to the ecumenically minded). I thought her early "Cloister Walk" a superior listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful