Cover image for The best spiritual writing 1999
The best spiritual writing 1999
Zaleski, Philip.
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : HarperSanFrancisco ; London : HarperCollins, 1999.
Physical Description:
342 pages ; 21 cm
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PS509.S62 B47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The debut volume of this annual anthology series garnered critical plaudits and an impressive following. Drawing on essays and poems that first appeared in periodicals as well as on previously unpublished matierals, the 1998 edition covered the whole r

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This anthology easily lives up to the high standards set by the 1998 and 1999 editions, featuring essays, poems and a few genre-defying pieces that were originally published not only in religious periodicals, but also in literary journals and magazines such as Atlantic Monthly and Salon. While the spiritual orientations of the writers vary widely, certain unifying themes, such as death and a love of the outdoors, emerge. Christopher Bamford's "In the Presence of Death," James Van Tholen's "Surprised by Death," Ann Hood's "In Search of Miracles" and Richard John Neuhaus's "Born Toward Dying" all examine the spiritual transformation that terminal illness yields for the dying and those who love them. Deborah Gorlin's "Twice Woods Hebrew," Linda Hogan's "The Great Without," Robert Reese's "Rivers and Mountains" and Marjorie Sandor's "Waiting for a Miracle: A Jew Goes Fishing" are just a few that consider spiritual images and lessons found in nature. The book's timely preoccupation with these physical realities taps into a contemporary desire among evangelicals and Buddhists alike (both of whom are well represented in this book, along with Catholics, liberal Christians, Jews and skeptics) to elicit spiritual insights from everyday experiences and to understand the mind-body-spirit connection. Many essays amuse while they instruct particularly Mary Gordon's "Prayers" and Harvey Cox's "The Market as God"Dwhile others evoke tears (see not only the essays on death but also Jim Schley's "Devotional"). All of the contributions challenge assumptions and encourage new ways of seeing, thereby feeding the spirit. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Philip ZaleskiKathleen NorrisVirginia Hamilton AdairMax AppleMarvin BarrettWendell BerryS. Paul BurholtDouglas Burton-ChristieLeonie CaldecottTracy CochranRobert CordingAnnie DillardBrian DoyleAndre Dubus IIIAlma Roberts GiordanBernie GlassmanMary GordonRon HansenSeamus HeaneyEdward HirschPico IyerTom JunodPhilip LevineBarry LopezAnita MathiasWalt McDonaldThomas MooreLouise RafkinPattiann RogersJonathan RosenDavid RothenbergLuci ShawEliezer ShoreLouis SimpsonJack StewartBarbara Brown TaylorPtolemy TompkinsJanwillem van de WeteringMichael VenturaPaul J. WillisLarry Woiwode
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. xv
"Zazen" (from The New Yorker)p. 1
"Max and Mottele" (from Pakn Treger)p. 3
"Praying in the World: A Case History" (from Parabola)p. 12
"The Rejected Husband" (from Chronicles)p. 28
"Sacred Threshold" (from Parabola)p. 29
"Living on the Edge of Eternity" (from Weavings)p. 38
"Harrowing Hell" (from Parabola)p. 50
"My True Home Is Brooklyn" (from Tricycle)p. 62
"Sam Cooke: 'Touch the Hem of His Garment'" (from Double Take)p. 69
"Acts of God" (from Northeast)p. 72
"Eating Dirt" (from Orion)p. 86
"Fences and Fields" (from Hope)p. 89
"What This Old Hand Knows" (from America)p. 99
"My Wife Died Unexpectedly Last March" (from Tikkun)p. 102
"Still Life" (from Harper's Magazine)p. 104
"Stigmata" (from Image)p. 119
"A New Work in the English Tongue" (from The New Yorker)p. 130
"Zora Neale Hurston" (from Double Take)p. 133
"Why We Travel: A Love Affair with the World" (from The Shambhala Sun)p. 136
"Can You Say ... 'Hero'?" (from Esquire)p. 148
"After Leviticus" (from Image)p. 171
"The Language of Animals" (from Wild Earth)p. 174
"The Holy Ground of Kalighat" (from Notre Dame Magazine)p. 184
"The Waltz We Were Born For" (from First Things)p. 196
"On Memory and Numbers" (from Parabola)p. 197
"A Yen for Cleaning" (from Tricycle)p. 202
"Watching the Ancestral Prayers of Venerable Others" (from Double Take)p. 210
"The Talmud and the Internet" (from The American Scholar)p. 212
"The Necessary Note" (from Parabola)p. 223
"Some mornings she simply cannot"p. 229
"A Single Glance: A Retelling" (from Bas Ayin)p. 230
"A God in Darkness: Literature and Belief" (from Image)p. 235
"Bible Studies" (from Poetry)p. 256
"The Day We Were Left Behind" (from Christianity Today)p. 258
"Lao Tzu's Water, Chuang Tzu's Mud"p. 266
"Seeing into Your Nature and Other Pastimes"p. 292
"Fifty-Two" (from The Sun)p. 305
"The Wardrobe Wars" (from Books and Culture)p. 310
"A Fifty-Year Walk" (from Books and Culture)p. 315
Biographical Notesp. 325
Notable Spiritual Writing of 1998p. 331
Reader's Directoryp. 335
Creditsp. 339