Working on God

Winifred Gallagher, Author
Winifred Gallagher, Author Random House (NY) $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-679-44794-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-375-75537-8
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-307-76636-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-23050-7
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A self-described ""neoagnostic,"" Gallagher (Just the Way You Are) takes her readers with her as she ""works on God,"" her phrase for trying to find where religion fits in her life. On one hand, she finds the traditional Roman Catholicism in which she was reared too embarrassing for an intellectual to profess. On the other hand, she feels she needs some kind of spirituality to find meaning in life. Her approach is an eclectic one. Sampling Zen Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity, she tries to construct a religion tailored to her individual needs. Ultimately, she discovers her life is so saturated by Christian language and images that she must use them as her starting point. However, she refuses to accept the doctrine of Christ's atonement. Pointing out that many of Christianity's central tenets--Christ's divinity, Christ's participation in the Trinity--were not codified until the 3rd century, Gallagher feels justified in taking for herself the title ""Early Christian,"" as someone who can say only, ""Jesus is special, but I'm not sure just how special."" Gallagher's honesty and integrity will resonate with those who can acknowledge a ""resurrection experience"" but who can't quite profess the Resurrection. (Mar.)
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