Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is

Joan Chittister, Author, Rowan Williams, Author . Liturgical $16.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8146-3022-8

The prolific Benedictine nun Chittister (The Liturgical Year ) joins the erudite archbishop of Canterbury in a series of reflections on finding the hidden face of God in a variety of circumstances and offering praise. “Alleluia” is a hail to God, a call offered not nearly as frequently as complaint is in these times. But Chittister explains that alleluia is “a call to reflection... the final Amen to all that is.” The varied subjects of the 23 essays—faith, doubt, Genesis, saints—are very loosely grouped, and Williams contributes only five, a shortcoming of the book given the provocative originality with which the Anglican primate thinks. He writes of “good sinners”—those with a degree of awareness of something much larger or of “divine fullness preparing to create its own echo” in the world. Chittister is pre-eminently practical: the purpose of wealth is generosity, doubt gives birth to faith. The two authors are nicely complementary in the ways they anchor their insights in real-life conditions. This is thoughtful theology with its boots on, ready to walk out in the world. (Mar.)