Tortured Wonders: Christian Spirituality for People, Not Angels

Rodney Clapp, Author . Brazos $21.99 (278p) ISBN 978-1-58743-106-7

Angels, in the Christian tradition, are disembodied spirits who directly behold the face of God. And we, Clapp insists, are not angels. So Christian spirituality will have to take full account of our bodies—their earthy constitution, their intense desires, their certain death and their promised resurrection. What follows from this premise is a poetic account of traditional spirituality, unapologetically borrowed from writers like the desert fathers, Augustine and Luther, but enlivened with elegant writing and alert to the needs and challenges of contemporary life. To readers who associate spirituality with gauzy inner states, Clapp's attention to everything from posture to excretion will be startling, but the reward is a book that manages to be both traditional and original. Clapp also revives the ancient sense of the "social body," especially as seen in the Christian church's communal feast, the Eucharist. With the same élan he demonstrated in his previous book, Border Crossings , Clapp probes popular culture and household life for clues to practicing the Christian faith. He writes of his dog Merle, "I have never yet seen him gaze into the sky. He would rather keep his nose to the ground, and in his demeanor he is a constant reminder that the dirt—not just the stars—is worth pondering and investigating." Such down-to-earth realism makes this a splendid introduction to Christian spirituality. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/25/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 278 pages - 978-1-58743-184-5
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