An American Gospel: On Family, History, and the Kingdom of God

Erik Reece, Author . Riverhead $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-59448-859-7

Sometimes religious inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. Reece, author of the award-winning Lost Mountain , is the son and grandson of Baptist preachers. His own religious world-view, however, comes not from traditional Protestant Christianity, but from American thinkers such as Walt Whitman, Thomas Jefferson, William James and the lesser-known scientist Lynn Margulis. The author intercalates his personal story, which is one of great tragedy, with those of these great historical figures. His goal is not quite clear from the outset, but that is the point. He is searching for a form of Christianity that he can live with, since he believes that the usual sources are unhelpfully dogmatic. The primary tension is a classic one: the struggle between the material and spiritual worlds. Reece is unconvinced by his stern grandfather's brand of Christianity, based more on the punitive teachings of Paul, he believes, than those of Jesus. The kingdom of God can be found, at least partly, right now—no need to slog through life in order to celebrate one's reward in the hereafter. There are disjointed moments in the narrative, but the overall project is commendable. (Apr. 2)

Reviewed on: 02/09/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-101-02864-3
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-101-02584-0
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-59448-445-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 240 pages - 978-1-101-02654-0
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