News of Phyllis Tickle’s diagnosis of terminal lung cancer has rippled through the publishing and religion worlds. On May 22, Religion News Service ran David Gibson’s profile of Tickle. She told Gibson she is working on a book about aging, which has now taken on new meaning, and has been mulling over another book about “the rapprochement between Western Judaism and ‘emergence’ Christianity.” She plans to continue writing as long as she can.
Publishers Weekly’s 2014 tribute to Tickle noted her contribution not only to the magazine, but also to the category itself. Tickle launched PW’s religion department in 1991, as spirituality and religion publishing was becoming a force to be reckoned with. With Tickle as editor, the coverage advanced the mainstreaming of a publishing enterprise that had once operated in its own subculture.
Phyllis Tickle is the author of some 40 books, including her top sellers, the four-volume The Divine Hours (Doubleday, 2000-2006)—with combined sales of 100,000 copies, according to her long-time agent, Joe Durepos--and The Great Emergence (Baker, 2008), with sales to date of more than 50,000, according to Baker. Her new book, Phyllis Tickle: Essential Spiritual Writings, coauthored with Jon Sweeney, releases in July from Orbis’s Spiritual Masters series.