Friday, November 16, 2018

Beyond Parochial Faith


Yesterday I sent my completed manuscript, Beyond Parochial Faith: A Catholic Confesses to my publishing company, Wipf and Stock. They publish mainly academic religious works, but mine is a memoir.

I combine my personal story of growing up German Catholic in Stearns County with my spiritual evolution. As a lifelong educator I aim to educate with this book too. It exposes my deepest vulnerabilities to encourage readers as they experience the pain of their own wounds.
I hope my story eases the spiritual work required of absolutely everyone—reflecting on our lives, honoring our pain, and grappling with life's questions. I reveal my secrets because seeing another's story somehow makes it easier to face one's own. 

Beyond Parochial Faith weaves together alcoholic husband and mid-life meltdown, judgmental siblings and prudish aunts, the Goddess and the historical Jesus, the Father/Son myth and Carl Jung, atheists and Benedictines. I aim to inspire self-awareness, to open minds. to broaden horizons.

This book started four and a half years ago with a series of articles in Crossings, the magazine published by the Stearns History Museum. My writers group encouraged me to write more personal stories, which I did, but as I continued writing, I fell back into my usual intellectual reflection. 
The result is this memoir that merges my life story with information challenging the religion I learned in my youth. I had to unlearn a lot. Now you can unlearn and learn with me.

Beyond Parochial Faith reemphasizes the message in my book published in 2007, God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky: Cherishing Christianity without Its Exclusive Claims. Its message is that Christianity mistakes its myth for history and its symbols for facts. With a few clicks on this site you can read excerpts from that book. 

I neglected this blog while I was preparing it for publication. Now I plan to post here more often, probably some excerpts from Beyond Parochial Faith, which will come out in Spring 2019.