The novelist Elizabeth McCracken is not a religious person, per se. But her memoir about her pregnancy and the stillbirth of her first son bears witness to the transcendent in its exploration of love, grief, and hope.
This is a spiritual memoir, and the theological reflection Srubas brings to bear on her own story does not fit into a clean arc or a clear-cut story of before and after. The narrative decisions Srubas makes in telling this story are both lovely and smart, and pastors and religious leaders would benefit from study of her voice.
This collection of essays, marked by adventurous scholarship and imaginative playfulness, teases out and extends the thought of Rene Girard. James Alison covers topics as diverse as Pentecost, grand opera, the McCarthy witch-hunts, the state of Israel, and life as an openly gay priest loyal to Rome and a cautious admirer of the current Pope.
Riley’s encouragement for religious leaders, communities, and interfaith couples to talk openly about the challenges and blessings of interfaith marriage is an important word. Interfaith marriage is a complex and wide-reaching phenomenon, and Riley should be applauded for winsomely uncovering so many of its dimensions.