Photo: Samuel Potter Engel

’The writer steps aside for the work, and the work depends on the reader.’

Commentary of Reb Ab, in Edmond Jabes, The
Book of Questions


Work


A Woman of Salt
Counterpoint Press, 2001
A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection

A Woman of Salt explores the conflict between a woman's mundane secular life and her passionate longing for spirituality.

This daring and complex novel confronts the dangers of introspection and the healing power of imagination. It is a resonant meditation and a beautiful story of one woman's struggle for wholeness and her journey toward spiritual regeneration.


Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry
Counterpoint Press, 2004, Booklist Starred Review

How do ordinary people make sense of their often tragic and grief-stricken lives using inherited religious imagery and ideas of God, faith, forgiveness, and salvation given to them by ministers and rabbis? That's the the question every character in this linked story collection faces and answers in a distinctive voice and way, some with humor, some with hate, all with creativity and surprise. The inhabitants of Coosaway County who tell their stories of coming to grips with God and fatih in the backwater are as wild, dangerous, soft, and appealing as the Lowcountry landscape they dwell in. You will not soon forget their voices, their lives, or their hard-won wisdom.

“Between Chaos and Light: Calvin, Card Playing, Comic Books, Sex, God, and Dancing”
A personal essay on the meaning of dancing in the human world, reflecting on the experience of growing up a dancer in a religious tradition that forbade dancing and the experience of dancing as a spiritual act, a unitive event in which ordinary life is interrupted and a unity of body-mind-heart and individual-community is experienced.

"Peering Through the Lattice: Remembering God Remembering Us"
A meditation that interweaves scenes from a week-long visit to the author's father in an Alzheimer's wing and reflections on God's presence and absence into a latticed window through which to view love and prayer. In Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature 17 (2011): 23-15.

"Evil, Sin, and the Violation of the Vulnerable"
In Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside. Ed. Mary Potter Engel and Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite. Orbis Books, 1999:152-64

"No-Self: The Challenge of Mysticism for Women’s Spirituality"
Journal of Feminist Studies in
Religion
24:2 (2008) 141-88.



Seeking God and Losing the Way: A Story of Love and Conversions
Kindle Publishing, June 2012

Seeking God and Losing the Way is an inspirational spiritual autobiography that weaves together dramatic family history, healing from trauma, the anatomy of conversion (from Christian to Jew and from believer to mystic), vocational struggle, spiritual experience, and mystic stories and poems from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys memoirs about spiritual struggle and search in the midst of ordinary and not-so-ordinary life experiences. The author’s experience as a professional theologian, feminist, mother, fiction writer, and mystic combine to give this narrative unique depth, drama, and poetic language.

Through reading the author’s account of her lifelong seeking for the One, one can find a new way to approach the relationship among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, a fresh understanding of mysticism and model for the spiritual path, and encouragement and guidance for one’s own spiritual search. All along the way, the honesty, wisdom, and playfulness of the author’s deep reflections invite readers to explore the meaning of “God” and spirituality in their own lives, their own life purpose, the spiritual depth of everyday living, the obstacles to spiritual growth, and the way to an open and moist heart. Without minimizing the pain, confusion, and struggle of spiritual seeking, this book guides and welcomes the reader to ongoing personal transformation and a life lived in wonder, love, and joy.

Reading this book is like having a conversation with a friend about deep matters of meaning and the heart. It will have a profound effect on your assumptions about God, spirituality, religion, mysticism, what it means to be a human being, and the possibilities for radical change.



Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside
Orbis Books, 1999 (5th edition)

Classic liberation theology textbook highlighting creative reinterpretations of classic Christian doctrines from liberation theologians around the world. Fresh voices and fresh perspectives on creation, sin, evil, grace, God, the church, Jesus Christ, and other doctrines are organized in a clear systematic theology outline.


Selected Works

Novel
A gripping and lyrical story of a woman struggling with God, her mother, her body, and her self.
Story Collection
A rich gathering of distinctive southern voices, each revealing a depth of spirit and longing.
Essays
An exploration of the meaning of dancing through reflections on growing up in a religious tradition that forbade dancing and the experience of dancing as a spiritual act.
A meditation on God, the self, Alzheimer's, love, prayer, and Kabbalah
Articles
Classic exploration of sin and evil from a feminist perspective.
A new and moving approach to understanding conversion from Christianity to Judaism.
Theology, Religion, and Spirituality
An inspirational spiritual autobiography that weaves together dramatic family history, healing from trauma, the anatomy of conversion (from Christian to Jew and from believer to mystic), vocational struggle, spiritual experience, and mystic stories and poems from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions.
Classic liberation theology textbook incorporating voices from around the world and creative understandings of Christian doctrines.

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