And I did so on two new venues: Amazon Books evaluation and Reddit's religion page on the Internet. I felt so strongly about Corinna Nicolaou's book, "A None's Story: Searching for Meaning Inside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, & Islam" that I wanted to do everything I could to stir up interest, and, hopefully conversation. I'm only publicizing this through family and Facebook, so I am counting on you to spread the word. This is what I said:
As she approaches middle-age, Corinna Nicolaou, who has NEVER been exposed to ANY religious doctrine, wonders if she has missed anything in life by never being a part of a faith community . The reader accompanies her on her four-year odyssey from coast-to-coast exploring Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam both as an academic exercise and as a participant as a sincere neophyte. With humor and sympathy, she participates in the practices of a variety of sects of each religion not only at formal services but with nascent friends. As a nonagenarian who has also taken a rather unique course in assessing religion myself, I highly recommend it for any young person who seriously contemplates religion, spirituality and the questions of existentialism. The chapter on Islam alone – particularly as she practices that faith in an unusual setting – is particularly poignant. And her conclusion provides a thoughtful coda to her study.
I personally chanced upon her presentation at a local bookstore and HAD to buy the book! I found the book as compelling as her delightful presentation. How remarkable that Columbia University Press saw fit to publish a "first book" by an unknown author.who gives such thoughtful consideration to one of the most important topics of the day.
But in addition to the review, I want to add for my personal viewers:
I do think her "assessment of religion" lacks one thing, what the WORLD misses by HER not being a part of a faith community. I truly believe that this is one of the Hallmarks of our American democracy, the citizen groups, agencies, etc. that work voluntarily for progress in our society. Alexis de Tocqueville cited this in the early days of our republic and it has been a strength throughout the years, Yet most all such agencies are in serious decline today - and I think it is clear that faith groups have played a major role in bringing social progress. Thus the two books of Robert Putnam, "Bowling Alone" and "Our Kids" would be companion reads for anyone seriously looking to help our country overcome the problems and division we face today.
And now it is off to NYC, Santa Fe and Michigan during the next four weeks.