Sharlet, Jeff and Peter Manseau. “Believer, Beware: First Person Dispatches from the Margins of Faith”, Beacon, 2011.
Thinking about Religion
Jeff Sharlet and Peter Manseau have a website, “Killing the Buddha.com” and this is the second book that is a collection of stories from their site. Thirty-five chapters show the diversity of the writers as they give their candid first person narratives. The entire range of religion is here from Orthodox Judaism to Zen Buddhism and even agnosticism. There is humor and there is pain and the selections are tied together by the struggles we have with religion.
Many are confused about religion and have no idea where to turn and for them this is a good book. In fact, it is a good book for everybody. Whether we accept it or not, religion play a big part in the world today and it can be either a wonderful or a terrible experience. Some of what you read here is irreverent but then sometimes religion loses sight of reverence. Overall we get the question of what will religion (faith) do for us if we ignore some of the limitations that it places on us.
The book is both sensitive and humorous and there is a lot to be gleaned from the pages. Many are confused by religion and it hurts to search for truth and not find it and here is a way to start a new search that will not leave you empty.