Monday, August 31, 2015
An Invitation To A Life Of Spiritual Discipline - Study Edition
By Lauren F. Winner
Published by Paraclete Press, August 2015
Although I have the audio-book of the first edition of Mudhouse Sabbath, I was delighted to have the chance to review this expanded study version courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.
Lauren Winner was born into an Orthodox Jewish family and converted to Christianity as an adult, revelling and delighting in her new spiritual home, yet missing many of the observances of Orthodox Judaism which punctuated every day with rituals designed to bring the presence of God closely to mind. Her life has changed substantially since the first edition and she is now an Episcopal priest as well as having gained her Ph.D, and there are new insights in this new edition as well as extensive discussion questions/statements at the end of each chapter.
The book deals with some fascinating topics, discussing how both faiths have affected her feelings, knowledge and understanding, and how in many respects she finds that they complement each other. Christianity can certainly draw more deeply on its Jewish roots without compromising doctrinal orthodoxy, in her opinion.
Starting with the different ways Christians and Jews experience and celebrate the Sabbath, she covers the meaning of keeping Kosher and fasting, mourning traditions, the obligation of hospitality, the practices of prayer and candle-lighting, the body and aging, marriage and mezuzot, thoughtfully describing, analysing and outlining her thoughts and beliefs in a clear and incisive manner.
I have several books about Judaism, but this one is unique in its approach, engaging and enjoyable, and have no doubt I will be referring to it regularly.