Synopses & Reviews
In God Laughs and Plays
, David James Duncan argues that the de facto political party embodied by the so-called "Christian Right" has turned worship into a self-righteous betrayal of the words and example of the very Jesus it claims to praise. In opposition, Duncan offers a thought-provoking collection of "churchless sermons," stories, memoir, and conversations all united by the contention that the way of life preached and embodied by Jesus is apolitical and should be free of media machinery.
While reminding us that the true Christian ethos scorns riches and embraces the poor; blesses peacemakers, not war-makers; and asks us to love and serve neighbors and "do good" even unto enemies, Duncan also goes a step further: he offers a poignant and inspiring glimpse into a profound new cosmology that can help humanity manage the epochal challenges of a fast globalizing and ecologically challenged world.
"Majestic, rib-tickling, and timeless....These churchless homilies are the gift of innocence wrapped in wisdom, crafted by a superb writer." Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest
"The world's future depends on this consciousness and you will find it shining forth from every page in this book." Brother David Steindl-Rast, author of Benedictine Monk
"This is the book for everyone who is allergic to what often passes for Chistianity, but attracted to Jesus...beautifully written, as always with Mr. Duncan, but also wonderfully, humorously, deeply felt." Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
"If the essence of religion is to bind together, David James Duncan's wise, eloquent, and humorous churchless sermons are deeply religious. God, I think, likes them too." David Orr, author of Last Refuge
"Wonderful....An important book, absolutely....One of the most unusual and satisfying collections to come down the pike in years." New West Books and Writers
In this multiple award-winning and bestselling diagnosis of the contemporary American spirit, David James Duncan suggests that the de facto political party embodied by the so-called "Christian Right" has turned worship into a self-righteous betrayal of the words and example of the very Jesus it claims to praise. In a bracing and often hilarious response to this trend, God Laughs & Plays offers "churchless sermons", stories, memoir, conversations, and cosmological reflections that scorn riches and embrace the poor; bless peacemakers, not war-makers; celebrate creation, diversity, empathy, playfulness and beauty; and insist that Divine Mystery is indeed mysterious and compassion is literally compassionate. The spiritual kingdom described by Jesus, this unusual book reminds us, is located not "in the Sky" or beyond a disastrous future, but within us, to be sought and embodied in the here and now.
About the Author
David James Duncan is the author of the novels The River Why and The Brothers K and several works of nonfiction. His work has won a Lannan Fellowship, the 2001 Western States Book Award for Nonfiction, a National Book Award nomination, two PNBA Awards, an honorary doctorate from University of Portland, the ALA's 2003 Award (with Wendell Berry) for the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom, inclusion in four volumes of Best American Spiritual Writing, and many other honors.