Sunday, October 9, 2011

Great books, great source.

Eighth Day Books' printed catalogue is in itself a source of great insights and fodder for blog posts. The little bookstore in Kansas has as its mission to offer "an eccentric community of books based on this organizing principle: if a book—be it literary, scientific, historical, or theological—sheds light on ultimate questions in an excellent way, then it's a worthy candidate for inclusion in our catalog.

"Reality doesn't divide itself into "religious" and "literary" and "secular" spheres, so we don't either. We're convinced that all truths are related and every truth, if we pay attention rightly, directs our gaze toward God. One of our customers found us "eclectic but orthodox." We like that

They manage to be eclectic without crossing the fine line between ecumenism and syncretism. I want to read everything they print.

For example, here is a little-known, 131-page book by Orthodox layman Jean-Claudet Larchet, The Theology of Illness. The bookstore's blurb-writer for the printed catalogue (how do I get that job?) begins:

"... Larchet makes a bold pronouncement, possibly even startling: 'There is no question that people today have far fewer resources than their ancestors did to deal with the entire problem [of physical illness].' While he accedes that modern medicine has acquired extraordinary skill in diagnosis, therapy and prevention, its treatment of the body addresses only our biology and not our spirituality. As strange as it sounds, being deprived of illness actually limits our means of dealing with death, doing little to help us assume the redemptive powers of suffering and humility."

Come to think of it, I don't know when I'll have time to read 131 pages. But a snippet like that will keep me thinking for a week. At least.

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