Category Archives: Reviews

‘The Pastoral Role’

There came a moment when reading “When Breathe Becomes Air” (66 weeks now on the NY Times best seller list) that I put the book aside to reflect.   It wasn’t just that it is a heartbreaking memoir of a physician … Continue reading

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The Serenity Prayer – and The Reinhold Niebuhr Story

The Serenity Prayer, originally composed in 1943 by the pastor-theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) for the troops in WWII, resonates as much now as ever in our public as well as personal lives. God, give us grace to accept with serenity … Continue reading

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How Well Do We Handle Adversity?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that question having recently read Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandburg, CEO of Facebook and Adam Grant, a best-selling author and psychologist at Warton. It may be because … Continue reading

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The Problem with Empathy

A few days after reading Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, by Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, I was stopped in Washington, D.C., traffic.  A disheveled, crippled man made his way between the traffic lanes past my car with a hand-written … Continue reading

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Howard Thurman’s Christmas

I’m struggling to find The Mood of Christmas that Howard Thurman (1899-1981), the prominent African American author, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader, wrote about in 1973.    The election turmoil with its uncertain aftermath makes it difficult to focus on … Continue reading

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Intelligent Disobedience – Learning From Guide Dogs

In Ira Chaleff’s 2015 book Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong, ‘intelligent disobedience’ in guide dogs is a metaphor for an important but often overlooked behavior pattern for humans. A guide dog trainer told … Continue reading

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Figuring Out What’s Most Important

In his best-selling posthumous memoir When Breath Becomes Air, 37-year old neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi reflected on how his battle with lung cancer led him on a search for priorities and values. When a terminal diagnosis gave him a year or two … Continue reading

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2015 Books On Overcoming Terrorism and Political Gridlock

Two religious books of 2015 address American’s deepest fears and anxieties: terrorism and political gridlock. In Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, Britain’s former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers an in-depth historical, philosophical and theological argument against religious extremism and … Continue reading

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2014 Best Books

My goal is to read a book a week, but don’t always make it. It took a month last summer to get through Moby Dick, one of my book club’s choices.   It was worth it! I also try to read … Continue reading

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On Giving Smart

‘Tis the season to be giving.   Everyday now our household receives appeals by mail, phone, and email urging us to contribute to a variety of worthy causes.   And coming soon, the Salvation Army Bell Ringers, for whom we always have … Continue reading

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