"Composed in the difficult years since [having written a now-famous essay about having faith in the face of death] and completed in the wake of a bone marrow transplant, [this book] is a ... meditation on what a viable contemporary faith--responsive not only to modern thought and science but also to religious tradition--might feel like"--Dust jacket flap.
Original publication date
Similar in this library
There are few books I've underlined as much as this one. His essays are complicated and never offer simple answers, either to questions of faith or art. He often recedes into the shadows of poetry -- his own and that of others -- to find the language of clarity he seeks to explore the concepts of an afterlife. He says, "You must let go of all conception of what eternity is, which means letting go of you you are, i order to feel the truth of eternity and its meaning in your life--and in your death." and "What do you do, what do you say, what in the world are you going to believe in when you are dying? It is not enough to act as if when the wave is closing over you, and that little whiff of the ineffable you get from meditation or mysticism is toxic to the dying man, who needs the rock of one real truth." Indeed.
Wiman is able to articulate concepts about time and God and Christ without proselytizing and in such a way as to be useful to anyone asking the Big Questions; one needn't be Christian.
I am deeply affected by this book -- both comforted and provoked -- and I know I'll refer to it often. I'll end with one of Wiman's final thoughts:
"So much of faith has so little to do with belief, and so much to do with acceptance. Acceptance of all the gifts that God, even in the midst of death, grants us. Acceptance of the fact that we are, as Paul Tillich says, accepted. Acceptance of grace."