BOB ABERNETHY is the executive editor and host of Religion & Ethics
Newsweekly, which he developed and created for PBS in 1997. Before
launching the series, he had served as a correspondent for NBC News
for more than four decades, reporting from Washington, Los Angeles,
London, and Moscow. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
WILLIAM BOLE's articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Commonweal magazines. A research fellow of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and an editorial consultant at Boston College, he lives in Andover, Massachusetts.
Faith and doubt stand in loving tension in this splendid collection edited by Bole, a religion writer, and Abernethy, founder and host of the PBS program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. The book draws from the extensive interviews the series has conducted with religious luminaries and writers, some of whom appear more than once. The interviews are loosely arranged into themes of prayer; suffering and the problem of evil; encountering religious pluralism; preparing for death and the afterlife; and the varieties of religious practice. Not all of the contributors describe themselves as religious ("You know what an agnostic is?" asks the agnostic near-centenarian Studs Terkel. "A cowardly atheist"). Most of those profiled, however, have walked a long path of religious devotion, including Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, Anne Lamott, William Sloane Coffin, Martin Marty, Frederica Mathewes-Green and Phyllis Tickle (PW's former contributing editor in religion). With such an amazing cast of characters, it's practically impossible to go wrong, and this collection doesn't miss a step. The section on suffering is particularly perceptive ("I know that where there is no suffering, nothing happens," novelist Madeleine L'Engle says). This is a rich feast of accumulated wisdom. (Apr. 3) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"A rich feast of accumulated wisdom." -Publishers Weekly
"This is a feast of ideas and insights, a banquet of hard-won wisdom to which you can return time and again when your hearts years for inspiration and your intellect for illumination." -Bill Moyers
"This is a book for being with. ... The Life of Meaning is more infused with wisdom than any I have seen in many, many a year." -Phyllis Tickle