By Barbara Falconer Newhall
Good news. I’ve signed a contract with a publisher for my book Wrestling With God. The publisher is Patheos Press. Patheos Books is affiliated with Patheos.com, a heavily trafficked, multi-faith website and thus, I think, a very good fit for my book.
You’ll be able to get the book on-line – as an e-book or a print book. And two bookstores have already promised to carry it, A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland, California, and Book Passage in San Francisco and Corte Madera.
As my ever-patient family and friends are all too aware, this book of mine has been in the works for some time. It all began when I was the religion reporter at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California.
So many interesting people – evangelicals, charismatic Catholics, Unitarians, Hindus, Muslims, Baha’is, a Zoroastrian and even a Witch or two – but so little time to talk in depth. So little time to ask the probing personal questions.
I always got the story I’d been assigned to get – the church budget, the new rabbi, the vacation Bible school, the newly installed stained glass windows.
But I hardly ever had time to ask the deeper questions: Why do you believe in God anyway? What is God like? Is God God – or something else? And how do you know?
I wanted to know how people arrived at the beliefs, the faith, the attitudes, the certainty and doubt at the center of their lives.
And so, when pain in my elbows, wrists and hands brought my newsroom career – sadly – to an end, I decided to go out into the field to interview a cross-section of American believers and doubters and get some answers to the questions that had been on my mind for so long:
What can a thoughtful person believe in this day and age, I wanted to know. Is there a faith somewhere that can withstand the challenges of our globalized, multicultural, skeptical, modern — post-modern? — twenty-first-century world?
I interviewed dozens of people in the process – conservatives and progressives, believers and atheists. It took a while, but all those fascinating people helped me along on my rocky spiritual journey. And in the end I got an — unexpected — answer to my questions.
My deadline to turn in the finished and polished manuscript is February, 2014.
Watch this space.
Meanwhile, I’m cracking out the champagne.
You can read more about me an my book project in the About section of this website. Thanks for your support!
Update: Publication will be early 2015.