SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine

St. Martin’s Essentials Mar. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250764492. $28.99. REL
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What happens when one can no longer relate to God with metaphors such Monarch, Warrior, Judge, or—as Rabbi Toba Spitzer puts it—a Big Person? Are there other metaphors that religious traditions offer to orient our lives? Spitzer draws on lesser used touchstones from biblical and rabbinical sources that picture God as intimate, transforming, and confronting rather than of distant, judging, or disengaged in metaphors such as water, fire, and rock. These touchstones bring out a divinity who is close at hand and as tangible as our very breath. Spitzer has readers embody these metaphors in practices that might strike one as mindfulness training. Instead of tacking on a foreign practice, Spitzer moves to enhance her own traditions in adapting these techniques, inviting readers to do the same within their own. A refreshing move to revive long dormant spiritual encounters.
VERDICT By integrating Eastern practices to illuminate her own spiritual tradition and personal encounters, Spitzer moves beyond merely touting the benefits of mindfulness exercises, even while one wonders whether the Big Person can be integrated with these metaphors and practices or must be left behind.
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