The Sacred Life of Bread: Uncovering the Mystery of an Ordinary Loaf

Broadleaf. Jun. 2023. 239p. ISBN 9781506482231. $25.99. REL
Bread is central to the Christian tradition, as it represents the risen Christ. Episcopal priest and former journalist Murphy-Gill interweaves stories of baking breads with the cycles of life. The book demonstrates how breadmaking connects readers to the wider world in 12 chapters about community, companionship, faith, doubt, and prayer. For example, when describing how some breads require time to rise, the author tells readers that they operate on God’s timetable, not their own. Or, in the section that describes what her sourdough loaf recipe might need as it bakes, the author shares lessons learned about letting go of worries and what if’s. Throughout this work, the author discusses her struggle to live an authentic life, and she questions what that phrase actually means to her. At the end of every chapter is a recipe that holds some meaning to the writer.
VERDICT A wonderful conflation of all that is theological and spiritual with the art of bread making. Best for ministers, parish leaders, and bread makers.
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