"Human imagination thrives in the United States; we entice everyone to our shores with its magic," writes Margaret J. Wheatley. "As a nation, we have given the world many things, but our keen defense of individual freedom has allowed imagination to soar and to explore the limitless sky of human creativity. Nowhere else have I experienced the boundless sense of possibility that is so easily available in Americans."

The spiritual practice of imagination informs and animates this collection of essays by 40 contemporary thinkers who present their visions of a better America in the next 50 years. Marianne Williamson (The Healing of America) serves as editor, and the photographs in the volume are by Joseph Sohm. This is the kind of book that will speak to the heart, mind, and soul of all those who believe in holistic health, educational reform, civic activism, societal transformation, personal growth, ecology, and spiritual politics.

In one of the best essays in this future-facing work, Denise Breton, Christopher Largent, and Stephen Lehman offer an alternative to reward-punishment justice — namely distributive justice that "seeks not to punish but to heal, not to extend hurt by adding more pain but by restoring broken relations and righting whatever wrongs have occurred." Equally challenging is David C. Korten's ideas about a post-corporate sustainable economy. Thomas Moore envisions the liberation of religion from factionalism. Lance Secretan discusses "the embrace of spirit as an equal part of the human experience at work." And Paul Hawken provides a succinct overview of the challenges facing us in the future if our civilization is to remain resilient and adaptive.

Not long ago, Dr. Lauren Artress wrote: "Our spiritual famine has concluded — we are just beginning to restore the honor of imagination." Here are some of the first fruits of that harvest.