Marilyn McEntyre has taught Medical Humanities, Literature and the Nature World, Approaches to Autobiography, and a variety of writing courses. Her own writing has appeared in many magazines and websites, including The Christian Century, Sojourners, Books and Culture, Conversations, and academic journals.
Much of her writing focuses on the role of words and language practices in the life of faith. Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies explores ways to restore and revive our worn-out, polluted, and distorted language resources in both private and public realms. Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice is a creative and soulful collection of 15 key spiritual words, including listen, let go, resist, and welcome.
In Speaking Peace in a Climate of Conflict, McEntyre dazzles us with the amazing power, variety, and impact of words. She comments on them as "instruments of survival," as "a river of conversation," and as "acts of stewardship." With imaginative clout, she compels us to:
- examine the consequences of six dangerous euphemisms
- think about five words that deserve to be defined whenever we use them (war, peace, health, freedom, love)
- pay attention to the writings of Wendell Berry, William Bryant Logan, and Arundhati Roy
- immerse ourselves in poetry which is "the language of our time"
- follow the examples of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., W. H. Auden, and others who have redirected "the energy of anger into fruitful protest and articulate advocacy"
- emulate the work of wordsmiths such as Brian Doyle, Anne Lamott, and David James Duncan whose "life-affirming laughter is worth enjoying."
This is a very good book for our times when many people are seeking to reach across political and cultural divides through civil conversations. McEntyre reminds us of both the power and the potential of our words.