Katherine Kurs teaches religious studies at Empire State College of the State University of New York and at the New School for Social Research. After seeking ordination in the Episcopal Church and being turned down, the author returned to her Jewish roots. She presently has a private practice as a spiritual/pastoral counselor. This excellent resource contains brief excerpts from the books of 60 different historical and contemporary writers from traditions as diverse as Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, Methodist, Wicca/pagan, Buddhist, Hindu, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Voodoo, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Anglican.
In her introduction, Kurs notes: "Attempting to live a spiritual life can indeed be a confusing and painful experience beset with obstacles and detours, rather than filled with the bliss we might have expected. The autobiographies collected in this anthology offer companionship, helping us to understand our own frequently perplexing journeys." These spiritual quests are presented in five different thematic sections: "Secrets and Revelations" (includes pieces by Julius Lester, Mary Gordon, and Nancy Mairs), "Flesh and Spirit" (includes writing by Dorothy Day, Mohandas Gandhi, and Thomas Merton), "Ancestors and Traditions" (includes essays by Rita Dove, Carl Jung, and Kathleen Norris), "Suffering and Mortality" (includes selections by Dan Wakefield, Terry Tempest Williams, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin), and "Exploration and Encounter" (includes pieces by Sue Bender, Diana Eck, Ari Goldman, and Malcolm X).