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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Foreword by Tom Brokaw

Bob Abernethy’s PBS program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly has been described as "the best spot on the television landscape to take in the broad view of the spiritual dimension of American life" by the Christian Science Monitor. "Finally," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle, "something intelligent on TV about religion." Now, together with his co-author William Bole, Abernethy has turned his attention to making a book that asks all the big questions—and elicits the most surprising answers from a who's-who of today's serious religious and spiritual thinkers from across the spectrum of faiths and denominations.

In this thoughtful collection, extraordinary people give their personal and private accounts of their own spiritual struggle. Their insights on community, prayer, suffering, religious observance comprise an elegant meditation on the desire for something beyond what we can see and measure.

The Life of Meaning includes contributors Jimmy Carter, Francis Collins, the Dalai Lama, Robert Franklin, Irving Greenberg, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Harold Kushner, Anne Lamott, Madeleine L'Engle, Thomas Lynch, Martin Marty, Mark Noll, Rachel Remen, Marilynne Robinson, Barbara Brown Taylor, Studs Terkel, Thich Nhat Hanh, Phyllis Tickle, Desmond Tutu, Jean Vanier, and Marianne Williamson, and many more.

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“A rich feast of accumulated wisdom.”

“This is a feast of ideas and insights, a banquet of hard-won wisdom to which you can return time and again when your hearts years for inspiration and your intellect for illumination.”

“This is a book for being with. ... The Life of Meaning is more infused with wisdom than any I have seen in many, many a year.”

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Bob Abernethy is the executive editor and host of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, which he developed and created for PBS in 1997, and whose contributors make up the contents of his book, The Life of Meaning: Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World. Before launching the series, he had served as a correspondent for NBC News for more than four decades, reporting from Washington, Los Angeles, London, and Moscow. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

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William Bole’s articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Commonweal magazines. A research fellow of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and an editorial consultant at Boston College, he lives in Andover, Massachusetts. Bole is co-author of The Life of Meaning: Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World with Bob Abernethy.