Sunday, October 16th, 2016


Isn’t her name enough to make you want to read her?
I discovered her shortly after she died.
The Shaping of a Life is her autobiography and tells of her becoming acquainted with ‘spirit’. She is so natural and pragmatic about it–until she has a much bigger experience of and ‘after death’ experience. I may get some of this wrong because I gobbled her book rather than digesting it. But she was a kid playing hide and go seek and hid in some thick backyard bushes. It was there that she had the sense of another world existing alongside the physical with only a thin membrane between. Phyllis was married to a doctor and had lots of children.
Her story about the development of faith was so trustworthy to me because she kept it real. In fact her husband didn’t ‘get’ her ‘after death’ experience and so they didn’t talk much about it. She didn’t resent it. Phyllis simply said, “In a marriage there are things that you don’t talk about for the good of the marriage” It sounded practical and wise and not at all repressed. 

Phyllis was the religious editor for Publishers’ Weekly and so was in touch with new trends and issues. She wrote a book titled Emergent Christianity. It was such a helpful book for me.
I tend to pick up on trends intuitively. I did that in my work as an executive in food retailing
and I think my book I PRAY ANYWAY: Devotions for the Ambivalent is a voice for the confusion going on in organized religion. Phyllis talks about religion’s need for an every five hundred year garage sale to get rid of the clutter and spiffing up the worthwhile.
She lays out an historical pattern for what is going on now in Christianity that makes
sense of my own disorientation that I explore in my book. I feel less crazy and less guilty and less quiet about my own spiritual hunger.

Enough. Read Phyllis Tickle!


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