Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling

Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling


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A great master once said, “The shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story.” In Experiencing Spirituality, Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham take readers on a journey through storytelling as a means of self-discovery. Recounting and interpreting great wisdom stories from all ages and all cultures, as well as telling many of their own, the authors shed light on such experiences as awe, wonder, humor, confusion, and forgiveness.

In story after story, seekers look to those whose lives reveal a special quality—sometimes called spirituality—and ask the masters what they must do to attain that same quality. The answer is simple: “Come, follow me, and see how I live.” Experiencing Spirituality teaches through the example of human experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399175121
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/16/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 602,958
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ernest Kurtz, Ph.D., received his doctorate in the history of American civilization from Harvard University in 1978. He taught American history and the history of religion in America at the University of Georgia and Loyola University of Chicago before retiring to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Katherine Ketcham has been writing nonfiction books for forty years. Her work has been published in sixteen foreign languages and has sold nearly one million copies. She founded and serves on the board of a grassroots nonprofit organization called Trilogy Recovery Community, which helps youth and their family members dealing with alcohol and other drug problems. Ketcham lives in Walla Walla, Washington.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Beyond "Spirituality" 9

Experience 27

Wonder 45

Community 61

Dark 78

Listening 95

Forgiveness 113

Humor 130

Gray 147

Memory 164

Virtue 182

Sin 200

Prayer 226

Confusion 244

Recovery 265

Wisdom 283

Notes 301

Sources 329

Index 331

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“The inspiring storytellers’ guide to who we are as humans and how we can live the reality of our dreams along the journey of an unpredictable life."
—William Moyers, New York Times bestselling author, Broken
“A rich, thoughtful, and engaging collection of stories, anecdotes, quotations, and thoughts on all kinds of subjects that connect to spirituality from two people who understand spirituality better than anyone. Wonderful!”
—Susan Cheever
"One of the best guides for applying spiritual tools to life."
—Library Journal

“Readers of Experiencing Spirituality will undoubtedly want to go back again and again to revisit and reflect on the stories that are the heart of this remarkable work.”
—Pat Taylor, CEO, Faces and Voices of Recovery

"This is a richly delinated tributeto the triumph of the human spirit."
—Retailing Insight

“Kurtz and Ketcham have a mission to clarify—because defining is impossible—spirituality. These stories are experiences. You may forget informative data, but you will not forget the stories. Experiencing Spirituality is not reading. It is an experience.”
—Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, author of Addictive Thinking
“Brilliantly conceived and beautifully written, Experiencing Spirituality is one of those rare books readers will return to again and again as a balm for old and fresh wounds and as a meditation on how to a life of greater balance, fulfillment, and self-acceptance.”
—William L. White

Praise for The Spirituality of Imperfection:

“A brilliant anthology of wisdom stories from all the great traditions centered around a most compelling and discerning issue.”  —M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled

“I love this book and I’ve been foisting it on people for years. It’s wonderful.” —Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies, Grace (Eventually) and Operating Instructions

“You remember these stories…. They become a part of you, a part of your own spirituality.” —Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Bell

“Sometimes a reviewer wants to stop writing about a book and simply stand up and cheer.... The wisest book I've read in a long time.” —Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Meaning and Medicine

“This is an inspiring guide, offering comfort not only to those in 12-step recovery programs but to those who want to stop striving for personal perfection and start living.” —Publishers Weekly

“I think this book comes closer to the real meaning of spirituality than anything I've looked at in the last twenty years.” —John Bradshaw, author of Homecoming

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Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fifteen-some years ago I picked up a copy of “The Spirituality of Imperfection.” Co-authored by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham,  it has been a favorite of mine ever since, a book I return to often for guidance and insight. This new offering, Experiencing Spirituality,  Finding Meaning Through Storytelling, by the same team, has now joined the first on my shelf of favorite spiritual reads. In this book, in some ways similar to the first, they address spirituality, not directly by talking about it, but through a collection of wisdom stories sewn  together with commentary to create a work that communicates the experience of spirituality. The author’s have divided the book into fifteen  sections. Each sectionIn this book, in some ways similar to the first, they address spirituality, not directly by talking about it, but through a  collection of wisdom stories sewn together with commentary to create a work that communicates the experience of spirituality. The  author’s have divided the book into fifteen sections. Each section examines a single idea, such as community, forgiveness, memory,  confusion, recovery and so much more. This is the kind of book that you can pick up and open to any page for something to contemplate at that moment, or go to a specific topic that you wish to explore. The commentary is masterful and enlightening, while allowing the stories to tell the story. Five stars and highly recommended reading.