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God Laughs & Plays; Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right

David James Duncan

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The most important book on religion this year, perhaps this decade. -- The Literary Spirituality Review

In this multiple award-winning and bestselling diagnosis of the contemporary American spirit, David James Duncan suggests that the de facto political party embodied by the so-called Christian Right has turned worship into a self-righteous betrayal of the words and example of the very Jesus it claims to praise. In a bracing and often hilarious response to this trend, God Laughs & Plays offers churchless sermons, stories, memoir, conversations, and cosmological reflections that scorn riches and embrace the poor; bless peacemakers, not war-makers; celebrate creation, diversity, empathy, playfulness and beauty; and insist that Divine Mystery is indeed mysterious and compassion is literally compassionate. The spiritual kingdom described by Jesus, this unusual book reminds us, is located not "in the Sky" or beyond a disastrous future, but within us, to be sought and embodied in the here and now.

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From the Publisher:

"Hilarious, enraged, articulate, eloquent, and passionate in ways that will make you gape. Duncan is one of the finest writers of spiritually minded essays in these United States, period. Trust me, this is a book that matters." - Brian Doyle, Christian Century Magazine, Feb. 2007

From the Inside Flap:

"I WAS BORN A CHOSEN PERSON, though this state of affairs was not of my choosing."

Award-winning essayist and novelist David James Duncan focuses on the conflation of neoconservative politics and apocalyptic evangelical fundamentalism.

In God Laughs and Plays, Duncan argues that the de facto political party embodied by the so-called Christian Right has turned worship into a self-righteous betrayal of the words and example of the very Jesus it claims to praise. In reply, Duncan offers a thought-provoking collection of "churchless sermons," stories, memoir, and conversations - all united by the contention that the way of life preached and embodied by Jesus is apolitical and should be free of media machinery.

While reminding us that the true Christian ethos scorns riches and embraces the poor; blesses peacemakers, not war maker; and asks us to love and serve neighbors and "do good" even unto enemies, Duncan also goes a step further: he offers a poignant, playful, yet inspiring glimpse into a profound new cosmology that can help humanity manage the epochal challenges of a fast-globalizing and ecologically compromised world.

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