Beacon Press: A Dynamic God
Login Cart

A Dynamic God

Living an Unconventional Catholic Faith

Author: Nancy Mairs

Passionately nonconformist spiritual reflections from an acclaimed essayist

God doesn’t saunter in once for all and settle like a large cat plumping herself into your favorite rocker with an air that says, “Here I am! Now your life is complete!” God dances beyond the threshold and must continually be enticed into our dwelling. I hope these essays remind us all to extend that invitation, clean all the corners and polish the windows, throw wide the door.

When acclaimed essayist Nancy Mairs published her spiritual autobiography, Ordinary Time, Kathleen Norris greeted it in the New York Times Book Review as “a remarkable accomplishment,” calling Mairs “a relentlessly physical writer, as fiercely committed to her art as to her spiritual development.”

In A Dynamic God, Mairs returns to the subject of religion and spirituality and gives us a passionately individual book of meditations on a life of engaged faith.

Raised Congregationalist in New England, Mairs is a convert to Catholicism. She is also liberal, feminist, and outspokenly activist-and all that in an increasingly conservative church that scorns her brand of progressive iconoclasm.

A Dynamic God explores through beautifully written personal essays the question of why and how Mairs became and remains a Catholic (“despite all odds“); what she finds to love in that tradition; and more broadly, as she writes, how she experiences the holy in her life and in the world.

Mairs gives a wonderful picture of the community of worship she belongs to in Arizona, the Community of Christ of the Desert. They celebrate mass in each others’ homes, and Mairs writes about the energy that flows from “the intimacy of crowding together, the creativity of our liturgy, the surprise and humor that bubble up in our dialogue.” In the Latino image of the Virgin of Guadalupe she finds inspiration for a commitment to social justice, which she writes about in an essay called “Coveting the Saints.” There are essays here on sin and abundance; on understanding vocation in a life circumscribed by multiple sclerosis; on enacting a life of faith through activism.

In her unmistakable, vibrant voice, at once nonconformist and devotional, Mairs offers a book not only for progressive Catholics seeking to reimagine their lives of faith, but for all readers hoping to deepen their experience of the holy in the everyday: “God is here.“
Bookmark and Share


Review: Tucson Weekly - October 25, 2007
“Her book is an eloquent and witty account of a spiritual quest to find the holy within and without.” Read Full Review
Review: LA Times - October 16, 2007
“…stunning collection . . . A Dynamic God owes its power to Mairs’ sensitivity, her attention to detail, her honesty about herself.” Read Full Review
Review: Spirituality and Practice - October 1, 2007
“Early in the book, the author states that her intent is to throw wide the door for the Holy One to enter. She has done that and much more.”
Review: Story Circle Book Reviews - September 20, 2007
A Dynamic God is rich, risky, and startling. It is a remarkable book. Read it.”Read Full Review
Review: Booklist - September 1, 2007
“For those struggling with contradictions between organized religion and their personal beliefs, this testament to living an intimately unique brand of Catholicism will be welcome reading . . . the more spiritually minded will find food for thought and much to embrace in these thought-provoking pages.”
Review: Publishers Weekly - July 9, 2007
“Mairs is an extraordinary woman . . . Her self-deprecating humor is wonderful-much like the writing of Anne Lamott, although Mairs manages to create her own style.”

You might also be interested in:

A Dynamic God

ISBN: 978-080707732-0
Publication Date: 9/1/2007
Pages: 160
Size:5.5 x 8.5
Price:  $23.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
Also Available In: