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The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book Christianity After Religion by arguing that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us—and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.
Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground by discovering and embracing God everywhere in the world around us—in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighborhoods, and in the global commons. Faith is no longer a matter of mountaintop experience or institutional practice; instead, people are connecting with God through the environment in which we live. Grounded guides readers through our contemporary spiritual habitat as it points out and pays attention to the ways in which people experience a God who animates creation and community.
Bass brings her understanding of the latest research and studies and her deep knowledge of history and theology to Grounded. She cites news, trends, data, and pop culture, weaves in spiritual texts and ancient traditions, and pulls it all together through stories of her own and others’ spiritual journeys. Grounded observes and reports a radical change in the way many people understand God and how they practice faith. In doing so, Bass invites readers to join this emerging spiritual revolution, find a revitalized expression of faith, and change the world.
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Praise for Grounded
“Bass’s book offers a stunning path to be called again, not as believers seeking salvation, but as mystics, poets, and humans seeking integration, beauty, and wholeness. . . . Grounded offers the needed reminder and invitation to experience again faith, God, and each other. It is such a wise, nuanced book, culling insight from Christian history, modern science, and observation.” — David Henson, Patheos
“Grounded is a wise and beautiful book. It is, in fact and in places, almost an anthem to the sacred unity of the physical and the spiritual in the formation of human faith and in the maturation of the human soul.” — Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence
“An absolutely gorgeously written book about real faith in the real world.” — James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
“I’ve been grateful for Bass’s razor-sharp mind, but upon finishing Grounded, I found myself in love with her mystical heart and gorgeous storytelling. We need to believe that God is with us, in dirt and water and our suffering and homes and neighborhoods. God is definitely in this book.” — Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On, Warrior
“In Grounded, Diana Butler Bass brings theology back down to earth. She writes about the environment and about the church in a way that makes sense, feels authentic, and doesn’t put you to sleep. A stunning book that will open up new conversations in the church and beyond.” — Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution
“The reversing of engines that Diana Butler Bass describes in Grounded was first announced by Jesus himself, of course. How strange that it should seem so new and even revolutionary 2,000 years later.” — Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation
“I absolutely love this book. I’ve long respected Diana Butler Bass for her intelligent, academic approach to the religious conversation, and never more so than in the pages of this book. Grounded made me love this beautiful world more deeply, and made God’s presence more visible everywhere I looked.” — Shauna Niequist, author of Savor and Bread & Wine
“Diana Butler Bass’s thoughtful mandate amounts not so much to a dismissal of the church, but a summons to renewal that can be both faithful and contemporary. Her accent champions a connectedness to the actual context in which we live.” — Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“‘There is nothing worse than sleeping through a revolution,’ Bass says. Her new book will not only help you wake up. It will equip you to be an enthusiastic participant in what I believe is the deepest and most important movement taking shape in our lifetime.” — Brian D. McLaren, speaker, activity, and author of A New Kind of Christianity
“Beginning with earth (dirt), air (sky) and water Bass weaves an engaging story of interconnectedness ending in the revelation of the divine in the here and now. I thoroughly enjoyed the texture and twists of insights opening the stunning truth of emerging faith in our midst.” — Sister Simone Campbell, author of A Nun on a Bus
“In her excellent treatise, [Bass] declares the current state of religion as not dying but transforming…. Bass’s biblical and effusive style, always mixing the personal with the political and scriptural, finds a deeper, more profound register in this latest book.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Bass digs her fingers into the soil of our surroundings to unearth a new way of looking at spirituality and our place within our increasingly global neighborhood. A deeply theological book, but also a practical one; causes one to ponder the spiritual implications of farmers’ markets in altogether new ways.” — Booklist