Books: Journeys of Faith and Discernment

October 1, 2012

What does it mean to be a person of faith in today’s world? Two new books—Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion, by Mark Pinsky ’70, and The Messy Quest for Meaning: Five Catholic Practices for Finding Your Vocation, by Stephen Martin ’95—explore the question from different perspectives.

With the return of injured veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, a growing population of aging Baby Boomers, and a rising number of people with conditions such as autism and depression, churches are being asked to alter both architecture and attitudes to serve their members. Pinsky, a religion writer for the Orlando Sentinel and the Los Angeles Times, explores the challenges and spiritual imperative of welcoming people with physical, psychiatric, and intellectual disabilities into congregations.

Martin, a former Duke Magazine intern who now works for the Center for Creative Leadership, draws on his own personal struggles to find meaning in an increasingly complicated and divisive world. From the wise guidance of late Duke professor of French Wallace Fowlie to spending time with Trappist monks, Martin’s journey of discovery serves as a guidebook for readers seeking ways to discern purpose in their own lives.