Man Seeks God by Eric Weiner


Eric Weiner, a former NPR reporter, writes about his "Flirtations with the Divine," as his subtitle has it.  I heard him speak at the Charlottesville Festival of the Book and thought, rightly as it turns out, he would make a great reader of his book, given his experience as a reporter.  And he was funny as well as instructive.

He undertakes to "find his god" and get in some good travel at the same time, so he goes all over the world to learn about and experience some of the world's religions.  He visits Sufi camp in California, the Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul, he meditates in Nepal, and he spends time with Franciscans in the Bronx.  He ends in Tzfat, where he studies Kabbalah, and perhaps finds his god.  On a different note, he has a Wiccan weekend and a week-long workshop in Las Vegas with Raelians, who believe we were created by the Elohim, who live on another galaxy. 

He is an intense fellow and wants to truly experience these religious practices, but he also lives in his head and can't quite commit to anything. He is not half-assed, but seven-eighth-assed, he says.   The justaposition of a knowledgable description of these faiths with his neurotic and funny take on them is endearing and irresistible.  He quoted William James so many times that I have added his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience" to my To Be Read list.

Add comment



Recent Posts


Blogs I Like