A Big Enough God

A Big Enough God (A Feminist’s Search for a Joyful Theology) Author Sara Maitland / A Riverhead Books Published by The Berkley Publishing Group, New York / Copyright 1995 / Paperback 191 Pages

I am not one to discuss religion or my faith in casual conversation. I would usually avoid religious discourse with acquaintances and would prefer to talk openly and earnestly about my beliefs only with my closest family and friends. Mainly it is because the topic is so loaded — with personal and deeply held biases and personal historical baggage — that it is almost impossible to get through the fog of miscommunications and misunderstandings.

So I found myself fully understanding why Sara Maitland keeps having to explain her ideas, having to point out what she didn’t mean as much as what she was trying to say. She states her own biases, her own background to clearly show where she is coming from. I felt she was as honest as she could be because she wants the reader to hear what she is trying to say above the din of the myriad voices inside the reader’s head.

I feel that I’ve heard her and somehow, quite incredibly, that she’s also heard me. Because this book seems to have been written for someone just like me — a believer, a woman, who somehow keeps a personal relationship with her God who seems to be so much more than the God that her Catholic upbringing introduced her to. Maitland dared, yes dared, to think that she can actually dabble in theology, play in the big league, and attempt to decode what God is trying to tell us.

And for people like me who might feel stuck in our own search, struggles with cynicism, and could not find guidance to trust, it gives me courage to keep trying.

There are many fatty things you can chew on in this book, but I’ve often found myself using one particular joke she shared in the last chapter of the book: “What is the difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’? It’s like bacon and eggs: the hen is involved but the pig is committed.” Her vision of God, she said, is more pig than hen. I found myself nodding and smiling…

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