“Maybe once a generation, or once every few generations, someone is born with gifts literary and sacred in equal measure.” Frederick Buechner [pronounced Beek-ner] is such a person, the Chicago Tribune goes on to insist in its critique of Buechner 101, pointing up “the depth and breadth of this rare thinker’s gifts.” Now 93, this ordained Presbyterian minister is a theologian who’s authored over three dozen books—he’s “one of our finest religious writers,” the London Free Press warrants.
An anthology, this volume samples his essays and sermons, includes excerpts from his novels and memoirs, and features tributes from admirers such as Barbara Brown Taylor and Brian McLaren, who captures well Buechner’s appeal [at least for your librarian]: “Buechner’s faith carries freight because it has not come easy; it dances and sometimes street-fights with doubt.” It’s as Buechner himself puts in one of his early non-fiction books, “…doubts are the ants in the pants of faith—they keep it awake and moving.”
In his profile for Seven Days, “Vermont’s independent voice,” Kevin Kelley references Buechner’s “unfashionable fascination with questions of faith, and even—dare one say it?— God,” before reaching his conclusion: Buechner “has given much wisdom to the world.”
Buechner 101: Essays and Sermons by Frederick Buechner
Curated by Anne Lamott
Frederick Buechner Center, 2016
The previous Featured Book, Lloyd Geering’s Reimagining God: The Faith Journey of a Modern Heretic, is now available in the Library.