The Sacred Gaze: Contemplation and the Healing of the Self
Other books by Susan:
Contemporary Christianity is afflicted with two problems: First, our spiritual life is often bland and lukewarm. Distracted and fragmented by our lives, and malnourished on conventional piety, we feel out of touch with the God described in the Bible as a “consuming fire.” Second, we don’t know how to make sense of suffering, especially the pain of spiritual darkness and aridity. The answer to both of these problems is passion.
In God in the Dark, Susan Pitchford explores the two faces of passion: desire, the mutual attraction between the soul and God; and suffering, especially our confusion and grief when we find ourselves in dark places. We often misinterpret times of darkness, assuming we’ve failed and God has abandoned us. Pitchford suggests that darkness is not a place of abandonment but a place of intimacy and a special call to a deeper relationship with the God who desires us. Once we understand this, we will not have to fear the dark, and when the night closes in around us, we can experience it as an embrace.
In a little town in Italy, nearly eight hundred years ago, Francis of Assisi renounced everything he owned to follow Christ with passionate and single-minded abandon. Even today, centuries later, this simple saint draws people around the world to his story of living in humility, love, and joy.
Here in Following Francis, Susan Pitchford tells her own
story of the Franciscan life, as a member of the Third Order, founded by Francis himself so that people from all walks of life can follow the saint’s ideal, without leaving their homes or occupations. Pitchford learned that the Franciscan tradition isn’t the exclusive possession of monks cloistered in a monastery, but a spiritual path for ordinary people living in the twenty-first
Organized around the Rule of St. Francis, this book – a wonderful resource for private devotion or group study – shows readers what it means to live out the Christian life with a Franciscan accent.
“Identity Tourism: Imaging and Imagining the Nation” examines the role of tourism in the construction of national identity. To imagine a nation, nationalists must construct a national story about their history and culture that defines them as a people, and counters the negative story circulated by their enemies. One of the objectives of this book is to identify the necessary historical and cultural components of a compelling national story. Yet, a story is of no use unless it is heard, so nationalists need media through which the national narrative can be told. The principal objective of this book is to show that identity tourism is a medium that can be used to tell the national story, both to group members and outsiders. As such, it is particularly useful in the construction of a sense of national identity. The analysis is based on observational and interview data primarily from Wales, where nationalism, identity and tourism have long been heatedly contested. A comparative perspective is provided through the use of secondary case studies examining Native American tourism in the United States and Canada, and tourism in Brittany and South Africa.