BOOKLIST honors "Being Alive and Having to Die" on its TOP TEN books of 2011 on religion and spirituality.
Praise for "Being Alive and Having to Die" from Kay Montgomery in UU WORLD: "The Rev. Forrest Church was, arguably, the best-known Unitarian Universalist minister of his generation and certainly the most quoted. He was viewed with awe by many of his colleagues and followers for his ability to make theology accessible, for his wit, his intellect, his self-deprecating humor, and his warmth. The press loved him. He was also, sometimes, viewed with envy, suspicion, and, at one point, harsh judgment. Dan Cryer's new book ... details Church's life, public and private, but, more important, it captures what the subtitle offers: a spiritual journey. Eloquent, it neither lionizes nor carps at Church. Readers will find that even the bigger-than-life among us can offer a moving model for spiritual growth."
Being Alive and Having to Die: The Spiritual Odyssey of Forrest Church
Rev. Forrest Church, the foremost Unitarian Universalist of our time, championed the separation of church and state, and a religion that respected the mind and fostered tolerance. In doing so, this anti-Jerry Falwell often locked horns with the religious right, notably over discrimination against gays and the mistaken notion that the United States is a "Christian nation." He wrote or edited 25 books, from theology to pastoral meditations to histories. "Being Alive and Having to Die" chronicles his journey from rebellious son of a U.S. senator to eloquent spokesman on the national stage.
Bill Moyers: "One of the most intriguing people I have met as a journalist, Forrest Church ... thought long and hard about religion and politics ... wrestled to live an ethical life yet proved as flawed as any of us ... Thanks to Dan Cryer's prodigious reporting, I understand more deeply the sources of his eloquence and the agony of his search. Even if you never heard of Church, you will find this man's pilgrimage worth your time."
Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary: "This splendid biography is worthy of its sparkling, accomplished, and inspiring subject, capturing the life and bountiful spirit of Forrest Church in rich detail."
Jon Butler, Yale University, author of "Awash in a Sea of Faith": "Cryer's compelling, beautifully wrought biography ... melds politics, family and theology. This is a moving, even transforming book about the central issue Church struggled to clarify -- the very human meaning of life."
The salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors, edited by Laura Miller and Adam Begley
An anthology from many of the country's most intriguing commentators on books
Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio, edited by Lisa Watts
"It's rare to find an anthology whose entries are consistently well written and delightful to read. 'Good Roots'... is just that... Every piece in this book is a gem."