Landscapes of Loss and Longing
Paperback |192 pp |216 x 135 mm
eBook |192 pp
At a time when the public debate on religious faith seems to be more about conviction and ideology than about doubt and ambiguity, this book offers a personal and often moving account of the value of uncertainty. Alex Wright observes the beauty of the physical landscape and combines observation and reflection with memories of human turmoil. His unfolding narrative will take you gently inside yourself.
'Three braids of enquiry are woven together in this book: an evocative depiction of the north Norfolk landscape; a lingering reflection on the breakup of a marriage; and a theological enquiry into the importance of not being certain. What emerges is a profound study of the deep relations that bind place, people and Christian believing. It is as much a composition - the writing poetic, sinuous and subtle - as a study of the fragility, evanescence and spirituality of human belonging. The book is a wonderful and imaginative piece of work that lingers long after it has been put aside and resonates with the authenticity of a true writer's voice.'
'This masterful, generous book, richly fed by the wellsprings of both natural and human history, tenderly invites us back to the places where we have suffered the greatest losses and the most uncertainty to flux, doubt, and mystery: all the landscapes our distracted world urges that we avoid and shows us the brilliant clarity that may paradoxically await us there. Exploring Doubt is a prayer for our time.
Christianity has often seemed impatient with the idea of doubt. Certainty, not irresolution, has been seen as the test of faith and key to unlocking participation in the supposed life to come. But when his marriage collapsed, Alex Wright knew that all his own certainties had been reduced to rubble. The future he had planned on the Norfolk coast disappeared as fast as a sea-fret burning up in the noonday sun.
In this moving book, written out of his own disturbing experience of deep-rooted uncertainty about the future, the author suggests that it is actually doubt, not conviction, which expresses the more important insights about religion and the spiritual life; and, indeed, about life itself.