Wednesday, June 19, 2019
June 19, 2019: AmericanStudies Beach Reads: Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God
[I’ve got some very talented friends and colleagues. So for this year’s annual Beach Reads series, I wanted to highlight works by friends old and new and colleagues at FSU (I’m a poet and I don’t know it!). Leading up to one of my favorite crowd-sourced posts of the year, so make sure to share your Beach Read nominations, please!]
Like yesterday’s subject Emily Page, Lauren Winner and I were in the Charlottesville public schools together—but she was a year ahead of me and I didn’t know her nearly as well. But I could tell she was headed for big things, and I wasn’t wrong—Lauren is now an Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke University Divinity School, and has become one of our most prominent and thoughtful voices on all things religion in 21st century American society. Her personal and public scholarly writing for sites such as Beliefnet and Christianity Today was an early model for my own forays into public scholarship, and her books likewise blend memoir, public scholarship, and theological philosophy. From what I can tell you can’t go wrong with any of those books, but a particularly good fit for a Beach Read would be her first, Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life (2002). A memoir of her conversion from Judaism to Christianity, Girl is also a nuanced examination of spirituality and identity in our fraught and fractured 21st century world. And it’s pretty darn funny at the same time, which is key for any good Beach Read and certainly one that deals with such weighty topics.
Next Beach Read tomorrow,
PS. What are you bringing to the beach this year or would you recommend we bring?