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March 06 , 2009

Letter to a Godchild

Concerning Faith


In the year 2000 acclaimed author Reynolds Price became honorary godfather to Harper Peck Voll. As a christening gift, Price composed a letter to the child, one intended as a brief guide for Harper's spiritual future. The letter sketched the crucial roles which faith had played in Price's own life and whittled down those lessons the author felt were most valuable. Later, Price realized that in a rapidly complicating world, his thoughts might also be useful for other children and their parents. Here, then, is an expanded version of the original letter – an eloquent, thoughtful, and inspiring look at faith from one of the most revered American writers and most respected students of religion.

In Letter to a Godchild, Price recounts how his life has been shaped by numerous and varied spiritual influences – from the Bible-story books his parents bought him before he could read, to the childhood days spent exploring dense woods near his home (woods where he searched for arrowheads and spied on numerous wild animals), to Sundays at church with his father and mother, his travels around the world to magisterial structures as various as St. Peter's and the old Penn Station, and years of study both in and out of the classroom. With no trace of self-pity, he explains how his faith grew and deepened when in 1984 – after a life of robust health – he suffered a cancer that eventually led to paralysis of his lower body.

Letter to a Godchild includes striking pictures of the buildings, objects, places, and events that have deepened the author's religious sensibility. He has also compiled a comprehensive section on further reading, looking, and listening that provides suggestions for books, art, and music that will entertain as well as enhance this volume. A profoundly intelligent and moving explication of religion and spirituality, Letter to a Godchild is an exhilarating experience for readers of all faiths.
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