A Tiny Step Away from Deepest Faith: A Teenager's   Search for Meaning  -     By: Marjorie Corbman
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A Tiny Step Away from Deepest Faith: A Teenager's Search for Meaning

Paraclete Press / 2005 / Paperback

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Product Description

Passionate, honest, disturbing, and encouraging, this testimony of a 17-year-old convert from Reformed Judaism to Orthodox Christianity will fascinate students, parents, and pastors alike. Sharing her own experiences as well as those of many of her friends, Marjorie Corbman dismantles with transparency and grace the misconceptions surrounding today's teens. She discusses intimacy, tradition, eternity, community, justice, and escape, and how each relates to what Marjorie calls the only thing necessary--faith.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 8 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 155725429X
ISBN-13: 9781557254290
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

"In a society where my generation is often mischaracterized or misunderstood by parents and those around them, assumed to be irreligious, cynical, and jaded, I intend to depict it as I see it: which is to say a generation lying just at the door of faith, having rejected everything but faith itself. Having assumed everything to be meaningless, we are very close to accepting God as the only source of meaning." - Marjorie Corbman

In this candid, thought-provoking account, seventeen-year-old Marjorie Corbman teaches the rest of us something about faith. She recounts her own experiences as well as those of many of her friends, dismantling with remarkable transparency and grace the misconceptions surrounding today's teenagers. Chapters focus on issues and experiences that Corbman and her peers are searching for - such as intimacy, tradition, eternity, community, justice, escape - and how each relates to what Corbman calls "the one thing needful" - faith.

Much has been written about teenagers, from self-help books for parents to young adult novels, but very little has been written by teens themselves. This is a book that is sorely needed, both for adults wishing to understand today's kids, and also for those teenagers who wish to assign some meaning to their beliefs, sufferings, and searching.

Editorial Reviews

RAISED as an unbelieving or Reform Jew, with all tile rituals but no faith, Marjorie Corbman first came to believe in a Higher Power in the spring of eighth grade, when she fell in love with peonies. This book covers her intellectual and spiritual journey from eighth through eleventh grade, when she finally embraces Orthodox Christianity, and provides a window into her generation's approach to life, its cynicism and bitterness and especially its deep spiritual hunger.

Her parents are children of the 1960s, still full of idealism for changing the world, but she and her friends are an "uprooted, jaded, chaotic age bracket." Christianity is just too unfashionable, so it is the last place she looks, despite a powerful encounter with a picture of Christ as early as age eleven. "A year later," she tells us, I would refer to this as the time I was almost 'sucked in' to the allure of Christianity."

Her story carries her through Eastern religions, wicca, neopaganism, neo-gnosticism, and all the world's cynical resistance to Christ and his Church. Her prose is a well-blended stew of references and stories of those who have influenced her: the Gospels and Epistles, Amma Syncletica, St. Augustine, Simone Weil, Fulton Sheen, Archimandrite Sophrony, not to mention her mother, her rabbi, and her English teacher.

All of this has been simmered together with conversations with other teenagers, and stories of depression, cutting, and the feelings of abandonment and despair. She writes about the love of nature, the need for community, the hunger for perfection, and the theological questions that her friends have, for instance, What's eternity? is it really stagnant? From such a promising young writer, surely, this is only a beginning.

Mother Macaria Touchstone February 4, 2006



The 17-year-old author has written a book that belies her years and the experience of her contemporaries. But she speaks up for them with a strong voice and convictions to match.

She says that for most kids her age, nothing is "more intellectually unfashionable than Christianity." She was raised Jewish, though not always practicing. Corbman suffered from loneliness and despair as a preteen. For &time, she found solace in nature and in Wicca.

Though she writes with a certain existential angst, she also speaks for her generation with remarkable clarity. "Our spirituality isn't that of rational beings, but of drowning souls," she writes.

Corbman's slim book read almost like a creed for modern teenagers. "We aren't happy. We take Zoloft and cut open our flesh and do anything to assure us that we're here, that we feel, that our experience is valid and tangible." But it's not the external things that bother; it's the "intense hunger inside us for something we haven't learned to understand yet, haven't encountered."

She found solace in Christianity, the religion she most equated with the antithesis of her being. There are moments when the young author can't resist showing how smart she is. She's read the works of many philosophers. But she does more than recite their teachings. Corbman has internalized the messages, discovered herself through God and tapped her talent for communicating that love.

Wendy Hoke The Plain Dealer December 28, 2005

"Writing about the struggle of finding a faith may seem beyond the ken of a teenager, but Corbmon's sincerity and knowledge of religious traditions makes this compelling reading. . .As Corbman traces her spiritual thinking, the strongest moments come when she writes about coming face to face with a living Jesus, who now informs her life at every level. The intensity of her experience will affect others her age the most." Booklist August 4, 2005 <hr>

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