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Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2005
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.38 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
A Young Woman After God's Own Heart: A Teen's Guide to Friends, Faith, Family, and the FutureElizabeth George5 Stars Out Of 5 44 ReviewsSave 27%
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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.
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.
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
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