Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People.

Bass, Dorothy, ed. Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People. Jossey-Bass, 1998.

Practices are “shared activities that address fundamental human needs and that, woven together, form a way of life.” Having thus defined “practice,” this collection of twelve essays edited by Dorothy C. Bass is built around the idea of practices – everyday activities and human choices – as expressions of faith; they are also a path to spiritual formation, a sorely needed reality in a “divided, fast-paced society,” notes Bass. The twelve essays by as many authors belonging to a diversity of Christian tradition explore twelve specific practices: honoring the body, hospitality, household economics, saying yes and saying no, keeping Sabbath, testimony, discernment, shaping communities, forgiveness, healing, dying well, and singing our lives. Practices are a way of life; they are patterns of life and behavior that become part of everyday living. In the introductory chapter, Bass and Craig Dykstra note that practices are performed together in the context of community; practices flow into one another so that it is well nigh impossible to practice one while neglecting others. The essays draw on examples from the Bible and Christian traditions of the last two millennia; the practices they explore span the range of everyday human activities.