Working on God
By Winifred Gallagher
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780375755378, 368pp.)
Publication Date: April 18, 2000
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Millions of Americans are finding it more and more difficult to apply the traditional demands of organized religion to their lives, and yet a complete absence of spirituality leaves them uneasy. Working on God is a book for and about such intelligent, independent people, who are seeking to reconcile their spiritual yearnings with their skeptical intellects. Winifred Gallagher, a behavioral-science reporter, began her investigation of religion in our postmodern age with research and interviews and soon discovered a vast, quiet revolution under way among ordinary men and women grappling with the sacred. Both Gallagher's brilliant journalistic inquiry and her very personal journey unfold over time spent in a Zen monastery and a cloistered convent, in small-group discussions and healing rituals, in a Conservative synagogue that shares spaces with a Christian church, and in the birthplace of the New Age. Written with humor, empathy, and a rigorous curiosity, Working on God breaks new ground in depicting the broad-based spiritual movement that is transforming many lives.
Winifred Gallagher's previous books are Just the Way You Are: How Heredity and Experience Create the Individual, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and The Power of Place: How Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions. She has written for many magazines, from The Atlantic Monthly to Rolling Stone. She lives in Manhattan and Long Eddy, New York.