WHO NEEDS GOD by Harold Kushner
Kirkus Star

WHO NEEDS GOD

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Simple, thoughtful essays about ""what we lose when we become too intellectual or too modern to make room for religion in our lives,"" by the author of the whopping bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People. According to Rabbi Kushner, religion is not so much a set of beliefs but a ""way of seeing"" the world. A relationship with God makes sense of life, confers value on experience. In place of the ersatz pleasures of man-made things, God offers an imperishable sense of awe; in place of chaos, moral order; in place of the golden calves of independence and competition, community and cooperation; in place of guilt, forgiveness; in place of fear, comfort and strength. Kushner details these timeless messages with anecdotes from his own life, copious quotes from the Psalms, Hasidic tales, and a few well-placed poison arrows (one juicy target: the New Age, which according to Kushner ""infantalizes our relationship with God""). Most of this is familiar stuff, although sometimes Kushner tosses in a startling insight, as when he suggests that we cover our sex organs not out of shame, but in act of reverence towards ""the life force."" For its gentleness, liberality, and warm encouragement, likely to be almost as successful as Kushner's first.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
ISBN: 0743234774
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster