An earnest call for inclusivity that packs an emotional punch.

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Taylor (Enabling the Disabled in the Body of Christ, 2016), a Christian pastor who’s blind and partially deaf, instructs churches on how to better attract and serve the disabled members of their community in this spiritual guide.

As someone with lifelong disabilities, the author has had both good and bad experiences with churches; one welcomed her into its supportive family, she says, and another rejected her by refusing to accommodate her needs. Now a pastor herself, Taylor offers this book as an “olive branch from the disabled side” to church administrators seeking to do a better job of ministering to their disabled flock. She outlines what the current landscape looks like for Christians with disabilities—from inaccessible buildings to congregations that exclude people whose conditions cause them to make too much noise. Many churches that attempt to accommodate the disabled, Taylor notes, only end up replicating the wider society’s tendencies toward “pity and paternalism.” In addition to preaching the benefits of welcoming parishioners with disabilities—such as spreading Jesus Christ’s teachings and fostering a more loving environment—Taylor shares her own experiences as a disability advocate to highlight the many ways that church leaders can care for all their congregants. Along the way, her prose is cordial and wise: “The biggest and most important strategy for successfully including the disabled is for you and your church to look at the disabled through God’s eyes rather than through the world’s.” The practical tips, such as listing disability accommodations on a church’s website, are specific and valuable, but the biggest revelation is that so much of the advice is applicable to any outsider group: Accept them, listen to them, and love them. Although this book is rooted specifically in Christianity, Taylor’s words will resonate with all able-bodied members of society.

An earnest call for inclusivity that packs an emotional punch.

Pub Date: Dec. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-973642-85-5

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019



This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955


A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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