Book of the Week: Grounded – Diana Butler Bass

Bass is a religion writer and journalist who has been following American spiritual culture for some time. She’s been a columnist for the NYT, Washington Post and Huffington Post. Her last book, Christianity after Religion, was something of a breakout and this new book is the logical extension of the issues explored in that book.

“I’m spiritual but not religious” is a phrase so familiar in the last forty years that it now verges on cliché. But Bass digs in and enlivens it, examining what exactly this position means for contemporary Christianity.

And the news is good. While people may be increasingly turning away from the traditional Church, it’s clear that they are not turning away from a spiritual life. Bass combines current research with a deep knowledge of history and theology. The result is a well-constructed blend of news, trends, data, and pop culture with stories of peoples’ individual spiritual journeys. What she finds is a radical change in the way many people understand God and how they practice faith—but one that is no less committed.

“In cogent, convincing arguments, [Bass] declares the current state of religion as not dying but transforming….Her conclusion comes with the revelation and defense of ‘an ongoing spiritual evolution.’ She often quotes fellow religious writers (from Sam Harris to Hildegard) and tells transformative stories (from finding her Quaker roots, to mourning with a man on a plane). Bass’s biblical and effusive style, always mixing the personal with the political and scriptural, finds a deeper, more profound register in this latest book. It is a call to arms, sure to inspire Bass’s intimate fan base committed to a Christian revolution.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An absolutely gorgeously written book about real faith in the real world.”
— James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

Grounded: Finding God in the World–A Spiritual Revolution (9780062328540) by Diana Butler Bass. $26.99 hardcover. 10/6/15 on sale.


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