Secular Days, Sacred Moments cover
Secular Days, Sacred Moments
The America Columns of Robert Coles
No writer or public intellectual of our era has been as sensitive to the role of faith in the lives of ordinary Americans as Robert Coles. Though not religious in the conventional sense, Coles is unparalleled in his astute understanding and respect for the relationship between secular life and sacredness, which cuts across his large body of work. Drawing inspiration from figures like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, and Simone Weil, Coles’s extensive writings explore the tug of war between faith and doubt. As Coles himself admits, the “back-and-forthness between faith and doubt is the story of my life.” These thirty-one thought-provoking essays are drawn from Coles’s weekly column in the Catholic publication America. In them, he turns his inquisitive lens on a range of subjects and issues, from writers and painters to his recent reading and film viewing, contemporary events and lingering controversies, recollections of past and present mentors, events of his own daily life, and ordinary encounters with students, patients, neighbors, and friends. Addressing moral questions openly and honestly with a rare combination of rectitude and authorial modesty, these essays position Coles as a preeminent, durable, and trusted voice in the continuing national conversation over religion, civic life, and moral purpose.
Subjects: Philosophy | Religion
Publication Date: June 1st, 2013
128 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities at Harvard University, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and a recipient of the prestigious Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

David D. Cooper is Professor Emeritus of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University.

Early Praise

"This bracing collection of Robert Coles’s columns is a joy to read and a challenge to all who care about the sources for and the complexities of the moral life. The voice of Robert Coles is classically American, pragmatic and principled, yet unique and very much his own."
Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of Sovereignty: God, State, and Self

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