The Gospel According to Dog

Mary Ellen Ashcroft

Apr/2017, 112 Pages, Paperback, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9780898692211



This playful yet substantial "dogmatic" book of theology addresses our central human longing to be deeply loved. This is also an incarnational theology, putting us in contact with a God who is willing to roll in the earth with us, dive in to rescue us, and whose tracks can be seen throughout our homes and lives. Illustrated with lovely charcoal drawings, Dogspell challenges readers to believe that God loves, welcomes, and longs to greet us as much as a dog.

Mary Ellen Ashcroft, an Episcopal priest and long-time English professor directs a retreat center, WindCradle, near Grand Marais, Minnesota. Until recently she was English professor and chaplain at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She has written a number of books, including The Magdalene Gospel, Spirited Women, and The Journey Beckons. She is a frequent speaker and retreat leader.

“Here is a modern classic. Ashcroft demonstrates that theology is not dull: indeed it is playful as well as profound. The metaphor of ‘Dog’ leaps out of the pages with puppy-like enthusiasm, unleashing laughter and truth in surprising places. If you love dogs, this book will help you understand why. If you don’t, you’ll realize that’s not what matters, compared to God’s abounding love of you.”—Jo Bailey Wells, Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry and Bible, Director, Anglican Episcopal House of Studies, Duke Divinity School“Wise, insightful, spiritually powerful, funny, charming and totally outside the boxes we church folk often get stuck in. . . . This little book reveals the compassion, abundant, extravagant, wasteful, over-the-top crazy love God/Dog has for us. Mary Ellen captures this better than all the densely packed theological tomes, with all the intelligence and insight of the great theologians, but in a way that is accessible to all—young, old, children and young adult. It is too good to believe that God would love us as much as our dogs, but it is true!”—The Reverend Canon Howard R. Anderson, President, Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral “By carrying us into the joy of the love of dog, Mary Ellen Ashcroft plunges us into the greatest mystery and gift of all—the love of God. This is theology at its best, with dog helping us begin to see, to hope, to believe.”—The Rev. Susan J. Buchanan, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, North Conway, New Hampshire “Mary Ellen Ashcroft is one of the most important voices in contemporary Christian writing . . . startling, fresh understandings so winsome and profound that we wonder why no one sniffed down this path before.”—Daniel Taylor, author, Before Their Time“If you’ve ever experienced the unconditional devotion of dog, you’ll love this wacky and witty theology as much as I did, laughing and crying all the way to the end of the book.”—Luci Shaw, author, Water My Soul and The Angles of Light“In prose that is witty, graceful, and wise, Mary Ellen Ashcroft takes incarnational theology to a whole new place. I began reading Mary Ellen’s ruminations about Cluny years ago and I’m delighted with this new volume. ‘Where Love is, there is Dog.’ Amen.”—Krista Tippet, NPR


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