Phyllis Tickle

A Life

Jon M. Sweeney

Feb/2018, 288 Pages, HARDCOVER WITH DUST JACKET, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819232991

• Authorized text, initiated with Phyllis Tickle's active involvement
• Covers the full range of her life and work

By the time of her death in 2015, Phyllis Tickle was one of the most beloved and respected figures in American religious life, and her writing offers a unique combination of the down-to-earth, deep spirituality, and scholarship. In this comprehensive new volume, Jon Sweeney, official biographer of Tickle's literary estate, explores every aspect of her life, a more than 50-year legacy of poetry;
plays; literary, spiritual, and historical/theological work; and advocacy. Himself an author and editor in the religion field, Sweeney examines Tickle's personal and professional roots, from her family, long marriage, and life on The Farm in Lucy,
Tennessee, to early academic career and move into book publishing, where her role as founding editor of the Religion Department at Publishers Weekly influenced the growth of spiritual writing and interfaith understanding during the 1990s. Sweeney also looks at pivotal relationships with John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, and Brian McLaren, as well as her great influence on the increasing number who adopted fixed-hour prayer, the Episcopal Church as a whole, and the Emerging Church, for which she served as historian, forecaster, and champion.
A look at her early, passionate advocacy for the LGBT community, lecture circuit controversies, and projects left unfinished completes the picture.

Audience: academics and scholars and all those touched by Phyllis Tickle, either in person or through her writings

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and one of religion's most respected writers. His recent books include The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation, published by Image/Random House and optioned by HBO; Inventing Hell, published in June 2014 by Jericho; and When Saint Francis Saved the Church, published by Ave Maria Press. Sweeney is editor in chief and publisher of Paraclete Press. He is married to Rabbi Michal Woll, has three kids. Jon and Phyllis were in active conversation about co-authoring a book at the time of her death.

"Both befriending and a tad awe-struck, Sweeney limns the hagiography of a prophet and a mystic. Tickle gave us a frame in which to see resurrection emerging from the ashes of Christendom – as well as from two millennia of sibling rivalry among Abraham's offspring. Amid the daily grind of marriage, we see gratitude, grace, and grit, and the most-human struggle to reflect the divine in the ash pit. Read this and weep – and shout hallelujah – for Phyllis the poet, prophet, philosopher is still teaching, inviting us to meet the Spirit where'er we wander."
––Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

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