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The author of the multiple award-winning Grounded and leading trend spotter in contemporary Christianity explores why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offers practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminates how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls.

More and more people are finding God beyond the walls of traditional religious institutions, but these seekers often miss the church community itself, including its shared spiritual practices such as gratitude. While four out of five Americans have told pollsters they feel gratitude in their daily lives, cultural commentator and religion expert Diana Butler Bass finds that claim to be at odds with the discontent that permeates modern society.

There is a gap, she argues, between our desire to be grateful and our ability to behave gratefully - a divide that influences our understanding of morality, worship, and institutional religion itself. In Grateful, Bass challenges readers to think about the impact gratitude has in our spiritual lives, and encourages them to make gratitude a "difficult and much-needed spiritual practice for our personal lives and to make a better world."

Grateful is partially an individual, emotional response to our circumstances, but research has shown that what we often miss is how much more it is a communal, actionable response. Bass examines this more unexpected experience of gratitude, and reveals how people and communities can practice it and thrive, whether or not they are part of a traditional religious community.



About the Author

Diana Butler Bass

Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a PhD in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of seven books, including the bestselling Christianity for the Rest of Us, released by HarperOne in 2006. It was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and Christian Century, won the Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy, and was featured in a cover story in USA Today. Her much-anticipated next book, A People's History of Christianity, will be released in March 2009 from HarperOne. She is currently Senior Fellow at the Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Bass regularly consults with religious organizations, leads conferences for religious leaders, and teaches and preaches in a variety of venues. Bass blogs at Progressive Revival on Beliefnet and Sojourners' God's Politics. She regularly comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA Today, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. From 1995 to 2000, she wrote a weekly column on American religion for the New York Times syndicate. She has written widely in the religious press, including Sojourners, Christian Century, Clergy Journal, and Congregations. From 2002 to 2006, she was the Project Director of a national Lilly Endowment funded study of mainline Protestant vitality - a project featured in Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Bass also serves on the board of directors of the Beatitudes Society. She has taught at Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Macalester College, Rhodes College, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. She has taught church history, American religious history, history of Christian thought, religion and politics, and congregational studies. Bass and her husband, Richard, live with their family in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in downtown Washington, D.C.



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