Breaking Up with God: A Love Story

Breaking up is hard to do, and harder still when your soon-to-be ex is the deity you've long worshipped--but that is what Sarah Sentilles does when her relationship with God changes. In her latest, Sentilles (A Church of Her Own; Taught by America), chronicles her courtship, relationship and subsequent rift.

Sentilles's quite serious "affair" with God began to unravel she was in the ordination process to become an Episcopal priest. Sentilles herself calls out the least-likable aspect of the book: God as "boyfriend." In the prologue, she confesses: "I'm not completely comfortable portraying it as a love affair gone wrong. Figuring it as a romance seems simultaneously so medieval-mystic, so patriarchal, so oedipal that is makes me cringe." Yet, that romance-gone-bad frame allows Sentilles to detail her decision to step away from the calling she had worked so long toward fulfilling.

The author's relationship with mortal men had a common theme, too: before entering seminary, she engaged with emotionally distant, unavailable and even abusive men whom she constantly had to impress in order to win and re-win their affections. In the aftermath of these relationships, her relationship with the church and with God fill a void. Like any new romance, there is a certain blindness to faults at the beginning. Once Sentilles began to question the noninclusiveness of the Bible, she was unable to reconcile her growing feminist ideals with the traditional male, omnipotent deity of her studies. So she dumped him. --Megan Tarbett, librarian, WV Library Commission

Powered by: Xtenit