REVIEW: Transcendent Kingdom

“This is something I would never say in a lecture or a presentation or, God forbid, a paper, but, at a certain point, science fails. Questions become guesses become philosophical ideas about how something should probably, maybe, be. I grew up around people who were distrustful of science, who thought of it as a cunning trick to rob them of their faith, and I have been educated around scientists and laypeople alike who talk about religion as though it were a comfort blanket for the dumb and the weak, a way to extol the virtues of a God more improbable than our own existence. But this tension, the idea that one must necessarily choose between science and religion, is false. I used to see the world through the God lens, and when that lens clouded, I turned to science. Both became, for me, valuable ways of seeing, but ultimately both failed to fully satisfy the aim: to make clear, to make meaning.”

———————-


Should my review of a book be mostly a quote from the book? Probably not, but the quote above encapsulates the philosophical aspects of the novel that I really loved. As a devout Catholic and a masters-level educated scientist, the protagonist of this novel and I have a lot in common. I think that religion and science provide a complete picture of the world around us and are not at odds but at harmony, albeit an unbalanced one at times.

Gifty is a first generation American with Ghanian parents who landed in Alabama. Her story dives deep into the immigrant experience, life with an addict, the impact of grief on a family and the balance of a Christian lifestyle with science. For a relatively short book, it delves so deeply into so many topics. It really engages you and makes you think.


I thought this was a good book to highlight on a Sunday. Do you like to read books that have a spiritual aspect?

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