Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is Rick Mayes reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Rick Mayes, associate professor of public policy at the University of Richmond and co-author of Medicare Prospective Payment and the Shaping of U.S. Health Care and the recently published Medicating Children: ADHD and Pediatric Mental Health.

His entry begins:
Like millions of Americans, I was raised “born again” in an evangelical environment—at school, church and home—where my peers and I were often encouraged to foster a “personal relationship with Jesus.” Also like millions of Americans, I suppose, my enthusiasm for pursuing this kind of religious or spiritual experience waxed and waned over the years. The faith that I did develop out of these influences genuinely helped me through a variety of difficult personal times in my teens and 20s. But occasionally I found my uniquely American, Protestant, 20th century, consumerist version of Christianity to be intellectually hard to explain, much less defend. Millions of people around the world were suffering from a variety of severe deprivations and injustices and yet I was supposed to believe (or wanted to believe) that God was also equally concerned about my suburban, existential ups and downs? Wouldn’t that be a bit irrational and perverse, I sometimes thought to myself? Well, over the last several years a number of new Christian writers, who came to similar conclusions, have been publishing entertaining books about their personal journeys of faith and the evolution in their spiritual thinking: Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God Knows What) and Rob Bell (Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians) are some examples. Another writer who has joined this cadre is Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical.

Claiborne was raised in eastern Kentucky and....[read on]
Learn more about Rick Mayes' teaching, research, and publications at his University of Richmond faculty webpage.

Writers Read: Rick Mayes.

--Marshal Zeringue