The Desert: Source for a New American Spiritual Renewal?

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What's behind the popularity of "The DaVinci Code" and "The Passion"? Is America in the midst of an unprecedented spiritual awakening that is beyond the control of organized religion? That is the bold claim of author Phyllis Strupp in her new book THE RICHEST OF FARE: SEEKING SPIRITUAL SECURITY IN THE SONORAN DESERT (publication date 6/28/04).

What's behind the popularity of "The DaVinci Code" and "The Passion"? Is America in the midst of an unprecedented spiritual awakening that is beyond the control of organized religion? That is the bold claim of author Phyllis Strupp in her new book THE RICHEST OF FARE: SEEKING SPIRITUAL SECURITY IN THE SONORAN DESERT (publication date 6/28/04).

She believes that it is difficult for many to gain spiritual insight into current events since neither science nor religion presents a worldview that reconciles knowledge of the physical world with spiritual wisdom.

Spiritual geniuses such as Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Mohammed were inexorably drawn to the desert. Featuring 56 color pictures and stories of the Sonoran Desert, THE RICHEST OF FARE explores the common ground between the desert, science, and spirituality in such controversial areas as human evolution, psychology, and war.

George H. Gallup, Jr., chairman of the George H. Gallup International Institute, Princeton, New Jersey called the book "well-researched from both a scientific and an aesthetic point of view...a testament to the awesome power and love of God in giving us our earthly home."

Sharon Begley, co-author of "The Mind and the Brain", wrote of the book's "stunning photography and prose that ranges from the teachings of Marcus Aurelius and the Bible to Darwin and Thoreau. THE RICHEST OF FARE touches the heart and stimulates the mind."

Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" was a major source of inspiration to the author. And this year marks the 150th anniversary of this nature classic's first publication.

Phyllis Strupp holds an MBA from the Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York, and is a graduate and mentor of the Education for Ministry program of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.

Since January 5, 2004, the author's website (http://www.desertspirituality.com) has had over 1,200 unique visitors with an average visit of 6 minutes; over half of these visitors return more than once.

Early media interest in this innovative work includes:

Sonoran News article, 2/18–24/04

Scottsdale Republic article, 3/22/04

Interview, WKPFK-FM, Los Angeles, with Michael Benner, 4/2/04

Interview, "Arizona Illustrated", KUAT-TV Channel 6, Tucson, 5/27/04

Scottsdale Tribune article, 6/1/04

Interview, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh, with Father Ron Lengwin, 6/20/04

Interview, "Sonoran Living", KNXV-TV (ABC) Channel 15, Phoenix, 6/24/04

Interview, KBKS Radio, Seattle, 6/28/04

Interview, "The 10! Show", WCAU -TV (NBC) Channel 10, Philadelphia, 7/5/04

Interviews, reviews, and book excerpts can be viewed at http://www.desertspirituality.com .

Despite its controversial approach, THE RICHEST OF FARE offers an encouraging view of American spirituality over the past century and its role in today's world.

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Peter Strupp