Would-Be Episcopal Priest, Sarah Sentilles, Shares the Story of Her Lost Faith in 'Breaking Up With God'

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In the tradition of Barbara Brown Taylor and Sue Monk Kidd, Sarah Sentilles offers a poignant, beautifully wrought memoir of her personal crisis of faith. Sentilles was on the way to becoming a priest when she ultimately faced the truth: she no longer believed. Her moving story examines the question of how you leave the most powerful being in the universe—and, if you do, where do you go? Breaking Up with God is an inspiring reflection no matter where you stand on the matter of faith.

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Breaking Up With God: A Love Story by Sarah Sentilles

In a brave and honest voice, and writing in the tradition of Barbara Brown Taylor and Sue Monk Kidd, Sentilles offers a powerful memoir of faith that explores our deep and lasting ties to God—and just how difficult they can be to break.

Sarah Sentilles was about to be ordained as an Episcopal priest when she lost her faith in God.

To put it in perspective—she was engaged and the wedding invitations were sent. Calling things off was more than a little awkward.

In Breaking Up with God: A Love Story (HarperOne; Hardcover; June 2011), Sentilles tells the deeply personal story of her difficult decision to leave not only the priesthood, but to let go of Christianity altogether. She had spent years immersed in the religion—from CCD to youth ministry to Harvard Divinity—and had, as an adult, wholeheartedly embraced the religion that had defined her youth. And yet one day she woke up and realized…it was over.

Not unlike a divorce, Sentilles had to reorient her life and face a future that felt darkly unfamiliar. Her relationship with God was connected to everything—her family, her friends, her vocation, her language, her very existence—and without religion as her script, she was forced to rediscover herself and find a new purpose in the world.

In a brave and honest voice, and writing in the tradition of Barbara Brown Taylor and Sue Monk Kidd, Sentilles offers a powerful memoir of faith that explores our deep and lasting ties to God—and just how difficult they can be to break.

About the Author

Sarah Sentilles is the author of A Church of Her Own (Harcourt, 2008) and Taught by America (Beacon Press, 2005). She earned a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale and a masters of divinity degree and a doctorate in theology from Harvard. She lives in California.

Praise for Breaking Up with God:

“Sarah Sentilles has given us something smart and thorough. But it’s more than that. It’s honest, like down-to-the-core honest, beyond what most people are capable of, especially in public on the topic of faith. I admire her as much for her conviction as for her talent as a writer.” — Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Lift

“This is a wonderfully moving book, written with rare elegance, real passion, warm humor, and penetrating insight. Breaking Up with God will comfort those who no longer believe, guide those who are plagued with doubts, and challenge those who wonder how anyone could leave the faith.” — Bart D. Ehrman, New York Times bestselling author of Forged and Misquoting Jesus

“Provocative, penetrating, honest and real. Sentilles, in chronicling her own story, chronicles the journey that all of us must take in search of our own humanity. Would that institutional religion were big enough to embrace and affirm her work.” — John Shelby Spong, author of Sins of Scripture

“If everyone looked at faith with the unflinching integrity of Sarah Sentilles, not only would they profit, but so would their religion. Breaking Up with God is a beautiful reminder that truth is found in questions, not answers, in seeking, not finding. From Sentilles, I have learned my ‘No’ to God can be every bit as helpful as my ‘Yes.’” — Philip Gulley, author of If the Church Were Christian

“Sentilles’ book is a treasure and a triumph of the heart. Wise, funny, and fearless, she dares to take the ultimate questions seriously enough to be outrageously honest. May her journey be a challenge to those whose imperturbable faith may filter out the anguish and fragility of our world.” — Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self

BREAKING UP WITH GOD: A Love Story
By Sarah Sentilles
HarperOne, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
June 2011 | $22.99 | Hardcover | ISBN: 9780061946868

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