Putting Away Childish ThingsPosted: April 7, 2014
Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith
Marcus J. Borg
HarperCollins Publishers, April 2010, 356 pages
Amazon Kindle Edition $9.78, Amazon Paperback $13.17
Marcus Borg is known as a scholar of religion with a distinctly liberal perspective. His nonfiction books on the Bible, religion, and theology reflect that perspective. This is his first foray into fiction.
The book is about Kate, a passionate, young tenure-track professor of religion at a small liberal arts college. She is invited to apply for a one-year visiting professorship at a well-known liberal school of theology. One of the professors there was formerly at the college where she received her B.A., and Kate had a brief affair with him shortly after graduation. There are a couple of sub-plots as well, but Kate’s dilemma as to whether she should apply for the position and whether she should accept it if offered is the core of the book. The pivotal issue is that doing so could jeopardize her tenure at her current school.
The book held my attention. I sympathized with and cared about Kate, and I loved being immersed in the environment of academia. I thought there was some padding in the book, in that Borg quoted both passages that Kate read in her daily devotions and passages from reading assignments given to her students. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and loved experiencing the world that Borg created. I was sad to leave it.