Note that this is an off-site event. See below for venue details.
The medieval poet Dante portrayed the “Dark Wood” as a purgatory to be feared in his classic work The Divine Comedy 750 years ago. For today’s soulful skeptics and other wanderers, however, the Dark Wood can be a place of awakening and discovery, says Eric Elnes in his new book.
The Dark Wood can be a place where the good, the bad, and the ugly in our lives can be embraced and explored. “Experiences of failure, emptiness, and uncertainty are as critical for finding our way through life as they are unavoidable,” says Elnes. In fact, Jesus himself seems to value “right failure” more than “right belief,” building his church on a “sinking rock” in choosing the flawed Peter, Elnes points out. The ancient Christian mystics understood struggle not as punishment for sin, but as the central context in which revelation takes place: “in the Dark Wood you discover who you are are and what your life is about, flaws and all.”
Gifts of the Dark Wood is a guidebook for spirituality in a post-Christian world.
Eric Elnes will be coming to the Congregational Church on Mercer Island on Sunday, October 11. He’ll be preaching at the 10:30am service, then participating in an author's lunch and following with a “meet the author” session starting at 12:45pm.