ferret out the beliefs of another, then connect those beliefs to the person’s peculiar psychological needs so that he can reject the beliefs himself. But his problem with Campbell is that the preacher appears to live on faith, not religious belief. When Wright asks how a person can possess faith without belief, Campbell responds, “Faith implies doubt instead of certitude … certitude leaves no room for faith. You can have faith on the basis of what you suspect, ’cause you don’t really know. ” Wright finally rejects Campbell’s existentialist position, confessing that his own search centers on finding a system of belief that provides structure, meaning and hope for his life. To live “as if there is meaning” without truly believing is a notion Wright calls a curse as much as a blessing. The author’s response to Campbell’s existentialist challenge typifies a conventional modern response to faith and constitutes a classic blunder: equating faith with belief and demanding that they both be based on empirical knowledge, when faith is by definition an acceptance without proof. Predictably, the result is a kind of existential paralysis. Wright’s inability to take the leap of faith comes to a head in the final chapter, on Matthew Fox, the Dominican priest whose New Age teachings got him bounced from the Catholic Church. An advocate of panentheism \(“Everything is in God and God is in everymysticism, Fox confronts Wright. You are more interested in reporting on angels than in actually experiencing them, he tells Wright. “You’ll never see them!” Fox says. “They protect themselves against people like you!” At the end of Saints & Sinners, Wright admits that, as much as he would like to, he cannot make a leap of faith. “It’s just not me,” he writes. Still, while maintaining that his personal quest has not resulted in a spiritual transformation, he says he does feel “new.” But the claim seems hollow and the reader is left to wonder what it means. It is tempting to suspect that after performing the task of researching and writing an entire book the author is required to report at least some degree of success. While Wright performs an admirable job of exploring the epistemology of both atheism and faith, it is curious that he does not explore the terrain that so many travel these days the problem of choosing what to believe and how to live when such choices must be made in the presumed absence of transcendent certainty. In places, Wright wanders awfully close to the geography of agnosticism, or even as with Campbell’s Christian existentialism the humanistic, quasi-existentialism of an Albert Carpus. But the author never quite gets there, perhaps because he restricts his journey to the overtly religious world. As a journey through the lives of several prominent people intimately involved with questions of religious faith, Saints & Sinners is an entertaining and often intellectually invigorating success. Yet as a quest for spiritual faith, the book fizzles out, posing more questions than answers in the end. Still, whether by design or accident, Wright’s exegesis makes one thing clear. While taking an authentic and mature leap of faith no matter to what spiritual or philosophical path one’s faith adheres is a complicated psychological undertaking, the ability to take that leap may depend less on belief than on the courage to jump. CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individdal membership $25, P.O. 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