Eric Weiner, Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine
Sometimes a stomachache is just a stomachache. But when Eric Weiner’s was (mis)diagnosed as something much more malignant, he decided to get spiritual. Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine is a chronicle of his worldwide theological excursions, a hilarious and curious account of his search for faith among Sufis, Buddhists, Franciscans, Raelians, Taoists, Wiccans, Shamans and Kabbalists. Each chapter’s title purports to define God (…is Love; …is Magical; …is an Animal) and opens with a personals-style plea (The first: “CWM seeks forbidden deity. Looking for a crazy love. Take me for a spin, and let’s see where our hearts lead. Are you my hidden treasure?”).
“Perhaps,” Weiner suggests at the book’s beginning, “I fall into the most elastic of categories, the ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’.” He starts as a flailing reformed Jew and ends up a guy whose faith is encyclopedic in its influences and improvised in its method. A former NPR war correspondent and veteran globetrotter, Weiner isn’t shy about talking to strangers or appearing uninformed in their presence. Putting his investigative skills to use, he’s able to infiltrate usually-secretive religious groups, and pal around with their believers. Weiner writes with the eyes of a journalist and the ears of a standup comedian. Listening to Man Seeks God is like taking World Religion 101 with the most garrulous professor on campus.