Hunting Magic Eels: Cover Reveal!

My newest book Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age is scheduled to come out March 2021. Still a ways away, but the cover has been designed and the book is now out on Amazon for pre-order!

The enigmatic title comes from the first line of the book:
We were hunting for magic eels.
That opening starts a story about looking for a holy well associated with St. Dwynwen on Llanddwyn Island in Wales, a well said to be inhabited by enchanted eels. I use our visit to Llanddwyn Island to contrast our journey from enchantment to disenchantment in the West over the last five hundred years, and the ravages disenchantment is having upon faith in our secular, skeptical age. The book is about how we can recover our experience of enchantment to revitalize and renew our faith against the rising tide of disenchantment, doubt, and disbelief. In the end, the goal isn't to believe in magic eels but our desperate need to recover an eroding capacity, in the words of Fr. Stephen Freeman, to perceive and experience God as "everywhere present and filling all things."

We live in a secular age, a world dominated by science and technology. Increasing numbers of us don't believe in God anymore. We don't expect miracles. We've grown up and left those fairytales behind, culturally and personally.

Yet five hundred years ago the world was very much enchanted. It was a world where God existed and the devil was real. It was a world full of angels and demons. It was a world of holy wells and magical eels. But since the Protestant Reformation and the beginning of the Enlightenment, the world, in the West at least, has become increasingly disenchanted.

While this might be taken as evidence of a crisis of belief, Richard Beck argues it's actually a crisis of attention. God hasn't gone anywhere, but we've lost our capacity to see God.

The rising tide of disenchantment has profoundly changed our religious imaginations and led to a loss of the holy expectation that we can be interrupted by the sacred and divine. But it doesn't have to be this way. With attention and an intentional and cultivated capacity to experience God as a living, vital presence in our lives, Hunting Magic Eels, shows us, we can cultivate an enchanted faith in a skeptical age.

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