The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks
by Diana Butler Bass
Are We Really Grateful?
And What Would It Mean If We Were?
If gratitude is good, why is it so hard to do? In Grateful, Diana Butler Bass untangles our conflicting understandings of gratitude and sets the table for a renewed practice of giving thanks.
We know that gratitude is good, but many of us find it hard to sustain a meaningful life of gratefulness. Four out of five Americans report feeling gratitude on a regular basis, but those private feelings seem disconnected from larger concerns of our public lives. In Grateful, cultural observer and theologian Diana Butler Bass takes on this "gratitude gap" and offers up surprising, relevant, and powerful insights to practice gratitude.
Bass, author of the award-winning Grounded and ten other books on spirituality and culture, explores the transformative power of gratitude for our personal lives and in communities. Using her trademark blend of historical research, spiritual insights, and timely cultural observation, she shows how we can overcome this gap and make change in our own lives and in the world.
With honest stories and heartrending examples from history and her own life, Bass reclaims gratitude as a path to greater connection with God, with oters, with the world, and even with our own souls. It's time to embrace a more radical practice of gratitude—the virtue that heals us and helps us thrive.
Diana Butler Bass is the award-winning author of ten books on American religion, including Grounded, Christianity After Religion, Christianity for the Rest of Us, and A People's History of Christianity. She holds a PhD in religious studies from Duke University, has taught at the college and graduate level, and is currently an independent scholar. She was a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate, and comments and writes on issues of religion, spirituality, and culture. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and dog.
"Grateful is a timely and beautifully written book. The practice of gratitude has been a lifeline for me in a challenging season, and this wise book articulates both a helpful challenge and a soul-shaping framework."
—Shauna Niequist, New York Times bestselling author of Present Over Perfect
"Grateful will soften the lens through which you look at the people in your life, and the whirling world around us all. It's a spoonful of honey to help us transform the "hard" in our lives into wisdom, compassion, and even resistance."
—The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, PhD, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church and coauthor of The Pentecost Paradigm