In ordinary life, if we encountered a man who repeats the same phrase 100,000 times a day, or a man who regularly falls into catatonic insensibility, or a teenage girl whose sexual desires fuel sickly fantasies of martyrdom, we would have no qualms about pronouncing them mentally ill and in need of treatment.
But if the obsessive-compulsive is reciting the Jesus Prayer, and the catatonic is a swami, and the girl is a nun, then the Zaleskis expect us to admire and revere them.
Friday, November 11
In Ordinary Life
The Folly of Prayer for Prayer's Sake By ADAM KIRSCH is a review of a couple of books, including Philip and Carol Zaleski's "Prayer: A History", which he slams for its "syrupy, boosterish prose".