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Apr 22, 2015

Seminary of the Southwest Writer in Residence Releases New Book on the Church


Morehouse Publishing has just released My Church Is Not Dying: Episcopalians in the 21st Century, the latest book from Seminary of the Southwest alumnus Greg Garrett (M.Div. 2007 and Writer in Residence). The book, which launched as the number one new release in religion and spirituality on, features interviews and stories from dozens of women and men connected to SSW, among them Greg Rickel, Bishop of Olympia (M.Div. 1996) who wrote the book’s Foreword. The book also contains reflections on the Church and its future from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, from past Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and from many other figures across the Episcopal and Anglican landscapes, from bishops, priests, and deacons to lay leaders, church staff members, and people in the pews (or not in the pews!).


“Church Publishing [the official publisher of the Episcopal Church] asked me to write a book on the gifts of the Episcopal tradition for the 21st Century,” Dr. Garrett said, “and a friend from SSW, the Rev. Torey Lightcap, encouraged me to incorporate a multitude of voices into anything I might write. It was just the advice I needed to find the center of a book about all the reasons people love the Episcopal Church—and why it might somehow be the right home for people outside our tradition who are seeking ritual, mystery, community, and engagement.”


BBC Radio has called Dr. Garrett “one of America's leading voices on religion and culture,” and Rowan Williams describes him as “one of the most searching and honest of Christian writers today.” He focused at the Seminary of the Southwest on theology, homiletics, and Christian spirituality, and describes his three years of study and subsequent service at the seminary as vital to his calling. “I could not have become a writer, preacher, and theologian for the Church without my preparation at SSW. I found a vocabulary and a vocation here that changed me and everything that I do. I continue to give thanks for the chance to be a part of this community of learning and faith.”


Dr. Garrett has written or co-written over twenty books of fiction, nonfiction, spiritual autobiography, or biblical translation. His most recent books are The Prodigal, a novel co-written with the legendary Brennan Manning, and Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination, a lead title for Oxford University Press. Dr. Garrett is 2013 Centennial Professor at Baylor University, Residential Scholar at Gladstone’s Library in Wales, a Fellow of the Cathedral College of Preachers at the National Cathedral, and a licensed lay preacher based at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.