Poems, Piety, and Psyche: Progressive Poems for Rebellious Christians

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Poems, Piety, and Psyche: Progressive Poems for Rebellious Christians

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Confronting the crisis facing Christianity, this anthology of post-modern, progressive Christian poems, with a rebellious tone, demythologizes Christian theology. Poems, Piety and Psyche is a brave departure from literal Christian dogma and challenges the outdated ideas of doctrine and Scripture to disclose hidden truths still valid today.

This volume is an attempt to revitalize the church and reshape its future for current congregations and the missing generation of young people, scientifically literate, who are exiled from the church through its inability to absorb contemporary teaching of biblical criticism, the reality of evolution, the false idea of a God “up there,” and an institutional insistence on an unconvincing supernatural theology. Christianity must be adapted to incorporate these and change, or it will die.

David Keighley reclaims the original gospel message and takes us on a turbulent and challenging journey to the heart of what it is to be truly Christian. There is in these poems an emphasis on the teaching of the historical Jesus while rejecting nature miracles, the virgin birth, and bodily resurrection. Jesus’s divinity is that we can see God in him in the same way as we see God in the lives of each other, if we look closely enough.

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In UK David’s website: https://www.davidkeighleywriter.com/shop or email: davidkeighley@hotmail.com
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Endorsements & Reviews
“David Keighley probes beneath the surface of our faith and provides us with a basis for believing in our troubled world. So long as we have people like David, Christianity will live and renew itself.” —John Shelby Spong, former Bishop of Newark, and author of Why Christianity Must Change or Die

“This volume of poetry is a true treasure. Poems are words so twisted and so pressed that they express the matter more densely and subtly than if they were left to their own devices. Poetry takes a handful of words and turns them into a discourse of desire—of longing, lament, and laughter. Poetry twists words into new shapes and ideas that add to our very being. Good poems create something out of nothing. Poetry is always greater than the sum of its parts. David Keighley’s poems have a beauty and sincerity about them that sound the depths, soothe the soul, and touch the heavens.” —Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, University of Oxford, and author of Power and the Church

“Having watched David minister to far-flung congregations of mostly elderly parishioners in ancient stone churches, I was aware of his frustrations as he tried to communicate the essence of Christ’s teachings, sans the institutional bureaucracy and dogma that can obscure the message of love, compassion, and forgiveness. David’s poetry, refined, yet painfully raw, lays bare his innermost feelings about the ossification of what should be the Living Word. When I think of how courageous Jesus was when he spoke out against the hypocrisy of established Judaism, I have a feeling that if he were here now, Jesus would be blasting out David’s poems on all his social media streams, hoping that readers would be compelled to rise up, speak truth to power, and save Christianity.” —Kathy Eldon, author of Soul Catcher

“In his poetry, David has found his voice as a confident doubter, an example of the person of faith who, in growing older, believes less and less, and yet believes what he does believe more and more. David’s critique of woodenly literal readings of Scripture and received doctrine is part of this. But it’s not the armchair assault of the detached intellectual. There’s a ruthless self-questioning in these poems, an examination of the foundations of his faith, even a willingness to interrogate his own vocation as a priest and ask what it has all been about. It feels challenging at times, even painful, to overhear this inner conversation. But this journey is necessary, I think, not only for David but for all of us if we are to have integrity as people of faith in a world of bewildering (yet beautiful) complexity. In such a world, religion can only ever be not the answer but the question. I’m grateful to David’s poems for helping me understand that more clearly.” —Michael Sadgrove, Dean Emeritus of Durham, and author of Christ in a Choppie Box

“David has a wonderful propensity for saying so much in only a few words: a single short poem can sum up an entire theology. I am delighted that he is sharing his special gifts in this new book. It’s a winner and a keeper!” —William Aulenbach, retired Episcopal priest, and author of Cramming for the Finals: New Ways of Looking at Old Church Ideas

“I am not a particularly religious person, but David’s take on Christianity is so refreshing and vital. Times are changing fast, and we must all keep up or risk being left behind. David refuses to be left behind, fighting to bring the relevant and purest form of Christianity back into our lives. Forget the myths, the lies, the hell, and damnation, and find the truth. It’s simpler than you think, and David’s poems will point you in the right direction.” —Sarah Parish, actress and television personality, and co-founder of Murray Parish Trust

“I am thrilled to bits by this collection of poems. They are courageous and so very honest. They speak so plainly, but in their few words, and often with a sharp wit, conjure up such large questions for us all to consider—especially those of us who call ourselves Christians. . . . These are important poems for the church to hear, and I hope they will find a wide audience both inside it and amongst those who have given it up for lost. We all need to think again, and again, and again.” —Trevor Dennis, former Tutor in Old Testament Studies, Salisbury and Wells Theological College

“David Keighley’s word grenades—they aren’t quite verses—provoke and prod: What’s God? These gobbets of questing doubt are a lot more interesting than any virtual mass from an archbishop’s kitchen.” —Quentin Letts, journalist, writer, critic, and broadcaster

“David Keighley, fellow priest, pilgrim, and (re)searcher. His work shines a light into those dark recesses of the church and those parts of its preposterous theology, which it would rather remain in the dark.” —David Jenkins, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Leeds University, and author of God, Miracle and the Church of England

David Keighley is a retired Anglican priest of forty years, and a teacher, psychologist, and poet. He has maintained his professional and lifelong interest in the relationship between psychology and spirituality, and currently works as a psychotherapist. His performance poetry show, also entitled Poems, Piety and Psyche, combines his three main interests: poetry, spirituality, and the human mind. He is the author of a school nativity play based on the Old Testament: Christmas Past, Christmas Present (2006).

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