Over a couple of years Kary Perry had Conversations with the Faithful: Seeking Enlightenment Over Lunch. It’s the narrative of interviews held with friends, family, and other connections in her social network on their religious beliefs, convictions, practice, and points of view. Kerry, raised by a Mormon father and Evangelical mother, left institutionalized religion. Still, she believes it’s our soul, that invisible essence that makes us unique living beings. There is more to being human than our body, so it’s not a huge leap for her to believe in an unseen creator or source of life. Stories by a Jehova Witness, Evangelical, her Mormon relatives resonate as much as the testimonies of a Jewish woman, a Yoga teacher from Iceland, a Muslim, Bahá’í Faith, or a Hindu found nearby.
Her conversations over lunch reveal lots of personal stories and background at both ends of the table. Easy sounding statements, but also many not easy to answer questions, doubts and topics left unspoken made up the talks. Heaven and Hell, Trinity, initiation, practical consequences in food, marriage, upbringing, and openness to people with a different religious background are addressed. Parry picked up homework, read (religious) books, watched movies, and prepared her next conversation with background information. Faith survives personal struggles, provides hope and peace. The author concludes that having faith is more important than belonging to a specific denomination or religion. Homegrown religion with an altar, mantras at Yoga class, and a superficial reading of Bible passages is her reconciliation of all religions found so far. Barely untouched are the sharp differences, the persecution faithful face in many countries due to their personal choice.
Hopefully, this book inspires you to rethink your own position in faith and religion, and spark conversations among your friends and family, colleagues, and serendipitous meetings on your journey in faith.
About the author
Kerry Parry is a former financial services marketing executive. Her religious training includes; watching Charlton Heston play Moses in The Ten Commandments, going to a solid half dozen church services, not counting weddings and funerals, and talking to everybody she meets about what they believe. When not talking and writing about religion, she loves politics, yoga and ghost stories.
She has at BA in Journalism and an MS in Advertising Management, both from Colorado Schools; UNC and DU. She makes her home in Colorado with her three nearly grown children and one nearly-adult husband.
I received a free review copy from the author in exchange for my personal, unbiased review upon reading.