In this third volume of his "Adventures in Spirituality" trilogy, Dr. Robert Vande Kappelle travels from Amsterdam to Cairo in search of his cultural and spiritual roots, inviting readers to join him in exploring fabled places across the Mediterranean World. Despite the grave problems centered in this region, it is the birthplace of Western civilization and the source of the world's three guiding religions. Readers unfamiliar with the emergence and development of Western civilization will find Into Thin Places a compelling introduction; others will discover here a new perspective.
Affirming the human quest for adventure, meaning, and wholeness, Professor Vande Kappelle beckons adventurers to enjoy the wonderful experiences described in the book's "travel entries." Those seeking historical and cultural perspective will want to examine the numerous "explanatory entries" scattered throughout the narrative. These vignettes expand and deepen the storyline, piquing curiosity about seminal events, persons, and places that helped shape Western sensibility.
As Dr. Vande Kappelle points out in his closing chapter, our world is in a state of crisis, precipitated by numerous factors but primarily by the loss of the sacred. "Whether the current crisis is curable is debatable, but it will clearly require massive cultural reorientation. More importantly, it will require a transformation of the human spirit and a commitment of will." Into Thin Places encourages readers to find "thin places"--places transparent to the divine--in their own transformative journeys of discovery.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Both the experienced and the novice traveler know the value of a personal guide. Into Thin Places, while narrative in nature, adeptly leads the reader into a journey of self-examination. What Plato did for his day in 'The Allegory of the Cave,' Dr. Vande Kappelle does for the modern reader." --Daniel A. Stinson Cleric, college instructor, and international tour host
"The Talmud informs us that we should judge all human beings on the basis of merit. And that's what Dr. Vande Kappelle does in his landmark book, Into Thin Places. As he travels across the Mediterranean world, Rev. Vande Kappelle engages Palestinians, Christians, and Jews without prejudice or condemnation. The ability to receive varied information and to blend it into one's own perspective, which he does so effectively, is a rare and much needed quality in today's world." --Rabbi David C. Novitsky Beth Israel Synagogue, Washington, Pennsylvania
"Into Thin Places is an exciting, creative work that brings perspective to mankind's historical march westward. Professor Vande Kappelle's book helps readers re-examine their understanding of Western culture while enticing them to learn more. Readers will discover in each chapter their own individual journeys into 'thin places.'" --Nathaniel C. Roe Retired Presbyterian minister and missionary to Africa and India
Robert P. Vande Kappelle
Robert Vande Kappelle is College Chaplain and Chair of Religious Studies at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. His articles and chapters have been published in various texts and journals. He is the author of Love Never Fails (2006) and The Invisible Mountain (2010). Born in Latin America of missionary parents, his fascination with other cultures and places has led him to study nine languages and to travel through five continents.