This Just In: The Drama of Living by David F. Ford

The Drama of Living: Becoming Wise in the Spirit
by David F. Ford


“A sequel to Ford’s The Shape of Living, The Drama of Living could be characterized as sapiential theology–reflection on theology that draws out its wisdom for daily living. Ford weaves together a mélange of sources, especially the Gospel of John and the poetry of his friend Micheal O’Siadhail. . . . A familiar theme for Ford is sounded in this book: the urgent need and opportunities for interreligious understanding and cooperation. Religious traditions at their best are about the pursuit and application of wisdom.”
Christian Century


How can we live wisely in the twenty-first century, alert to God and to other people amid the ups and downs of modern life? We find ourselves in the middle of complex situations, relationships, responsibilities, ongoing dramas, and challenges. Our response to these circumstances requires us to draw on many sources and to constantly exercise imagination, discernment, and judgment.

In this sequel to his well-received book The Shape of Living, renowned theologian David Ford offers insights into living wisely in the Spirit in a culture of distraction. Ford provides a reflective contemporary Christian spirituality that is drawn from the Gospel of John, the work of internationally respected poet Micheal O’Siadhail, and his own life experiences. He explores themes such as the ordinary and public dramas of living, the centrality of face-to-face relationships, the habits that shape our lives, friendship and love, aging and dying, and jazz. Discussion questions for individual or group use are included.

David F. Ford
(PhD, University of Cambridge) is Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, where he has taught for more than twenty years, and director of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Program. He is also a Fellow of Selwyn College and the author or editor of more than fifteen books, including The Shape of Living.

Ford is one of the founders of Scriptural Reasoning and has been extensively involved in generating new modes of engagement for inter-faith relations in the post-9/11 world.


Praise for The Drama of Living:

“This is a tour de force. We all take part in the drama of living, and Ford’s wisdom shapes our engagement with its depths and fullness. This extraordinary book draws on the riches of his own experience, contemporary poetry, and the mysterious Gospel of John. It both explores the complexities of daily life and inspires wise and creative responses.”
Micheal O’Siadhail, award-winning poet

“David Ford here combines a treatise in individual and social anthropology with a reading of the Fourth Gospel in order to assist us while we join him in the ‘search for wisdom in the drama of living.’ The interweavings among the themes are further strengthened by frequent citations in verse from the Irish poet Micheal O’Siadhail. Altogether this is a book that may properly engage the attention of theological and humanistic readers alike.”
Geoffrey Wainwright, professor emeritus of Christian theology, Duke University

“By tearing down the wall of hostility between autobiography and theology, David Ford draws theology into dailiness, discarding the modern division of ‘head’ from ‘heart.’ This memoir unself-consciously blends personal experience, poetry, fiction, drama, jazz, Scripture, and the suffering of the disabled, those of the Shoah, and the dying, inviting us to read our own interiority through the great minds and tragic moments that have nourished us on the paths we have trod.”
Ellen Charry, Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary