Theological Viewpoint You Disagree With: The Quotidian Mysteries

I have recently gotten into listening to a podcast called What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel. On it, Anne discusses books with a guest in order to do some “literary matchmaking.” One book she has often recommended is called The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and “Women’s Work” by Kathleen Norris. I was very intrigued by the content and her recommendation, so I read it. After the fact, I’m sticking it in the reading challenge category “a book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with.” (I only stuck it here because she mentions Christian mysticism in passing.)

chores

The Quotidian Mysteries is the transcript of a lecture Norris gave about finding the spiritual in the everyday. We tend to think poorly of housework and other everyday chores, though these are essential to life functioning. Norris draws a correlation between liturgies and chores to show that the need for repetition, such as daily prayers or daily laundry, does not demean the action itself. Norris is a poet and her writing evidences that with descriptive and sensory language. This little book offers some interesting anecdotes of her own struggles to find her purpose and value as a woman. I expected The Quotidian Mysteries to be a  Christian living book that addressed a struggle and offered solutions. But I don’t feel that she uncovers any startling revelation, merely expresses a feeling with which many women wrestle. Considering it as a memoir, though, I can appreciate her take on the value of “women’s work.”

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