The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling author Cole Arthur Riley to Harrisburg for the paperback launch of her new book, THIS HERE FLESH: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us. At once a compelling spiritual meditation and a tender coming-of-age narrative, Riley’s book speaks potently to anyone who suspects that our stories might have something to say to us.
Riley will be in conversation with theologian Drew Hart. This in-person event is free and open to the public.
About the Book:
“From the womb, we must repeat with regularity that to love ourselves is to survive. I believe that is what my father wanted for me and knew I would so desperately need: a tool for survival, the truth of my dignity named like a mercy new each morning.”
So writes Cole Arthur Riley in her unforgettable book of stories and reflections on discovering the sacred in her skin. In these deeply transporting pages, Arthur Riley reflects on the stories of her grandmother and father, and how they revealed to her an embodied, dignity-affirming spirituality, not only in what they believed but in the act of living itself. Writing memorably of her own childhood and coming to self, Arthur Riley boldly explores some of the most urgent questions of life and faith: How can spirituality not silence the body, but instead allow it to come alive? How do we honor, lament, and heal from the stories we inherit? How can we find peace in a world overtaken with dislocation, noise, and unrest? In this indelible work of contemplative storytelling, Arthur Riley invites us to descend into our own stories, examine our capacity to rest, wonder, joy, rage, and repair, and find that our humanity is not an enemy to faith but evidence of it.
At once a compelling spiritual meditation, a powerful intergenerational account, and a tender coming-of-age narrative, This Here Flesh speaks potently to anyone who suspects that our stories might have something to say to us.
About the Authors:
Cole Arthur Riley is a writer. She is the creator of Black Liturgies, a space for Black spiritual words of liberation, lament, rage, and rest; and a project of The Center for Dignity and Contemplation. Cole also currently serves as spiritual teacher in residence with Cornell University’s Office of Spirituality and Meaning Making. Her debut book is This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories that Make Us.
Drew G. I. Hart is a public theologian and professor of theology at Messiah University. He has ten years of pastoral ministry experience and is the recipient of multiple awards for peacemaking. Hart attained his MDiv with an urban concentration from Missio Seminary and his PhD in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences, campuses, and churches across the United States and Canada. His first book, Trouble I ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, utilizes personal and everyday stories, theological ethics, and anti-racism frameworks to transform the church s understanding and witness. Hart lives with his wife, Renee, and their three sons in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.