A Rumour of God

A Rumour of God: Rekindling Belief in an Age of Disenchantment

Robert C. Sibley: $24.95 paperback
 978-2-89646-231-5, 375 pp.,
Novalis, 2010

“. . . it is easy to let moments of possible wonder pass by you if you aren’t prepared to recognize them or learn from them.”

So says Robert C. Sibley in A Rumour of God. Sibley would like us to open the doors of our minds just a crack. He would like us to allow that maybe, just maybe, extraordinary coexists with the ordinary. He would like us to once again (because we used to do it quite readily) recognize moments of possible wonder—”glimpses of the underglimmer“—and learn from them.

In A Rumour of God, Sibley balances stories about his personal experiences of spiritual awareness in the everyday with essays on scholarly historical, theological and philosophical insights into the topics. The alternating story/research pattern of his book makes the experience of reading it feel like taking a bike ride in hilly country. The reader begins with an easy coast down a gentle story slope, lured in by the effortless ride. Then the terrain changes to literary references and theological considerations, and the reader needs to work a little harder. These sections are well researched, thoughtful and necessary to the book, but some of the hills are long and steep, and the reader must coax himself to keep climbing. But just when he thinks he can’t pedal anymore, the crest of the hill appears, the promise of more enchantment beckons, and the reader keeps climbing knowing that soon he will glide down, head thrown back, into the reward of another compelling personal story.

Sibley is at his best when painting word picture stories.

The reader can see, feel and smell the sacred places, the homes, and the pilgrim pathways. We hear waves smash on the coastline of Vancouver Island, taste the dust of a prairie graveyard, and ache for the solitude of a Yukon peak. Sibley writes dialogue naturally and captures the characters of the people he meets.

A Rumour of God is both a soul drink for those thirsty for affirmation of their own “glimpses of the underglimmer,” and a mind drink for those who need the facts along with the fun. It is a manual for seeking and accepting the presence of deeper meaning in a modern world.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on May 2, 2012, in Book reviews, Books I bought, Non-fiction, Novalis and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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