Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks

Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks

by Diana Butler Bass

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The Wilbur Award-winning book Grateful is now available in paperback and with an updated subtitle.

If gratitude is good, why is it so hard to do? In Grateful, Diana Butler Bass untangles our conflicting understandings of gratitude and sets the table for a renewed practice of giving thanks.

We know that gratitude is good, but many of us find it hard to sustain a meaningful life of gratefulness. Four out of five Americans report feeling gratitude on a regular basis, but those private feelings seem disconnected from larger concerns of our public lives. In Grateful, cultural observer and theologian Diana Butler Bass takes on this “gratitude gap” and offers up surprising, relevant, and powerful insights to practice gratitude.

Bass, author of the award-winning Grounded and ten other books on spirituality and culture, explores the transformative, subversive power of gratitude for our personal lives and in communities. Using her trademark blend of historical research, spiritual insights, and timely cultural observation, she shows how we can overcome this gap and make change in our own lives and in the world.

With honest stories and heartrending examples from history and her own life, Bass reclaims gratitude as a path to greater connection with god, with others, with the world, and even with our own souls. It’s time to embrace a more radical practice of gratitude—the virtue that heals us and helps us thrive.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062659514
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 105,453
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Diana Butler Bass is the author of eight books on American religion, including Christianity After Religion, Christianity for the Rest of Us, and A People's History of Christianity. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University, has taught at the college and graduate level, and is currently an independent scholar. She was a columnist for the New York Times Syndicate, and blogs for the Huffington Post and the Washington Post on issues of religion, spirituality, and culture. Bass is a popular speaker at conferences, colleges and universities, and churches across North America. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and dog. Her website is and she can be followed on Twitter at @dianabutlerbass.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Confession: No Thanks xi

Part I Me: Emotions-Gifts and Thanks

1 Feeling Grateful 3

2 Heart Matters 23

Part II Me: Ethics-Awareness and Practice

3 Habits of Gratitude 49

4 Intentional Practice 71

Part III We: Emotions-Joy and Celebration

5 Grateful Together 93

6 Thankful and Festive 109

Part IV We: Ethics-Community and Politics

7 The Grateful Society 135

8 Circles of Gratitude 155

Epilogue: A Call to the Grateful Way 181

Thank You 195

A Thanksgiving Prayer 199

Notes 201

Index 217

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