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Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer



Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer

Sam M. Intrator (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-787-96554-9 April 2005 Jossey-Bass 416 Pages


Parker J. Palmer--who for forty years has written and spoken about subjects ranging from contemplation to community, the inner life to public life, education to social change--is known as one of the nation’s most thoughtful voices, calling us all to ways of being in the world that honor the human heart and promote a humane society. Living the Questions, a celebration of Palmer’s long and distinguished career, explores the dynamic interplay between the inner life of spirit and the outer life of work. The equally distinguished contributors, who come from a wide range of professions--university presidents, scientists, physicians, religious leaders, business consultants, public school educators, philanthropists, and community organizers--bear witness to the depth, breadth, and reach of Palmer’s work. All of them have been personally touched by his courage and determination to live a life congruent with the ideas and principles he writes about and by his candor in acknowledging his own flaws.

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Preface (Diana Chapman Walsh).


A Journey of Questions: The Life and Work of Parker J. Palmer.


Chapter One: Now I Become Myself.

Notions of Presence (Chip Wood).

Learning by Heart: An Ode to My Vocation as a Teacher (Marianne Novak Houston).

Insights on the Inner Life of Healers (Henry Emmons, M.D.).

Late Openings? (David J. Maitland).

What Sound Does the Soul Make? (Mary Rose O’Reilley).

Chapter Two: Be Not Afraid.

Thinking Ourselves Home: The Cultivation of Wisdom (Dawna Markova).

Because of My Not Knowing (Mark Nepo).

The Courage to Learn (Thomas F. Beech).

Learning from the Workplace: Professional Life as an Opportunity for Personal Growth (Jane Tompkins).

The True Professional (Margaret J. Wheatley).


Chapter Three: Learning in Community.

Crossing the Great Divides: The Power of Radio to Connect People Across Boundaries (Jean Feraca).

Integrating Life and Thought: As Teacher, Student, Colleague, Friend (Bardwell Smith).

Wholeness in Science and Personal Life (Ian G. Barbour).

Living the Night into Day: A Response to Dark Times (Joel Elkes, M.D.).

Soul and Role, Politicians and Politics (W. Douglas Tanner Jr.).

Chapter Four: Opening Space for the Inner Life.

“How Can I Keep from Singing?”: Seeking the Wisdom of Sound (Shirley H. Showalter).

The Threads We Follow (Marcy Jackson and Rick Jackson).

The Lehrergarten: A Vision for Teacher Education (Sally Z. Hare).

The Inner and Outer Life in Medicine: Honoring Values, Relationships, and the Human Element in Physicians’ Lives (Paul Batalden, M.D. and David C. Leach, M.D.).

A Journey of the Heart: Seeking the Questions Worth Living (Douglas Orr).


Chapter Five: Leading from Within.

Turning Toward a New Leadership (Jay Casbon).

On Philanthropy and the Inner Life (Michael Lerner).

It Also Takes Courage to Lead (Russ S. Moxley).

If We Pay Attention (L. J. Rittenhouse).

Inspiring Communities of Caring and Conscience (David Dodson).

Chapter Six: Rescuing the Sacred.

Take This to Heart (Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi).

How Then Shall We Live? Suffering and Wonder in the New Commons (Sharon Daloz Parks).

On Beyond Revenge: Leadership for Peace (Diana Chapman Walsh).

A World Shaped by Choice (Peter M. Senge).

Parker J. Palmer Resources and Bibliography.

The Editor.

The Contributors.