Wednesday, August 01, 2012

In and out of religion

by Salman Hameed

Here is an interesting Fresh Air interview with author Christopher Beha. His new novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder, tackles the subject of some people leave the religion they are born into, and why some people return to it. He was raised as a Catholic and then left his faith. Instead of being hostile to faith, his interest in religion - and more specifically - the reasons why people believe grew after after that. His novel seems to be a reflection of that interest:

In the novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, writer Charlie Blakeman runs into his former college love after 10 years and finds out that she has converted to Catholicism. Charlie can't make sense of her conversion, but as he finds out more about Sophie's past, he sees her life is more complicated than he previously thought. When Sophie once again disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what has happened to her. 
Author Christopher Beha "was interested in writing about a person of faith," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "while also writing about the attempt of someone who does not have that capacity for faith to try to understand it." 
A former Catholic himself, Beha says, "I'm someone who was raised Catholic and was indeed a believing Catholic, not just a cultural Catholic by upbringing, who then lost his faith. And in lots of ways, faith became much more interesting to me once I didn't have it."
Listen to the full interview here.

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