Alphabet of Paradise: An A–Z of Spirituality for Everyday Life

With a remarkable range of cultural understanding and spiritual insight—from Salman Rushdie to soccer to sauerkraut—uncovers the mystical meaning of our everyday lives, through 26 chapters, A–Z, on such topics as awe, bodies, creativity and dreams.

Howard Cooper

6 x 9, 250 pp | 978-1-893361-80-5

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Paradise is not some far-off distant time or place, nor is it beyond death. It is here and now, according to Howard Cooper—one of the most eloquent new voices in spirituality.

The Alphabet of Paradise contains twenty-six chapters, A-Z, on such topics as:
Awe • Bodies • Creativity • Dreams • Emotions • Food • Humor • Illness • Justice • Kabbalah • Love • Money

Throughout each, Cooper uses the ancient Jewish mystical interpretive technique of PaRDeS, examining:
• The Plain or literal meaning of the subject • Reminders, hints, or allusions that the subject evokes • Deeper spiritual meanings • And the Secret or mystical meanings that are sometimes present

Demonstrating a remarkable range of cultural understanding and spiritual insight—from Salman Rushdie to soccer to sauerkraut—The Alphabet of Paradise uncovers the mystical meaning of our everyday lives.

Praise for Howard Cooper’s work

"This is an extraordinary book. Without resorting to conventional piety, dogmas or religious language, Howard Cooper has managed to write a spirituality for everyday life that resonates with the most profound mystical teachings of the major traditions."

Karen Armstrong, author of Islam: A Short History and other books.

"An innovative look at contemporary culture, from dreams and food to sex and work. A new, fresh voice in the landscape of spirituality books."

Lawrence Kushner, author of Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians and other books

Acknowledgements ix
Introduction 1
Awe 10
Bodies 20
Creativity 28
Dreams 35
Emotions 42
Food 49
God 56
Humour 63
Illness 70
Justice 78
Kabbalah 85
Love 93
Money 100
Nothingness 107
Orfices 116
Pleasure 124
Quiet 131
Relationships 138
Sports 145
Truth 154
Uncertainty 161
Vanity 169
Work 176
Xenophobia 183
You 191
Zeno's Paradox 198
Sources, References and Endnotes 206