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Fully Alive

On sale

23rd May 2024

Price: £18.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399810760

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‘This remarkable book points not to some unreachable ideal of life but to a deeper, more soulful and meaningful experience of the lives we’re actually living.’
Oliver Burkeman

‘A rich and soul-searching exploration of what it means to believe in a shifting age. This is a rare thing – an open, human and vulnerable profession of faith. I learned a lot. ‘
Katherine May

‘This is deep stuff, personal yet learned, funny and vulnerable … the book I didn’t know I needed.’
Sally Phillips

‘Luminous in a manner that a medieval anchorite might have appreciated, while simultaneously wise in the ways of coping with a pram on a crowded bus.’
Tom Holland

‘A great gift to all in search of a deeper life.’
Krista Tippett

What does it mean to live a good, whole and fulfilling life? And if the world really is ending, or at least expecting turbulent change, what kind of people will we need when it happens?

In FULLY ALIVE Elizabeth Oldfield explores how we can build spiritual core strength for an unstable age.
Drawing on the ancient wisdom of faith and stories from her own life, Oldfield writes about her quest to live a meaningful, fulfilling life, and the niggling questions that bother all of us below the surface, such as:

How can I focus on what really matters and stop getting so distracted by trivialities?
How do I become a depolarising person in a culture of outrage, tribalism, and division?
Can I find my highs in expansive, life-giving ways, rather than in a bottle of wine or a tub of ice cream?
And what kind of world am I leaving for the next generation?

FULLY ALIVE is for readers looking for an honest conversation about the deepest questions in our ordinary lives, and practical, meaningful ideas to help us pay attention to the people we are becoming. For ourselves, our communities and the world.

‘When I was writing UNAPOLOGETIC more than a decade ago, I knew the job would soon need doing again. And again. Because the bridge between faith and contemporary experience constantly needs to be rebuilt as times change. So here it is, then: the bridge for the present moment, across which seekers for more meaning in their lives can travel in the knowledge that they won’t be bullied, browbeaten or talked down to. This book. This one. In your hand. Right now.’
Francis Spufford

‘Plainspoken, fearless, disarmingly tender. Oldfield is a leader by example, and her book is a glowing argument for faith – one that speaks urgently to our fractured world.’
Rhik Samadder

What's Inside

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Reviews

Gwen Adshead, Sunday Times bestselling author of THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
I will be buying this book for everyone I know who is interested in what makes for a good life and gives meaning to our human experience. In dark times, this book is an invitation to have another look at a way of seeing the world; a way that has brought light and hope to many.
Jenn Ashworth, author of GHOSTED: A LOVE STORY
Reading FULLY ALIVE was like sitting down for coffee with a well-read and passionate friend. Elizabeth is courageous, insightful, generous and gentle. Her book is a rare find: it never rejects complexity in its search for clarity and never allows authority to crowd out compassion and curiosity - I felt very nourished by the work - there is wisdom here.
Charlie Gilmour, author and activist
In turbulent times, what is there for us to hold onto? In FULLY ALIVE, Elizabeth Oldfield suggests gratitude, humility, connection, community. Her writing is honest, touching, often funny and always thought-provoking. I loved it.
Rhik Sammader, journalist, writer, broadcaster, actor
Plainspoken, fearless, disarmingly tender. Oldfield is a leader by example, and her book is a glowing argument for faith - one that speaks urgently to our fractured world.
Francis Spufford, author of GOLDEN HILL and UNAPOLOGETIC
When I was writing UNAPOLOGETIC more than a decade ago, I knew the job would soon need doing again. And again. Because the bridge between faith and contemporary experience constantly needs to be rebuilt as times change. So here it is, then: the bridge for the present moment, across which seekers for more meaning in their lives can travel in the knowledge that they won't be bullied, browbeaten or talked down to. This book. This one. In your hand. Right now.
Sally Phillips
This is the book I didn't know I needed, Elizabeth Oldfield the Sherpa who might persuade me not to give up climbing the mountain. I know few people as committed to living deeply as Elizabeth but in spite of that she's neither pompous nor pious (phew). This is deep stuff, personal yet learned, funny and vulnerable. If you loved Francis Spufford's Unapologetic you will love this.
Oliver Burkeman, author of instant Sunday Times bestseller, FOUR THOUSAND WEEKS
Elizabeth Oldfield has a gift for writing about the things that matter most in a way that's honest, warm-hearted, and down-to-earth in the very best sense of the term. This remarkable book points not to some unreachable ideal of life but to a deeper, more soulful and meaningful experience of the lives we're actually living.
James K. A. Smith, author of HOW (NOT) TO BE SECULAR, YOU ARE WHAT YOU LOVE, and HOW TO INHABIT TIME
To believe today is always to believe in spite of. Elizabeth Oldfield bears witness to a faith that faces the monsters and yet can't shake the profound sense of being loved by a God beyond the gods of our tiny religious idolatries. Oldfield's honest, hopeful, humane wisdom is the fruit of something spectacularly rare these days: listening. A welcome voice in our secular age.
David Zahl, director of Mockingbird; author of LOW ANTHROPOLOGY
This book is fantastic! An emotionally intelligible and deeply engaging inventory of the treasures hidden in that beaten up old box labelled 'Christianity.' Oldfield not only knows how to turn a phrase; she writes with rare, almost uncanny sensitivity to how modern ears hear, fully aware of how much baggage her readers may carry with the subject matter. In her hands the old becomes new, and the new regains its sparkle. FULLY ALIVE belongs in the top tier of that ever-shrinking genre of religious books you can confidently give to, well, anyone.
Krista Tippett, journalist, author, entrepreneur and host of the 'On Being' podcast
In this beautiful book, Elizabeth Oldfield gives voice and vigor to a paradox of our time - that even as Christianity is officially on the wane, it is a bearer of wisdom, intelligence, and rituals of lavish value to our world in all its pain and its promise. This book is for modern humans who, like her, have gone 'off script' in finding religion more relevant, not less so, in this young century. It is a great gift to all in search of a deeper life, of 'spiritual core strength' - of a full, redemptive aliveness.
Sarah Langford, author of ROOTED
A rare book which will change the way you live. With as much humour as wisdom, Oldfield mines the modern and the ancient, the secular to the faithful, in her quest to live better. In doing so, she shows us how to do the same. Everyone will leave this book awakened to a new way of seeing the world. I know I will come back to it again and again.
Katherine May
A rich and soul-searching exploration of what it means to believe in a shifting age. This is a rare thing - an open, human and vulnerable profession of faith. I learned a lot.
Tom Holland
Luminous in a manner that a medieval anchorite might have appreciated, while simultaneously wise in the ways of coping with a pram on a crowded bus.