Why should anyone want to read about doubt or spiritual alienation?
Well — doubt and even anguish are, I think, unavoidable aspects of the spiritual life. They are part of the choreography of the spiritual life.
Indeed, it happens, I think, to almost everyone who pursues a spiritual life: at some point, you hit a wall. The energy that animated your spiritual life seems to have evaporated.
I have come to call this – a little cheekily – a mid-faith crisis.
When I hit my own wall, I read because that is what I always do when I have a problem: I read. I read because I thought I might find in books a solution to, or at least an evasion of, the crisis – a way around, or at least a way of avoiding, the wall. Books did not, on their own, “solve” my mid-faith crisis, but they certainly provided companionship, solace, and inspiration along the way. (In fact, they helped me understand that a mid-faith crisis is not something to be solved, but to be lived into.)