Home  >  The Gravity of Joy
Share |
The Gravity of Joy
A Story of Being Lost and Found
Angela Williams Gorrell
Foreword by Miroslav Volf

HARDCOVER; Coming Soon: 3/9/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7794-9
Price: $ 21.99
245 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
Add To Cart

“My vocation was supposed to be joy, and I was speaking at funerals.” 

Less than a year after joining the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, Angela Gorrell got word that a close family member had died by suicide. Less than a month later, she lost her father to a fatal opioid addiction and her nephew, only twenty-two years old, to sudden cardiac arrest. The theoretical joy she was researching at Yale suddenly felt shallow and distant—completely unattainable in the fog of grief she now found herself in. 

But joy was closer at hand than it seemed. As she began leading Bible studies at a women’s maximum-security prison, she met people who suffered extensively yet still showed a tremendous capacity for joy. Talking with these women, many of whom had struggled with addiction and suicidal thoughts themselves, she realized: “Joy doesn’t obliterate grief. . . . Instead, joy has a mysterious capacity to be felt alongside of sorrow and even—sometimes most especially—in the midst of suffering.” 

In The Gravity of Joy, Gorrell uses her search for authentic, grounded Christian joy to reflect on the larger societal need for joy as a counteragent to the despair all too prevalent in the twenty-first century. Inviting action in response to the tragedies of addiction and suicide, she articulates a vision for communities that yearn for joy and “walk together through the shadows” to find it.

Table of Contents

1. Sheer Silence
2. Hooked
3. Unleashed
4. Helpful, Help
5. The Search
6. Bright Sorrow
7. Stories to Tell
8. Joy