Paul-Gordon Chandler takes us on a profound spiritual journey into the life and work of one of the most famous and beloved poets, Kahlil Gibran, showing us how this timeless poet is a much-needed guide for our times. In his hands, Kahlil Gibran becomes an intimate friend.
— Reza Aslan, author of An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Paul-Gordon Chandler has done us a great service by writing this wonderful book. Part travelogue through the many places Kahlil Gibran lived, part journey through the artist's great works, it all comes together in a way that gives us powerful glimpses into the inner life of a spiritual giant.
— Eboo Patel, Founder, Interfaith America; author of We Need To Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy
There are certain places you should visit before you die, and to enjoy them best, you need a guide who knows them well. Similarly, there are certain writers you should read before you die, and you'll enjoy them even more with an experienced guide beside you. Kahlil Gibran is such a writer, and Paul-Gordon Chandler is such a guide. Gibran, assisted by Chandler, will introduce you to a great land that lies within you.
— Brian D. McLaren, activist and author of The Great Spiritual Migration
An inspiring and vivid exploration into the all-embracing spirituality of Kahlil Gibran. Chandler takes us on a journey into the inner and outer worlds of a man who defied religious and cultural boundaries to assert a vision of an underlying humanity and faith that all people share, free of dogma. This original and revealing account of Gibran’s life and work is timeless, sharing with us profound wisdom that can guide us through the challenges of our world today. A modern classic of spirituality.
— Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president and Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy, Union
Theological Seminary, New York
Paul-Gordon Chandler is a curious wanderer, a man of spiritual depth and refreshing insight. His journey into Kahlil Gibran’s life and timeless teachings offers solace and shelter in our divided and troubled times.
— Jeffrey Fleishman, Foreign Editor of the Los Angeles Times
Here Paul Gordon-Chandler artfully traces the contours of Kahlil Gibran’s life—a life which transcended so many of the divides we human beings erect among ourselves. In a world increasingly fraught with voices calling us toward power and away from each other, this book arrives as a balm and an incitement to continue the important work of healing the world.
— Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, former senior minister, Riverside Church, New York
Paul-Gordon Chandler brilliantly captures the universal spirituality of the beloved poet Kahlil Gibran as we journey with him to discover how the Levant, his birthplace—the land of Moses' Sacred Valley, Jesus' Mount of Olives, and Mohammad's mosque of Al Aqsa—and early disappointments influenced his art and poetry. In Search of a Prophet is revelatory and a true inspiration for those seeking to build bridges, not walls.
— Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat, president, Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland and Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation
Before reading this book my only real knowledge of Kahlil Gibran was the poem often read at weddings in the 1970s and 80s, and frequently caricatured. What that limited knowledge didn't reveal was the story of his life, the depth of his convictions, and the gift of his wisdom. This book tells his story, revealing the depth and passing on that gift.
— The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church
In Search of a Prophet is a profound look at Kahlil Gibran’s prophetic voice for peace and reconciliation during his lifetime. Paul-Gordon Chandler movingly demonstrates how Gibran, through his life and writings, issued a timeless call to respect all peoples and their religious traditions equally, thereby serving as an indispensable guide for our times.
— Ambassador Rabbi David N. Saperstein, former US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
In this deeply spiritual look at the life of Kahlil Gibran, Paul-Gordon Chandler opens us to a voice more relevant to our times than when his work appeared years ago. Chandler’s biography rings with the same grandeur and deep insight present in Gibran’s poetry, and it is pleasant to read and nourishing to digest. With our world so deeply suspicious and divided, Chandler’s look at Gibran offers us a biography—and a spirituality—that displays a vision of our common humanity. It is a great inspiration during times like these.
— Rev. James Winkler, former president and general secretary, National Council of Churches
Chandler blends memoir and biography in this introductory exploration of poet Kahlil Gibran’s influences, writings, and impact. He traces Gibran’s life from his birth in Lebanon in 1883 and his immigration to the United States in 1895 to his return to the Middle East in 1899 and his encounters with leading artistic figures in Europe before his death in 1931. Each chapter centers on a key work of Gibran’s, with ample excerpts to get a sense of his style and messages. This orderly chronology will help readers fill in details and get a better sense of what events shaped Gibran’s work, including personal losses, World War I, and the dislocation of being an immigrant. Those unfamiliar with the poet’s work will gain solid insights into how and why Gibran sought out universal reconciliation of the religious impulses stemming from his Maronite Catholic upbringing, his Arab identity, and his Western education. Chandler includes anecdotes from his own travels, including (but not exclusively) to sites related to Gibran’s life.... [This book] provides a solid introduction to Gibran and his complex work.
Episcopal priest Chandler (Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslim Road) concedes that there are many fine biographies of Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931), the early 20th-century artist and writer best known for The Prophet. Instead, Chandler invites readers to follow Gibran’s spiritual journey, of which Prophet is but one vista. The narrative is also a record of Chandler’s own pilgrimage. With each stop, Chandler reveals how Gibran’s intense embrace of all that was around him mirrored a direct spiritual encounter that underlies the edifice of religion. Chandler enriches the narrative with quotes from Gibran’s works and letters, descriptions of his artwork, reflections from people who knew him and those for whom his works are still transformative. Gibran was bound and embraced by many worlds: East and West, Muslim and Christian, pastoral and urban, ancient and modern; intoxicated with the teachings of Jesus, but not the church. VERDICT Chandler succeeds in providing a portrait of a hard-won spirituality that transcended religion even while embracing it.