You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith

What is the relationship between your earlier work on Desiring the Kingdom and this new book arguing that You Are What You Love?

When I wrote Desiring the Kingdom, I thought it was a “popular”-level book. Turns out an academic philosopher is a terrible judge of what counts as “popular!” I guess the hundred footnotes per chapter with references to German philosophy and neuroscience was considered a bit of a hurdle for most readers. Go figure.

Yet the argument of the book got attention from a wide range of places and I was invited to talk about it with a remarkable variety of audiences. It’s been a stretching experience, and I’ve learned a lot. In those talks I really tried to translate the ideas for non-specialists, and I could see the lights go on for people. We finally received so much encouragement—and so many requests—to create a book for “normal” people that I felt like it was a call I needed to answer, even though it was a bit daunting.

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