Reed Estabrook

Photographer and Educator

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Hole in the Shape of …, 2000 - work in progress

When I moved to Oakland, CA in 1998, I'd gotten involved with Habitat for Humanity, I discover it is a city of innumerable churches of every flavor …
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When I moved to Oakland, CA in 1998, I'd gotten involved with Habitat for Humanity, I discover it is a city of innumerable churches of every flavor.

So I started imaging these buildings. A part of the motivation was simply exploring my new community but underlying this was also a kind of yearning. There have been quite a number persons in my life with whom I am or have been close who have found deep meaning and comfort in spiritual practice. But I have never been able to go there.

I've been working on this for several years. It has had the working title of "A Hole in the Shape of God", a phase borrowed from Karen Armstrong or Elaine Pagels, I don't remember which. But, as a title, it has always felt to complex and clumsy. It doesn't seem to express the conflicted yearning: wanting faith on one level while rejecting it intrinsically on another.

And then, Michael Karsney, the remarkable host of radio talk show on the local NPR station, published a book exploring this same struggle entitled Spiritual Envy: an agnostics struggle.

So I finally there was a good a title that honors the intent of the work but it belongs to somebody else!

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