How does your view of your own success change in the face of a Stage IV cancer diagnosis? Are tragedies really tests of character, or simply misfortune? Kate Bowler, a divinity professor, young mother, and historian of the “American Prosperity Gospel” asks these questions and wonders how to continue to love life—and God—when confronted with an uncertain future.
At thirty-five, Bowler had become a professor at the school of divinity at Duke and a new mother when she received the earth-shattering diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer. As she struggled to find the balance between optimism and delusion, she wondered how to accept her own finitude without feeling like she was giving up.
As she learns to live with cancer as a chronic condition, Bowler speaks powerfully about the ways in which her brush with mortality transformed her. She also frankly addresses the uniquely American concept that tragedy is a test of character, and looks at the different ways that people try to rationalize suffering and catastrophe, for better or worse.