Wednesday, 24 October 2012

New Book - Dazzling Darkness

I am thrilled to announce the publication of Dazzling Darkness. It is the most personal thing I've ever written or am likely to write. At one level this is hardly surprising - it is essentially a work of autobiography and memoir. However, the book feels especially personal because it explores familiar themes - gender,sexuality& illness - in ways I've never quite dared before. While drawing on my ongoing fascination with poetry, modern and classical philosophy, queer theology and desert spirituality, I am conscious that Dazzling Darkness contains reflections and ideas many Christians will struggle with. I hope that folk read it with kindness. (Scrub that - I just hope a few people read, full stop!!)

Dazzling Darkness is published on Oct 29th 2012. Available from decent bookstores,, Book Depository & Amazon ( )

The blurb on the back of the book reads:

Dazzling Darkness is a true story about searching for one's authentic self in the company of the Living God. Rachel Mann has died many 'deaths' in the process, not the least of which was a change of sex, as well as coming to terms with chronic illness and disability.

Through these experiences she has discovered that darkness is as much a positive place as a negative one, inhabited by the Living God – the Dark God, the Hidden God. This is the God many of us, because we try to make our lives safe and comfortable, are too afraid to meet. This is the God who is most alive in those things we commonly associate with the Dark – failure, loss and brokenness.

The Christian church has legitimated certain ways of talking about God – male, fatherly, monarchical and so on. Many believe these descriptors tell the exhaustive truth about God. In accepting the complexity of her sexuality and identity, Rachel Mann has been able to explore with a greater freedom what God might look like to an 'unconventional creature' like her.
This passionate and nuanced book brings together poetry, feminist theology, and philosophy and explores them through one person’s hunger for wholeness, self-knowledge and God.