When she was 35 years old, Kate Bowler was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She had been on an upward spiral: thriving in her career and loving life with her husband and newborn son. Bowler, who’s a scholar of Christianity, had just written the book “Blessed,” about the Christian idea that good things happen to good people. But through her experience of personal suffering, she realized no amount of determination can stop bad things from happening to anyone, no matter your level of faith. In an intimate conversation with David Brooks, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Bowler talks about human frailty, why optimism can sometimes be a burden, and the dangers of worshiping at the altar of success. Bowler, who teaches at Duke Divinity School, has a new book out this month, “The Preacher’s Wife.” David Brooks runs a program at the Aspen Institute called Weave: The Social Fabric Project.
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