In Cross of a Different Kind: Cancer & Spirituality, religious studies instructor, life coach, and chaplain Anthony Maranise delivers a compelling and well-researched look at the intersection of spirituality and cancer. His main premise is that “prayer and [Christian] spirituality are conclusively effective in the ways in which they help all people affected by cancer,” and that by having and utilizing faith, hope, and love, the specter of cancer and its life-changing effects can make us stronger, better people.
A 20-plus-year survivor himself, Maranise is no stranger to the disease, the treatment, and the realities of how life and perspective change afterward. His personal stake in the book gives it a rare authenticity and impressive spiritual foundation.
The book is organized into three main sections, addressing: 1) those who have lost loved ones to cancer; 2) those who are currently battling the disease; and 3) cancer survivors. Each section ends with a list of suggested spiritual exercises and resources. Throughout these sections, the author juxtaposes the suffering of Christ with the cancer journey.
Maranise’s worldview hearkens to his Catholic education and training. He notes that he is a theological scholar, and his writing reflects that. As a result, some of the terminology might be unfamiliar and difficult for lay readers (e.g., “salvific,” “veneration,” “ontological impact,” “corpus”). In general, though, he offers wonderful spiritually grounded insights into finding joy despite suffering, having hope for the future, and moving forward after loss that should be palatable to most Christian confessions or denominations.
Cross of a Different Kind will appeal to anyone suffering with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses who is searching for understanding, consolation, and encouragement. Caregivers and survivors will benefit from Maranise’s experience, strength and hope. As an added incentive, the author is donating 100% of all royalties and sales proceeds to non-profit charities.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.