Phyllis Tickle


The near-death experience takes the fear away and leaves you free to love.

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Phyllis Tickle, (1935-2015), founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly, was an authority on American religion and a much sought-after speaker. She served as college professor, and academic dean at the Memphis College of Art before entering the publishing industry. The author of over three dozen books, including The Divine Hours book series (Doubleday Press), and her bestselling volume, The Great Emergence—How Christianity is Changing and Why.

She received the prestigious Mays Award for lifetime achievement in writing and publishing (1994), an honorary doctorate from the Berkeley School of Divinity, Yale University (2004). and a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Christy Awards (2007). An authorized biography, Phyllis Tickle: A Life, by long-time collaborator Jon M. Sweeney was recently released.

She and her husband were the parents of seven children and made their home on a small farm in Lucy, Tennessee.

The near-death experience changed every part of what I was. This experience is the nearest I’ve come to touching the sacred, not just touching it, but being absorbed in it.