Providence: The Story of a Fifty-Year Vision Quest

Providence is Quinn’s fascinating memoir of his life-long spiritual voyage. His journey takes him from a childhood dream in Omaha setting him on a search for fulfillment, to his time as a postulant in the Trappist order under the guidance of eminent theologian Thomas Merton.

Later, his quest took him through the deep self-discovery of psychoanalysis, through a failed marriage during the turbulent and exciting 60s, to finding fulfillment with his wife Rennie and a career as a writer.

In Providence Quinn also details his rejection of organized religion and his personal rediscovery of what he says is humankind’s first and only universal religion, the theology that forms the basis for Ishmael.

Providence is an insightful book that address issues of education, psychology, religion, science, marriage, and self-understanding, and will give insight to anyone who has ever struggled to forge and enact a personal spirituality.

The One Spirit Book Club described Providence in this way:

“After writing Ishmael, perhaps one of the most powerful works of spiritual fiction recently published, Daniel Quinn returns with another story – his own. In Providence, Quinn – a Trappist postulant under Thomas Merton – details the long sojourn that shaped his revolutionary way of seeing the world.

Quinn’s autobiography sweeps from his earliest memories (including a prophetic childhood dream) to his short stay in Gethsemani monastery (where he had a life-transforming vision) to his personal rediscovery of humankind’s universal religion. Along the way, we see the radical ideas he would later set forth in Ishmael coming together like pieces in a puzzle.

Filled with penetrating insight, Providence follows the meandering road one man took to find our rightful place in the community of life.”

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“Quinn’s trajectory from “fundamentalist Roman Catholic” to animist marks an unusual odyssey.”

Publishers Weekly

Providence is Quinn’s spiritual autobiography, rendered as a conversation with one of his followers. He uses the events of his life to frame a discussion of religion, history, and education. Quinn relates his search for a unifying vision, beginning with a dream he had as a child and culminating with the ideas expressed in Ishmael.
Libraries where there is interest in Ishmael will want this book.”

Library Journal

“Anyone who finds Daniel Quinn’s ideas interesting, will enjoy this book.
He explains his personal history and the development of his unique point of view.
If you have read Ishmael, My Ishmael and The Story of B you will definitely want to add this to your collection.”

Amazon Review

“Providence is Quinn through and through. Is a good read and Chronicles his journey to write Ishmael;
his walk from disillusionment and disquietude through to healing and his mature thoughts
contained in his seminal writing.”

Amazon Review

“I enjoyed reading how the Ishmael stories came to be. In my opinion, he is a brilliant and unique thinker.
No person can claim, as he said, that he ‘wrote their book’. He changed my whole idea of looking at the world.
I think his main theme in his life is helping people to assuage their suffering. Also to rid the world of religion
seems to be his secondary goal. Religion is only for a justification for why the world is in the mess it is in.”

Amazon Review

“A 50 year vision quest to seek new answers to age-old questions about the human condition,
religion, and meanings of life. Providence explains the historic groundwork and psychological basis
for the award-winning book Ishmael. Readers of Ishmael will appreciate the spiritual adventure.”

Amazon Review

“I know MY eyes were opened real wide by Ishmael, and I found this “story of how Ishmael came to be written”
very illuminating. When you realize that Ishmael is the result of fifty years of vision-questing, and not just
a quick novel Quinn typed up in response to Ted Turner’s offer, it brings about even more respect for the great work
Ishmael actually is. I highly recommend this to all fans of Ishmael.”

Amazon Review

“Being a Quinn fan, it should come as no surprise that I snapped up this book immediately.
It should also come as no surprise that I loved it. Quinn’s description of the world on fire brought tears to my eyes…
he had had the experience I suspected I too could have. His journey is his own, and I will have my own,
my reading about his journey once again reminds me of the joy of being alive, of discovering who you really are.”

Amazon Review

“If you are fan of Daniel Quinn (I am) then you will be interested to see his background.
His monastic life seems more like an attempt to hide from the problems of the world than a desire
to serve God, and he recognizes it. If you want to read the story of how a man could get from feeling as
powerless and victimized as the rest of the world to finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, this is your book.
If you want to know what the light looks like for yourself: read Ishmael, The Story of B or My Ishmael.

Amazon Review

“Quinn details his spiritual journey towards his current beliefs and takes us along with him.
An interesting tale about the personal journey of the author of the revolutionary book Ishmael.”

Amazon Review