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A story of learning to navigate the world in the absence of theological certainty.
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Through the Kaleidoscope

How Exploring Cell Biology Transforms My Relationship with God

Hi <<First Name>>,

Growing up evangelical, Elizabeth Jeffries was certain about how the world worked. She had an unfalsifiable understanding of scripture, sin, God’s will, and the role of women, and she carried this same certitude into her graduate study of cell biology. There, rather than discover the simplicity of the natural world as she had hoped, she instead discovered the simplistic lenses through which she was viewing the world all along.

In her first book, a work of deep reflection and vulnerable storytelling, Elizabeth invites readers to candidly tour her conservative Christian upbringing and the self-condemning doctrines that shaped her identity. With grace and intelligence, she critically engages her past without condemning it. She draws from her insights in the laboratory and offers a brilliant new set of metaphors from the field of cell biology to help reframe concepts like identity, community, certainty, perfectionism, and truth. The result is a rich tapestry of the scientific and the sacred.

Through the Kaleidoscope is Elizabeth’s journey through the emergence, maturation, and collapse of the evangelical worldview—as well as her reenchantment with an inclusive truth too deep and too wide to ever be contained in just one set of religious metaphors. 

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Praise for Through the Kaleidoscope

Through the Kaleidoscope blends poetry and biology in a way that will both inspire and educate. It’s a breath of fresh air in the conversation between faith and the sciences—and honors both as it unfolds.”
Mike McHargue, co-founder of The Liturgists and host of Ask Science Mike

“Jeffries’ writing is inviting, weaving her love for cell biology with her love for God in powerful, poignant, thought-provoking stories. Her book opens us up to seeing the world of science and faith in a new way—in a way that gives us the space to ask 'What if ... ’”
Rev. Donna Frischknecht Jackson, editor, Presbyterians Today magazine

“Elizabeth has found a way to articulate the things we all think but rarely know how to put into words. Her blending of faith and science to draw parallels between what’s going on in each of us at both a physical and metaphysical level is spellbinding. Each chapter will give you greater courage to face your deepest questions with confidence that life can and will emerge on the other side!”
Ryan May, Lead Pastor of The Net Church in Chattanooga, TN and author of Stuck in the Middle

“Who would imagine that cellular biology would reveal truths about our spirituality and community? As she wrestles with her fundamentalist Christian upbringing, Jeffries deftly explores worlds big and small, weaving together stories and science to give us a new lens on faith.”
Rev. Sue Washburn, Pastor of Reunion Presbyterian Church

About the Author

Elizabeth Jeffries is a science writer who invites her readers to find meaning in the natural world. In her laboratory research experience as a PhD molecular biologist, and in her work as a freelance science and medical writer, Elizabeth sees connections between the patterns of nature and the human experience.

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