Beyond Denial: Essays on Consciousness, Spiritual Practice and Social Repair

Beyond Denial is an essay collection that sketches a spirituality for our time that is life-affirming and inclusive, intellectually viable and socially responsible. The author, an ordained minister, integrates Judeo-Christian insights with the rich resources of the world’s other religions and wisdom-streams. He emphasizes the centrality of consciousness in spiritual practice. Such awareness comes, first, through fostering experiential awareness of our inherent inner Divinity; and then also, through consciously perceiving—and moving beyond denial of—whatever dysfunctional patterns may plague us both individually and collectively. Rev. Acheson invites his readers to look at a wide range of topics with curiosity, questioning and compassion. This book offers many rich insights and practices that can help guide us toward a more hopeful human future, even in a time of great fear and confusion.

Advance Praise for Beyond Denial

“Sonorous essays that weave progressive ethics, politics, and spirituality into a seamless garment . . . [and] open up thoughtful reinterpretations of Christian doctrine.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“These religion-page musings from a Vermont minister reveal both the obstinacy of our collective denial and the necessity of a well-grounded spirituality to move us beyond it. Only then can we bridge the many impasses threatening our sanity, our democracy, and our planet.”
—Christine Marie Eberle, author of Finding God in Ordinary Time

“Beyond Denial is a series of essays written with a big heart by an ordained minister. The author invites us to practice forms of spirituality that promote self-empowerment, while also leading us to care beyond ourselves through protecting the earth as well as meeting human need in the wider communities of our society.”
—Joyce Slayton Mitchell, author of Landmark Memories: A Vermont Village, 1930s-1960s

“These beautifully crafted essays invite humane and tolerant reflection on our shared responsibility to build a better world.”
—T.H. Breen, author of Will of the People: The Revolutionary Birth of America

“In Beyond Denial Rev. Acheson weaves together such diverse topics as personal self-awareness and climate change; the Gnostic Gospels and the pressures of Christmas; enjoying Vermont summers, and engaging in social action.  These essays offer ways to find resources of “lasting hope and value” in a time of dizzying change and social disruption.”
—The Rev. Maren C. Tirabassi, author of Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s and Other Poems

“Anthony Acheson’s deep wisdom in easy-to-read language reminds me of the teachings of Buddhist sages like Pema Chodron. His reflections will feed you with an understanding of love as the highest form of Intelligence to heal our world and ourselves.”  —Nancy Kilgore, author of Bitter Magic

About the Author

After growing up near New York City, Anthony Acheson earned a BA from Harvard College and a Master of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School. He was ordained in the United Church of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination, in 1977, and has led several UCC congregations (and one Unitarian-Universalist church) in the Midwest and New England. He is also a lifelong musician who has recorded a CD of original compositions. Rev. Acheson is active as a speaker, workshop leader, and writer. He and his partner Nancy live in Vermont and have a daughter and three granddaughters.

302 pages; Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-9505846-6-6
6 x 9, $19.95
Publication Date: July 1, 2021
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & PR: Dede Cummings,

Keywords: Religion, spirituality, Universalist-Unitarian, Buddhism, Vermont

Distributor: IPG; also available through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can pre-order directly from,, online, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741