In the novel, Jayber Crow, where does his spirituality come from and how does he live out faith in his life?What made him resist organized religion?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jayber Crow answers what he believes to be a call to the ministry, he goes to college.  Here he begins to discover what he considers inconsistencies in the Bible.  True to his simple nature, he admits that he is able to accept only the words of Christ, and decides that if the most important prayer is "Thy will be done," than what is the purpose of all other prayer?

Though he does not become a minister and continues to ask questions of life and faith, Jayber Crow does not altogether resist "organized religion."  He does, after all, still attend church and attempt to accept its teaching.  However, what this character likely would attribute most of his faith and spirituality to, rather than church per se, is love.  He is a very down-to-Earth character, who, though seemingly simple, actually has a sense of understanding in his faith that he believes many church people and preachers do not.  He bases his faith on what he has seen, experienced, and what he observes on a daily basis, combined with how he feels.  Of the difference between his spirituality and the spirituality of those he observes in the church he says:

I took to studying my teachers...who were also preachers...Everything bad was laid on the body, and everything good was credited to the soul. It scared me a little when I realized that I saw it the other way around. If the soul and body really were divided, then it seemed to me that all the worst sins—hatred and anger and self-righteousness and even greed and lust—came from the soul.

Crow is a character of whom it could be said, "What you see is what you get."  He does his best to live an upright life, he honors the people and the places where he is at the moment he is with them, and he takes very little for granted.  His faith is evident in the respect and purpose with which he simply lives out his life.

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Jayber Crow

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