Welcome to the World of Frederick Buechner

Frederick Buechner (pronounced BEEK-ner) is an American writer and theologian. He is the author of more than thirty published books and has been an important source of inspiration and learning for many readers. His work encompasses many genres, including fiction, autobiography, essays, sermons, and other nonfiction. Buechner’s books have been translated into twenty-seven languages for publication around the world. Buechner’s writing has often been praised for its ability to inspire readers to see the grace in their daily lives.

Buechner has been called a "major talent" by the New York Times, and "one of our most original storytellers" by USA Today. Annie Dillard (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) says: "Frederick Buechner is one of our finest writers." As stated in the London Free Press, "He is one of our great novelists because he is one of our finest religious writers." He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and has been awarded nine honorary degrees from such institutions as Yale University and the Virginia Theological Seminary. In addition, Buechner has been the recipient of the O. Henry Award, the Rosenthal Award, the Christianity and Literature Belles Lettres Prize, and has been recognized by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. 

The Buechner Speaker Series, inaugurated in 2008 at King College in Bristol, TN, is dedicated to the work and example of Frederick Buechner, exploring the intersections and collisions of faith and culture that define our times. 

Additional information about Mr. Buechner may be found on his Wikipedia page.

We invite you to explore this website where we provide an extensive collection of information, and opportunities for interaction, regarding Frederick Buechner and his work. On the home page you will find our Blog as well as links to all the unique features of this site. You can also visit the MyBuechner area where you can personalize your own Buechner experience by signing up for a Buechner Quote-of-the-Day, Weekly Sermons, and newsletters. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Frederick Buechner Center

The Frederick Buechner Center was established to share the works of Christian author Frederick Buechner with communities around the world. All after-tax net profits of the Frederick Buechner Center website are donated for educational and charitable purposes including the Home for Little Wanderers, the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, the Vermont Foodbank, the Salvation Army, and ChildFund.  Frederick Buechner, the Frederick Buechner Center, and his family have given over $1 million to a variety of charities.

Attempting to describe Frederick Buechner’s writings through a series of themes is a bit like trying to reduce art to three primary colors. As Brian McLaren writes, in his foreword to Buechner’s book Secrets in the Dark: “I have no desire to analyze what makes Buechner’s writing and preaching so extraordinary. Neither do I want to account for Bob Dylan’s raspy mystique, the peculiar beauty of a rainbow trout in a riffle, or a thunderstorm’s magnetic terror. I simply want to enjoy them. They all knock me out of analysis and smack me clear into pleasure and awe. So, in Buechner’s case, please spare me the burden of analysis and permit me the pleasure of observation….” Or from Walter Brueggemann: “Buechner uses words with such transformative power that any comment on them is like the moon palely reflecting the sun.” There is no question that Buechner’s writings defy analysis. Fortunately, Dale Brown’s The Book of Buechner: A Journey Through His Writings does a wonderful job of identifying a set of common threads through Buechner’s books, and our presentations here on some of Buechner’s themes rely heavily on Dr. Brown’s great work. So here are seven themes that, while not comprehensive, will provide you with an introduction to Buechner’s writings and the messages embodied therein.  Click on a title below to visit that theme.

Listening To Your Life

Perhaps the most unifying theme throughout all of Buechner’s writings; Buechner exhorts us to “pay attention” because God is constantly at work in our everyday lives.

Faith Despite Doubt

Buechner provides us with a nuanced but practical perspective on faith, through both his fictional characters and his own memoirs and sermons.

Hope Through Grace

Virtually all of Buechner’s books deal with life’s many challenges – the human condition, with all our frailties and imperfection. But despite ourselves and whatever we do, God is always there to support us through His grace.

Searching For Meaning

Buechner portrays many of his fictional characters as searching for something beyond themselves – searching for meaning, or searching for God, perhaps without even realizing it.

Our Shared Story

“I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell.” (Telling Secrets)

Meaning of Christian

Buechner is known for not being overtly prescriptive, dogmatic, nor “preachy” in his writings. He more typically asks many questions and provokes thought more than he draws harsh lines in the sand. Nonetheless, Buechner has quite meaningful and compelling messages regarding what it really means to follow Christ.

Sinners As Saints

Buechner’s characters embody both the reality that we are all sinners, but also demonstrate how faith reveals itself, and how God is revealed, in oftentimes surprising places.