Sober Spirituality

The Joy of a Mindful Relationship with Alcohol

Cover Art

Where to Purchase

More Options


"Perfect for Christians looking to reassess their relationship with alcohol."--Publishers Weekly

When author and Episcopal priest Erin Jean Warde quit drinking, she heard from many others in a similar situation seeking support. In Sober Spirituality, she combines personal storytelling with theological reflection to offer encouragement, wisdom, and practical insight for readers who want to reexamine their relationship with alcohol.

Warde explores the way our culture promotes alcohol consumption and shows how we can choose to change our perception of alcohol in our spiritual communities. She names not only the challenges of sobriety and spirituality but also the tremendous gifts and blessings that come through quitting drinking or being more mindful about alcohol use.

Readers will emerge with a deeper understanding of how their faith informs daily habits and choices. Sober Spirituality also calls the church to a better understanding of how it can ally with recovery communities. Ultimately, this book declares we are all worthy of an abundant and joyful life in mind, body, and soul.

1. Waking Up
An Unexpected Invitation to Joy through Sobriety
2. From Fundamentalist to Whiskeypalian
When Church Is the Hardest Place to Be Sober
3. How Alcohol Affects the Body
Countering Common Myths about Alcohol's Benefits
4. Freedom from Deception
Exposing the Lies of the Alcohol Industry
5. The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation
Placing Alcohol in Scripture in Its Proper Context
6. Alcohol and Trauma
Showing Ourselves Compassion as We Ask Why We Drink
7. Reading the Big Book with a Box of Chardonnay
Moving Past False Binaries on Our Path to Healing
8. Yet Another Day One
Healing Doesn't Have to Be Linear
9. Sobriety as Incarnation and Resurrection
Reawakening to the Goodness of Our Bodies
10. Sobriety as Liberation
Honoring Black and LGBTQ Wisdom
11. Sobriety as Discernment
Practices That Remind Us of Our Belovedness
Recommended Resources


"Sobriety is absolutely a pathway of spiritual awakening. I'm so grateful to Erin Jean Warde for this necessary and hopeful book on the joy that can be found in a sober spirituality. You are in good hands here. As she shows us, a mindful relationship with alcohol is a beautiful part of how we evolve into the freedom of being fully awake and alive. What a healing gift to the church!"

Sarah Bessey, editor of the New York Times bestseller A Rhythm of Prayer and author of Jesus Feminist

"Erin Jean Warde writes a poetic, tender, and spiritual book grounded in the kind of compassion that is born of deep love. Intersectional and bold, Sober Spirituality weaves personal narrative with research and Scripture. Sober Spirituality is a gentle invitation to explore the divinity within us."

Beverly Gooden, author of Surviving: Why We Stay and How We Leave Abusive Relationships

"What a balm this book is! And not just for those acquainted with addiction (but for them too). My friend Erin Jean Warde offers hard-won wisdom and precious pastoral guidance to anyone in need of tangible hope to get through the day. Sober Spirituality is a beautiful and vital reminder that while our belovedness doesn't begin when we are in recovery, the grace of God can sustain us in that journey, come what may."

David Zahl, author of Low Anthropology and director of Mockingbird Ministries

"My favorite spiritual writing reveals the sacramental nature of all of life, which is exactly what Erin Jean Warde does in Sober Spirituality. She stands humbly yet boldly within the contemplative and mystic traditions, offering words that illuminate the integration of body, mind, and soul within the life of faith. With accessible language, transparent storytelling, and midrashic scriptural interpretation, Warde offers a courageous tenderness to the reader and a loving challenge to the church, identifying areas of our complicity in propping up a culture that prevents people from approaching relationships with alcohol mindfully."

Terry J. Stokes, pastor and author of Prayers for the People

"This book speaks gospel truth--truth that is painful, paradoxical, and beautiful. Both soulful and practical, Sober Spirituality is a trustworthy guide for those who are sober or sober-curious. Erin Jean Warde will make you laugh and then bring you to tears with her honest and courageous truth-telling, grounding you in belovedness every step of the way. An absolute gem of a book from a gem of a human."

Danielle Shroyer, author of Original Blessing: Putting Sin in Its Rightful Place

The Author

  1. Erin Jean Warde
    Katie Wolfe & Gab Owermohle

    Erin Jean Warde

    Erin Jean Warde (MDiv, Seminary of the Southwest) is an ordained Episcopal priest, spiritual director, recovery coach, and speaker who lives in Austin, Texas. She offers a course (Discerning Sobriety), Substack community, and podcast. She is also a founding...

    Continue reading about Erin Jean Warde


"Episcopal pastor and recovery coach Warde debuts with an eye-opening account of seeking sobriety in a booze-soaked church culture. . . . Warde's pastoral perspective and empathetic tone will help readers feel seen but not judged. This is perfect for Christians looking to reassess their relationship with alcohol."

Publishers Weekly