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Building Jerusalem: A Portrait of My Father [Hardcover]

Alan Bullock,Baron Bullock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 Feb 2000
Frank Allen Bullock was born in March 1887 on the borders of Somerset and Wiltshire, the son of a signalman on the Great Western Railway. He left school at 13 and became a gardener, a craft at which he excelled. But he continued his education by spending what money he could spare on buying second-hand copies of Carlyle, Macaulay, Froude and whatever else he could find or borrow, and in early manhood he discovered a talent for speaking. After a brief involvement wirh Liberal politics, he decided to become a Unitarian minister. In 1926, Bullock was appointed minister of the Unitarian Church at Bradford in Yorkshire, where he lived for the rest of his life, and where he preached virtually every Sunday until his death in 1964. Eventually, he became for a year President of the General Assemby of the Liberal and Free Christian Churches in Britain. This book distils and summarizes the remarkable and highly individual religious thought - from the Buddhist, Hindu and mystic as well as Christian traditions - which Bullock worked out and presented in his sermons. But it also draws on the many series of lectures that he gave contemporaneously on psychology, literature and the arts, which evolved in their course a unified view of man, his spritual nature, the crisis of the 20th century and the possibility of life fulfilled. No spiritual or intellectual tradition was alien to him; he believed that the answers which the different traditions gave to the perennial questions that men and women ask themselves tend in the same direction. The passion with which he preached and taught are clearly visible in this book from his own words.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; First Edition edition (3 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713993626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713993622
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,260,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Certain religious groups have allowed their members the freedom to think and devise their own understandings of the world,one such being the Unitarians or Unitarian Universalists as they are known in the USA.This book is about Frank Bullock,an English Unitarian minister who lived from 1887 to 1964. Alan Bullock,a life peer in the House of Lords,the son of this book's subject, is an Oxford historian and he has used his analytical skills and depth of understanding to examine and clearly demonstrate his father's originality of thought and breadth of vision.Many of Frank Bullock's intuitions and insights are now common place amongst even mainstream Christians but as a Unitarian he was free to think beyond the confines of his time's norms and what he said can still appear fresh - and even invigorate a contemporary enervated mind. His son's appreciation of,and pride in,his father's work fills the book with a serious warmth that in no way becomes cloying or intrusive. What I found most pleasing in the book was the way it enabled me to take meaning again from the gospel stories.Having long ago abandoned them as untrue,having found the effort to disentangle fact from myth too tedious,it was a relief to read of them straight-forwardly as myth,psychological truth and imperatives to understanding and action- never having to cross my fingers whilst pretending assent to dogmatic truth. 'Building Jerusalem' deals with the general component parts of today's religious humanism and records an evolutionary picture of Frank's thought,which itself records a comprehensive picture of human thought. The book is a clear exposition of a serious and enlightening thinker.One comes away wishing to know father and son and thinking them lucky in each other.
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