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Deeper Than Words [Paperback]

David Steindl-Rast
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2010
Spiritual teacher and bridge-builder Brother David Steindl-Rast translates the Apostles' Creed for today, uncovering the deeper universal truths that can be an inspiration to all people.
In Deeper than Words: Living the Apostles’ Creed, Brother David reexamines the words with which the early followers of Jesus summarized their faith. Reading line-by-line with an open perspective, he reveals the often overlooked message of trust, compassion, peace, love, and awareness contained in this widely known but rarely examined statement.  
     Deeper than Words moves beyond ritual and exclusivity and instead finds a deeper faith based in real human experience and the sense of limitless belonging that is shared by all people who seek to understand themselves and the world. The words of the Apostles' Creed are Christian, but its heart is a universal and timeless guide to fullness of life. From this transformation perspective, developed over a lifetime of contemplation, Brother David presents a powerful call to renewal through reconnection with the spiritual and a reawakening to shared sacred truths.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Image (1 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307589617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307589613
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 15.7 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars profound 18 Feb 2014
By red
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
brother david is a giant of a man,profound teachings,a truly wonderful man
the world needs to listen to his words
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a wonderful and insightful book 14 Oct 2010
By sallyc
i find this book to be deep, certainly, and to throw light on areas that have always confused me in Christianity. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a deep interest in religions of the world
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Deeper Than Words 15 Nov 2012
By harriet
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sometimes we "rattle off" the words of the Creed during the Liturgy. Believe me, you will never say the Creed in the same way again after you read this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special book 30 July 2010
By PrickliestPear - Published on Amazon.com
There is something a bit jarring about seeing the words "Apostles' Creed" and "Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama" printed on the cover of a book, but the name of the author reassures us that somehow it will end up making a great deal of sense.

That's because the author is Brother David Steindl-Rast, an Austrian-born Benedictine monk, who is one of the great teachers in our Church. He has been a leading figure in the Church's dialog with Buddhism, a tradition for which he has developed considerable sympathies. He explains in the introduction how he came to write this book at the urging of the Dalai Lama, and why he chose the Apostles' Creed, of all things.

The Creed basically provides Brother David with his Table of Contents: there are twenty four chapters, each devoted to one line (or in a couple of cases, part of a line) of the Creed.

Each chapter is divided into four sections. Referring to the line in the Creed that serves as the title of the chapter, he asks, "What does this really mean?" and he offers an interpretation of the line. Then he asks, "How do we know this is so?" and explains his answer to the first question. He then asks, "Why make such a point of this?" which he answers by explaining why this matters to us today. Finally, he ends each chapter with his personal reflections.

There wasn't a single chapter in this book that I didn't find deeply thought provoking. Brother David takes the familiar words of the Creed--words that for many people have become stale and lifeless, if the droning recitation one hears in Church is any indication--and reveals unfamiliar depths of meaning, reading the Creed as a faith proclamation in poetry, rather than a prosaic checklist of beliefs.

His non-literal interpretation of the Creed will probably not endear him to the mythic membership crowd. Anyone looking for a reflection on a literal virgin birth or ascension into heaven will be disappointed. But even the events Brother David acknowledges as historical--suffering under Pontius Pilate, crucifixion, death and burial, etc.--are here interpreted as having a deep and enduring significance, well beyond their historical facticity.

Readers of Brother David's previous works will not be surprised to find frequent quotations of poetry. He quotes from Gerard Manley Hopkins, Theodore Roethke, Jessica Powers, Mary Oliver, Kabir, and Patricia Campbell Carlson, among others. I often get a little impatient when writers quote poetry, but in Brother David's work poetry is never used as mere ornamentation or for showing off.

After reading the introduction (and the foreword by the Dalai Lama) I expected there would be more frequent references to Buddhism than there actually were. But this is quite thoroughly a Christian book, in a very catholic, which is to say "all-embracing," way. Indeed, his rather generous interpretations of the Creed's "Holy Catholic Church" and "Communion of Saints" will leave exclusivists shaking their heads in indignation. (This is not a criticism, just an observation.)

So how, then, does Brother David further the cause of interreligious understanding? He does not do this by suggesting that the Christian beliefs expressed in the Apostles' Creed are the same as those expressed by Buddhists or Hindus. Rather, he shows that the essential Christian message is a universal message of faith and love, of belonging and sharing, that transcends the boundary lines we draw around ourselves in the name of religion.

The great scholar of religion Huston Smith wrote of this book:

"I have always felt that in endorsing a book I was honoring the book and its author. Brother David's Deeper Than Words, however, brought a new and startling sensation: I found myself sensing that the book was honoring me by allowing me to endorse it. Never before have I felt this way about a book."

I feel much the same way. This is truly a very special book.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure for post-conventional Christians 27 Aug 2010
By helping hand - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This latest book from Br David Steindl-Rast provokes inquiry into fundamental questions such as who Jesus Christ is for us today? Readers will need time to ponder these and other questions that are sure to come with a careful read. This book will be a real treasure for many who find they can no longer find meaning in traditional understandings of their faith, but who wish to go deeper.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you David Steindl-Rast 7 July 2010
By N. busenbark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is know way to explain this book, it is truly "Deeper Than Words." Wonderful....you no longer look at The Apostles' Creed like some mundane prayer we recite over and over. It comes to life, you see Jesus, you feel his Joys, his Sorrows, and more than anything you feel his Peace and Love reaching out across the centuries to all people everywhere...with a mission that cannot be ignored. Thank you for this book David Steindl-Rast
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gently moving forward 27 Sep 2010
By Di Shearer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read Deeper than Words over a couple of weeks and gratefully imbibed the insights which Br David brings, both from the depths of Christian tradition and from contemporary spirituality. I love his ability to take words apart and state plainly and simply what they mean, both in past context and in present day realities. I am deeply grateful that in my own moves forward, I have the company of such a gentle, wise and generous person of faith. Thank you.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening! Inspiring! 28 Sep 2010
By jean p nothmann - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a banquet of spiritual food....to be savored....slowly.....

Pages 46-52 AND IN JESUS CHRIST--extremely profound, with an inclusive message that's comforting in our world of heightened religious tension...."Our knowledge of Jesus is mediated through others. The Christ in us we know firsthand, even if we never heard of Jesus...". These 6 pages are worth the price of the book!!

My deepest gratitude, Brother David, for giving us "the gift" of your wisdom and insight!

My network of friends includes Christians, Jews, Agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus ....where this valuable book will be used as a feast for discussion!

Deeper Than Words: Living the Apostles' Creed
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