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Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering [Paperback]

Dr Trystan Owain Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 April 2010
Everyone suffers at some time or other - it's simply a part of life. But however bad things seem, we are never completely helpless. For the deeply affirming truth is that we can choose how to respond to adverse circumstances. Trystan Owain Hughes suggests that learning how to suffer and how to wait patiently may be the secret of finding joy in our lives. Diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition, he was surprised to discover that, instead of increasing his unhappiness, it spurred him on to seek out sources of hope and meaning. The book opens by encouraging us to take a step back from our anxieties and worries and rest in the love of God. We then explore five areas where that love may be found in the midst of pain: in nature, memory, art, laughter and other people. By becoming conscious of the echoes of the transcendent in these areas, we will gain new strength. And paradoxically, through facing our suffering, learn to truly live.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: S.P.C.K. Publishing (15 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281062498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281062492
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Trystan Owain Hughes is Chaplain at Cardiff University. He attained an MTh from Oxford University and a PhD from Bangor University, Wales. He is the author of Winds of Change (UWP, 1999), Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering (SPCK, 2010), and The Compassion Quest (SPCK, 2013). He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, and BBC Radio Wales, is on the theological commission that assists the bench of Welsh Bishops, and lectures at Cardiff University and St Michael's Theological College, Llandaff. His blog is

Product Description

About the Author

The Revd Dr Trystan Owain Hughes is the Anglican Chaplain of Cardiff University and a member of the theological commission which assists the bench of Welsh bishops.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Not to Miss 15 April 2010
This book is a fascinating read that helps you view suffering from a different angle. It is written in a compassionate, understanding style, but is also remarkably positive for a book about suffering, and is even humorous in parts.

The book is easy to read - as it flows very easily. Helpfully, it is split up into smaller sections, which means it is easier to pick up and put down if you are very busy or not well enough to read much at a time. At the same time it is full of information - I'm looking forward to reading it again to dig deeper. A comprehensive bibliography is provided for anyone wishing to extend their knowledge of the areas covered in the book.

All in all, this book gently helps us to view our suffering in a different light. You might ask how could you possibly see a time of pain, grief, distress, loneliness, isolation or misery in a positive and new light?? You'll need to read this book, as it shows ways that these times can help you find God and grow & appreciate what you still have, despite your suffering.

A book for everyone and anyone, whether life at the moment is tough or not. I really can't recommend it highly enough.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Approach to Suffering 23 April 2010
This slim book dispenses sound advice. Trystan Owain Hughes, an Anglican chaplain, offers fresh angles on how to deal with our own sufferings - however large or small - in his Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering (SPCK, 2010). The idea stemmed from Hughes's own experience of being diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition. The book is packed with rivetting vignettes and peppered with quotations from a range of sources, including movie clips, which help to make the writing accessible. It is steeped in biblical wisdom and draws on the spiritual gurus down the ages. Contemporary perspectives are put forward, and right from the start we kick off with a thought from Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid winger. But this book is not merely a platter of interesting titbits; Hughes serves up a five-course lunch of useful 'building-blocks', encouraging us to endure our sufferings by closer involvement with nature, laughter, memory, art and helping others. If you enjoyed Tom Hodgkinson's How to Be Free, this is definitely worth a read. The importance of living 'in the present moment' is something that I took away from this little gem. I'll let Hughes explain.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is not a race 16 April 2010
By P. Buck
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awareness is everything, the author writes in one chapter, and this theme of seeking enlightenment through an imaginative as well as intellectual exploration of the world around us runs throughout this short book. Despite the fact it can be read in a weekend the book covers a collossal range of material and looks as much to pop music and Hollywood as Plato and Aristotle in order to illuminate its key motif - that life is a journey, not a race, and whatever our difficulties, our duty is, above all, to travel it well.

From Sean Penn's film Into The Wild to the Holocaust reflections of Viktor Frankl, Dr Hughes explores how all of us can learn to 'strip things away' so we have room in our hearts for that which is of real importance - be it natural beauty, family, friendship, art or love. As a jumping-off point for all sorts of other themes and ideas this book is brilliant at pointing the way. Borrowing heavily from scripture as well as other faiths this is a great read for both christians and non-christians alike and casts a welcome light on the dark times all of us have to face.

We live in a world largely unsympathetic to the question of pain, be it physical or emotional, and it takes a huge amount of courage to engage in any discourse about it. People either don't get it or just don't want to hear about it. As someone who lives daily with a long-term chronic illness, I know how hard it can be sometimes to stay positive. Yet this book helps to demonstrate what most of us already understand but sometimes forget - that by viewing the world with open eyes and an open heart, and by valuing the things of real worth, we can affirm our lives and faith and hold on to strength even in the depths of our suffering.

A truly rewarding and thought-provoking read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window on hope, when you most need it 17 April 2010
In this wonderful book the author draws from a wide variety of sources to show us ways to look anew at the times that life challenges us. He offers us a variety of windows through which to look - nature, laughter, art, memory and other people - and through each we can learn to see our pain, however great, however seemingly slight, in a different way; transformed and transforming.

Although the book is written from a Christian perspective, it draws from a number of different religious traditions. Its cultural references are diverse, accessible and stimulating and it offers its message to those of all faiths or none.

In a world and a culture that tries to sweep the messiness of pain or grief out of sight, it is sweet relief to find a book that addresses these issues honestly, openly and positively.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very sound book 13 May 2010
I am not going to repeat the other, very good, reviews of this book. It is excellent and worth using for oneself but I would add that it has very real mileage in being used by self help, bereavement or Parish groups. the chapter layout lends itself well to discussion and the material is contempoary, relivent and powerful. I have used the book with friends and with those of faith and some without and the debates it enabled were very telling. I strongly recommend it to a wide readership.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very uplifting
thought provoking
a blessing to read gave me new insight and encouragement would recomend it to other people who are struggling
Published 12 months ago by julie ann clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Hope and Meaning In Suffering
Finding Hope and Meaning was such an inspirational book for me! It's a really light hearted book that really helps you get back on your feet when you feels like it's you against... Read more
Published on 11 May 2011 by Amber W
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffereing
There cannot be many of us who have not, or will not experience pain & suffering in our lives either ourselves or Family & Friends. Read more
Published on 2 May 2011 by June Haws
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch
This book is a superb example of how to take a sensitive, difficult subject and handle it brilliantly. Read more
Published on 1 April 2011 by Anthony Beer
5.0 out of 5 stars Trystan's book and the psalms
Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering offers a rounded and insightful discussion into how we may suffer and ways of overcoming the wilderness of suffering. Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by Sam Erlandson
5.0 out of 5 stars Colour and Content :-D
This book was a great find in two ways:

Firstly, it added to the purple section of my colour arranged book collection, making my bookshelf more aesthetically... Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2011 by Betti
5.0 out of 5 stars finding hope and meaning in suffering
Easy to read. A positive support and strength giving outlook for anyone who has experienced suffering or who is interested in supporting those who suffer.
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by eelis
5.0 out of 5 stars No easy answers, just a great guide to finding your own way through...
I've met Trystan Owain Hughes through his role as Anglican Chaplain at Cardiff University. He also lectured my wife "God in Film" when she studied Theology in Bangor. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by Simon Braybrook
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for those suffering!
Lots has been written about this book already so I'll concentrate on an aspect that other reviewers haven't! Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2010 by Emile
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Read!
'Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering' is a brilliant attempt by Trystan Owen Hughes at understanding, coming to terms with and overcoming suffering. Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2010 by Mr. M. Hameed
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