77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Virtually revolutionized my understanding of Christianity,
This review is from: Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Paperback)
I bought this after reading some of Rohr's articles on the internet and reading the positive reviews of the book (more than 30 of them) at Amazon.com. The book sets out to discuss 'the gift of contemplative prayer' but really does a little less and far more.
'Less' because there is little here about how to get started on this sort of prayer, which has a great deal in common, in terms of the logic and practice of self-emptying, with the silent traditions within Islam, Buddhism, and other religions. Anyone looking for a 'how to' guide could do worse than Thomas Keating's 'Open Mind, Open Heart'.
'More', because Rohr succeeds in presenting a far more profound, challenging, compassionate, and brutally realistic Christianity than anything I have previously come across (as someone who was brought up in an intellectual Catholic atmosphere and now teaches in the general area of religious culture). If you can read beyond the occasionally distracting Americanisms and references to US culture, Rohr offers a comprehensive vision of Christianity rooted in Francis of Assisi (Rohr is a Franciscan) and in the contemplative tradition. He frequently offers biblical citations, leading me to read these passages in a radically different light (Rohr loves the word 'radical', by the way, and it does indeed seem appropriate to much of what he says).
This would be an interesting book to read alongside Matthieu Ricard's 'Happiness'. Ricard is a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and his presentation of Buddhist psychological insights and virtue ethics chimes well with what Rohr is saying. Neither person is interested in making converts or in pressing the claims of their religion - the very notions of identity and 'groups', they would say, is part of the problem. But they do both offer sincere perspectives and very real practical suggestions and challenges for their readers.
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Initial post: 13 Jul 2011 18:48:16 BDT
THANK YOU for this review!!! I was not even distracted (much) by your reference to "Americanisms"...You were very gentle and right on there. I will be placing this book in my basket, really, because of you (but no pressure, eh? :):):)) Please take a look at "Original Blessing" by Matthew Fox, or indeed, ALL of Matthew Fox's writings, as I think they too will "speak to you". I agree that his interprettation of the Mass is not for everyone, but everything else he has to say is valid. He was, as was Hans Kung, "dismissed" by "Ratzy" (I can be so blasphemous because I am not a Catholic), so can speak from both sides of the monestary walls, so to speak.
Hoping all is well with you and yours,
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2014 18:33:46 GMT
C. G. Harding says:
I have only just come back to this page, and seen your comment - for which many thanks indeed! I will now go and look for Matthew Fox writings. Wishing you all the very best.
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