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Abiding: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2013 by [Quash, Ben]
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Abiding: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2013 Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 264 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Ben Quashs Lent book is a tremendous piece of writing which challenges and inspires in equal measure. It is full of profound but accessible theological insights which give pause for prayerful thought. --Theology

About the Author

Ben Quash is Professor of Christian Theology and the Arts at King's College London, UK.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 871 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum; 1 edition (22 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ARH7K40
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #298,070 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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This is a beautiful book. It is intelligent, lucid, subtle, and very hard to put down. Ben Quash writes with great integrity and relevant personal reflections, on the meaning of 'abiding' in places, communities, relationships, and one's own mind and body. Quash is Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King's College London and each chapter employs examples from literature, films, paintings etc. These are thought provoking (sometimes surprising) and perfectly illustrate his points. A 'popular' rather than a strictly 'academic' book, this is the product of great scholarship and deep insight and there is nothing whatsoever 'dumbed down' about it. Much theological writing is essentially abstract; this is theology which acknowledges the great mystery of the divine but focuses on the reality of lived existence, deftly handling the relationship between the mysterious and the inhabited, and making a significant contribution to answering the question 'How can I live in relationship with God and with other people?' Although there is, necessarily, a Christian focus to this book, its sensitive insights into the human condition would make it a valuable read for anyone of any faith or none. If you read one book this year, make it this one.
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This book is easy to read as it is so well written. It contains material that stimulates the reader to go to the roots of belief, whatever the starting point of faith or even no faith. This is just what is needed at a time when so many are made to feel insecure. It does not offer glib answers but encourages a discovery of fresh insights into fundamental and eternal truths that make sense in, and indeed of, the turmoil of these days.
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A truly fascinating read. He opens the words of the Bible in a way that I had never thought of before. His honesty and generosity in relating personal topics (alcoholism in his family, being divorced) made me feel very peaceful. As a divorced woman myself, I used to feel upset about feeling a "failure" and his comments on abiding by our feelings and maybe seeing divorce in a different way (we are always linked to our ex's, even in our feelings, negative or positive)was rather reassuring.

His comments on relationships (i.e. staying with the ones that are lousy, and facing the monsters within them) was refreshing, to say the least. I love the way he says what he thinks, in a very readable and open manner. Good for him.

It is challenging to think of the Bible as a modern day book, and after reading "Abiding", I have to say that I would read the Bible in at least one totally different way.

He comments on the way our world today is suspicious of others, and "voyeuristic" (even if this is not the actual word he uses). See Facebook, and the way we create new images of ourselves, and the insecurity issues this is based on.

Great stuff. Hope he has other books. I'd read them all.
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It threw new insights into the word `ABIDING` and into the nature and different aspects of abiding. I try to manage at least to make the effort of tackling one Lent Book each year - and often fail! This really was something special and one of the greatest things to me was the openness and the humble approach of the author. As I am on the edge of my second child-hood I feel that it would be great to sit at his feet as one of his students. Thank you Professor Quash
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I have greatly enjoyed and learned from other work by this author so I was somewhat disappointed with this book.

For a Lent book, the chapters are overlong (even the epilogue) for group use and require some stamina for individual reading, especially if one is to meditate on their contents rather than merely reading them.

By far the most relevant chapter was about exile. Most lay Christians have to live most of their lives in the secular world and to negotiate Christian vales along with worldly ones (And there is woefully little guidance from clergy about how to do this.)

There's also some good exegesis based on what the Greek in some texts actually says. Especially good was his looking at the word `truth' as in `I am the way, the truth and the life' which is often used to assert the exclusiveness of Christianity and to denigrate other religions. Behind this saying of Jesus is Aramaic which will not allow such a view to be valid if built on this text.

I also liked his take on the `many mansions' mentioned in John - not a pie in the sky reward for urchin children normally unable to get into the squire's house but a space for everyone in diversity: something the present Anglican Communion needs to get its head around as it seeks to exclude and even punish some minority groups.

One query: The author says that S. Augustine of Hippo believed that peace was more deeply encoded into the DNA of the universe than conflict. Given the times through which he was living, with the fall of the Roman Empire, I am surer this was very reassuring. But is it true? We seem to live through endless conflicts.

One niggle: the author's response to biblical illiteracy is to suggest that religious education in schools be used to teach the bible.
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