The Monks of Tibhirine

Author: John Kiser

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1429997206

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 3077


"The inspiration for the major motion picture "Of Gods and Men" A true story of Christian love set against political terrorism in contemporary Algeria. In the spring of 1996, militants of the Armed Islamic Group, today affiliated with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, broke into a Trappist monastery in war-torn Algeria. Seven monks were taken hostage, pawns in a murky negotiation to free imprisoned terrorists. Two months later, the severed heads of the monks were found in a tree not far from Tibhirine; their bodies were never recovered. The village of Tibhirine had sprung up around the monastery because it was a holy place, protected by the Virgin Mary, who is revered by Christians and Muslims alike. But after 1993, as the Algerian military government's war against Islamic terrorism widened, napalm, helicopters, and gunfire became regular accompaniments to their monastic routine. The harmony between these Christian monks and the Muslim neighbors of Tibhirine contrasts with the fear and distrust among Algerians fighting over power and what it means to be a Muslim. Woven into the story of the kidnapping and the political disintegration of Algeria is a classic account of Christian martyrdom. But these monks were not martyrs to their faith, as preaching Christianity to Muslims is forbidden in Algeria, but rather martyrs to their love of their Muslim neighbors, whom they refuse to desert in their hour of need.

The Slavery of Death

Author: Richard Beck

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1620327775

Category: Religion

Page: 146

View: 3484


According to Hebrews, the Son of God appeared to "break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." What does it mean to be enslaved, all our lives, to the fear of death? And why is this fear described as "the power of the devil"? And most importantly, how are we--as individuals and as faith communities--to be set free from this slavery to death?In another creative interdisciplinary fusion, Richard Beck blends Eastern Orthodox perspectives, biblical text, existential psychology, and contemporary theology to describe our slavery to the fear of death, a slavery rooted in the basic anxieties of self-preservation and the neurotic anxieties at the root of our self-esteem. Driven by anxiety--enslaved to the fear of death--we are revealed to be morally and spiritually vulnerable as "the sting of death is sin." Beck argues that in the face of this predicament, resurrection is experienced as liberation from the slavery of death in the martyrological, eccentric, cruciform, and communal capacity to overcome fear in living fully and sacrificially for others.

The Benedictine Tradition

Author: Laura Swan

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 9780814619148

Category: Religion

Page: 156

View: 1648


When St. Benedict wrote his ?little rule for beginners? in the fifth century, he could not have known it would shape the lives of religious men and women for more than fifteen hundred years. Offering instruction on prayer and community life, Benedict?s Rule espouses the values of humility, prayer, and hospitality that have marked the lives of Benedictines throughout the ages. Benedictines are those persons who commit themselves to the Rule of Benedict, and have been popes and widows, scholars and mystics and lay people from many religious traditions, including Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, and Lutherans. They have lived in monasteries and ashrams, in busy urban centers, and in desert hermitages. Dedicated to God and the practices of the Liturgy of the Hours and monastic life, Benedictines have made significant contributions to chant, theology, and the preservation of spiritual works of literature and scholarship. Represented here is the work of major Benedictine figures throughout the ages, beginning with Pope Gregory?s account of the life of Benedict and arriving at recent statements by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses on conflict in the world. Along with the Rule, the writing of these Benedictines remains as relevant today as in any age. ?Swan and Zagano?s book is a useful starting point for anyone seeking to explore the Benedictine tradition through selected primary texts with biographical introductions. It is accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and will urge them to launch out into other depths of discovery, where they will come to know more fully the author?s claim that ?Benedictine spirituality is enjoying a renaissance.?? S. Ephrem Hollermann, OSB Associate Professor of Theology College of Saint Benedict/Saint John?s University?Sr. Laura Swan?s The Benedictine Tradition is a lovely resource of Benedictine riches for anyone who desires to go more deeply into the nature of the Benedictine life of the spirit. From a 1500-year tradition, she has lovingly selected fourteen figures or groups, each representing a significant quality of Benedictine life. Each chapter begins with a quotation from Benedict?s Rule giving a clue to the quality for which this Benedictine is chosen. A very useful and helpful introduction to teach figure follows, along with some lovely selections from each one?s writings. I found myself slowing down as I read, to be nourished at leisure by the profound words of these persons committed to the Benedictine way. Sr. Laura closes with a chapter quoting from Benedictine prioresses as they reflect in writing on the monastic tradition in light of the demands of contemporary society. Those reflections offer a mirror for the whole of Sr. Laura?s book, which serves as a meditiation on how to be ?in but not of the world,? as a witness and sign of the love of Christ.? Norvene Vest Spiritual Director and Author ?Laura Swan?s eminently useful and enjoyable anthology fills an important gap in contemporary sources for the study of Benedictine spirituality. It stimulates a taste for the multiple, rich expressions of that fifteen century tradition and could well be a handbook for further study. This small volume includes a succinct historical overview of the tradition along with short biographies of some major teachers and writers as context for what can necessarily be only a few well-chosen, brief but substantial and often inspiring, selections from original text. I recommend it for college students, those beginning or renewing their monastic life, Benedictine oblates, and anyone looking for a sure guide to the basic but varied contour of Benedictine history and spirituality.? Katherine Howard, O.S.B. St. Benedict?s Monastery St. Joseph, Minnesota ?In her new book The Benedictine Tradition, Laura Swan has gathered together a very useful collection of readings. Since these selections are gleaned from her own practice of lectio divina, they will prove fruitful for the lectio of others. She has not contented herself with the usual well-known authors, but has ranged far and wide for her anthology. So we hear not only from Pope Gregory, but also from Raissa Maritain; not only from Venerable Bede, but also from Bede Griffiths. Finally , Sister Laura gives us more than little snippets; she gives us substantial excerpts for our spiritual nourishment.? Terrence Kardong, O.S.B. Assumption Abbey Richardton, North Dakota

The Necessity of Witness

Author: Ariaan Baan

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1498201628

Category: Religion

Page: 246

View: 619


The role of witness is a recurring theme in the work of Stanley Hauerwas: it is through enacting the truth in a world of lies, through seeking peace in a world of violence, that witnesses show who God is, who we are, and what the world is like. The Necessity of Witness is a study of Hauerwas and his fascinating but complex understanding of witness. Ariaan W. Baan argues that Hauerwas's approach makes a significant contribution to current debates in systematic theology on the relation between truth and life. Reading Hauerwas can be a precarious adventure. His rhetoric is overwhelming, but his argument is not always crystal clear and carefully formulated. With the help of semiotic and philosophical analysis and biblical exegesis, Baan articulates Hauerwas's intuitions, fills some of the gaps in his argumentation, and discloses hidden biases. The results of this analysis sometimes surprise. Baan notes that unexpected pericopes in Scripture such as Isaiah and Revelation support Hauerwas's account of witness, and concludes that his work offers insight into how in our late modern society such diverse groups as martyrs and pop stars offer implicit witness through their lives.

Anxious Am I?

Author: Alan A. Block

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1666793353

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 210

View: 4781


Following a lifetime rooted in family, schools, culture, and psychotherapy, provoked by the query of a daughter concerning the presence of anxiety in my life, this memoir pursues the presence of anxiety in life and seeks in some context for the concerns with which the author has lived for three-quarters of a century. In the reflections from these situations and influences, he works his way back to stories of personal origin and growth. He has sauntered through persistent issues with which he has been engaged throughout his life, and he has made a few pronouncements, some of which might even ring true. Within these pages, a little wisdom may even be found. And hopefully, with some love and concern, he has responded to the challenging question, “Do you have anxiety?”

Monks and Muslims II

Author: William Skudlarek,Mohammed Ali Shomali

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0814638368

Category: Religion

Page: 132

View: 1860


If Christians and Muslims are to live in peace, encouraging one another to grow in holiness and working together for the good of all God's creation, they must move beyond politicized and often negative images of one another. Monastic/Muslim dialogue issuing from friendship and focused on revelation, prayer, and witness is an important component in this effort. Indeed, it is essential. A conference jointly sponsored by the International Institute for Islamic Studies and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue brought together Iranian Shi‘a Muslims and Christian monastics to Qum, Iran. Their first gathering was held a year previous in Rome, Italy and focused on spiritual topics like meditation and prayer. The second meeting in Qum was an occasion to deepen the bonds of friendship that had already been established. The conference theme centered on friendship and the dialogue explored the scriptural, theological, spiritual, philosophical, and practical bases for friendship between monks and Muslims. This follow up book invites readers to listen in and learn from their conversation and witness.

Reclaiming Humility

Author: Jane Foulcher

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 087907728X

Category: Religion

Page: 354

View: 6839


Does humility have a place in contemporary life? Were Enlightenment thinkers wrong to reject humility as a “monkish virtue” (Hume) arising from a “slave morality” (Nietzsche)? Australian theologian Jane Foulcher recovers the counter-cultural reading of humility that marked early Christianity and examines its trajectory at key junctures in the development of Western monasticism. Humility emerges not as a moral virtue achieved by human effort but as a way opened by grace—as a divine “climate” (Christian de Chergé) that we are invited to inhabit. From fourth-century Egypt to twentieth-century Algeria, via Saint Benedict and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Dr. Foulcher’s compelling analysis of theology and practice challenges the church to reclaim Christian humility as essential to its life and witness today.

Pilgrims and Pilgrimages as Peacemakers in Christianity, Judaism and Islam

Author: Antón M. Pazos

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317080807

Category: Religion

Page: 292

View: 9302


Pilgrimages can be analysed as acts of conflict - such as the Crusades - or also as platforms for relationship building and rapprochement between religions. With a set of contributions from leading experts in the field, this book explores the concept of pilgrimage in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Some specific examples of pilgrimages that helped to strengthen links between different religions or civilisations are explored, ranging from Europe to Asia and from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Even though every pilgrimage that is investigated here has helped to link different worlds, the case studies show that this relationship rarely led to a better in inter-understanding. Nowadays, peaceful coexistence seems to be its greatest achievement.

The Monastic Way

Author: Hannah Ward

Publisher: Canterbury Press

ISBN: 1848254148

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 3363


A book of daily readings drawn from the writings of those who have lived the monastic life in all the major spiritual traditions of the Eastern and Western Churches: Benedictine, Franciscan, Orthodox, Carmelite, and others. For each month there is a specific theme: Starting Out, Seeking Guidance, Living With Others, Balancing Life and so on, through the year. Each theme is introduced by quotations from one of the great monastic Rules, and for each day of the year there is an excerpt from the writings of a huge variety of men and women stretching across the centuries, from 5th century Desert Mothers to Basil Hume, Joan Chittister, Thomas Merton and many more familiar and new names. This is a book for all who are looking to an ancient, rooted wisdom for practical guidance on living in the world today.

The Wisdom of St Benedict

Author: Luigi Gioia

Publisher: Canterbury Press

ISBN: 1786223090

Category: Religion

Page: 232

View: 6906


Luigi Gioia is one of the most insightful commentators on monastic and priestly life today. In The Wisdom of St Benedict he shines the light of monastic spirituality on many aspects of the contemporary Church, including: • Vocation • Christian action • Mission • Leadership and Reform • Prayer and Simplicity • Trials and Suffering • The Experience of God • Listening • The Practice of Theology Practical, wise and informed both by lived experience and a truly impressive breadth and depth of knowledge, he concludes with a refreshing vision of a renewed spirituality for today’s Church.