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In the Fire of the Burning Bush: An Initiation to the Spiritual Life [Paperback]

By Marko Ivan Rupnik (Author)
Our Price $ 12.75  
Retail Value $ 15.00  
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Item Number 143797  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   109
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 6.82" Height: 0.36"
Weight:   0.41 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802828329  
EAN  9780802828323  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
Translated by Susan Dawson Vasquez Foreword by Cardinal Toma pidlik, S.J. The term "spiritual" today means many things to many people. This inspiring book gives Christians a surer footing, showing what church tradition teaches regarding true spirituality and how it can best be lived out amid the hectic pace of modern life. Composed of two insightful essays titled "The Spiritual Life" and "Spiritual Fatherhood: A Majestic Path for Personal Wholeness," In the Fire of the Burning Bush offers an appraisal of Christian faith that will be new to many readers. Marko Rupnik casts his net widely, drawing in helpful reflections on spirituality by ancient and patristic authors from both East and West. While accessible to all readers, Rupnik's rich discussion tackles some profound subjects, including how a correct understanding of spirituality moves beyond common but false oppositions to a perspective that integrates all dimensions of life.

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More About Marko Ivan Rupnik

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rupnik is a Jesuit priest who works as director of the Centro Aletti in Rome and teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Saint Anselm Pontifical Liturgical Institute. Both a visual artist and a theologian, he is also a consultant for the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Marko Ivan Rupnik was born in 1954.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Where there's smoke...  Jun 1, 2005
Marko Ivan Rupnik is a Jesuit priest who combines visual arts and theology in his teaching at several of the Pontifical Institutes in Rome. According to Cardinal Tomas Spidlik in his Foreword, Rupnik is known best for mosaics and paintings. 'Artists know that they don't create new and strange things, but rather are called to reveal what is most real at the very heart of things.' This fire, according to Spidlik and confirmed throughout the text by Rupnik, is the love of God. This is the same kind of fire that burned but did not consume the bush at Sinai in Moses' presence; this is the same kind of fire that inspires people from deep within their souls.

This book is actually a collection of two essays that previously appeared in different compilations by Spidlik. It is by 'popular demand' that they have been brought together in this volume. The first essay is entitled 'The Spiritual Life', and in this Rupnik has three broad sections: Clarifications (or definitions), the Nature of Spirit and Spiritual Life, and finally Verification. As a careful theologian, Rupnik gives ample attention to definitions and clarification of terms and questions. Particularly when dealing with something as slippery as the spiritual, securing a good foundation is crucial.

The spiritual is not a material 'thing', any more than mind is a material thing. There are elements of the material/physical world that impact into the spiritual, but the spiritual is not composition of these. Rupnik develops a bit of the history of the distinction between 'theology' and 'spirituality' in academic and institutional senses, and a tendency toward a 'gnostic' idea of spirituality, as well as the oft-dominant psychological view of spirituality, that sees spiritual experiences mostly in terms of psychology and emotionalism.

In looking at the nature of spiritual life, he draws on the familiar, such as iconographic ideas and the relationship of the Trinity, as well as sacramental presence. He also looks toward a somewhat panentheistic context for finding God in all things, making the ordinary into something extraordinary - Rupnik uses the image of the burning bush for Moses here. But how does one verify that the burning bush is actually a sign from God, rather than something we must rush to extinguish? Rupnik looks at structures such as love, community, vocational discernment and spiritual friendship as ways in which the dynamic relationship with God can be tested, strengthened, pruned when necessary, and shared.

In his second essay, 'Spiritual Fatherhood', Rupnik states that we are living in the declining period of modernity. He states certain cultural elements, such as the increasing difficulty with objectivity, the problems with relationships and ideas such as consolation, and problems with the way our lifestyle changes have not purposefully included spiritual elements (preferring such things as psychoanalysis) as problematic to the way in which spiritual life has traditionally be proclaimed and supported. Rupnik in some ways sounds like a Pentecostal, as he emphasises the work of the Holy Spirit, prayer life, and knowing the inner heart as aspects of spiritual fatherhood; he also highlights the importance of discernment, tradition, and the work of the community in identifying the spiritual leader. 'A spiritual father is discovered following a path that is well-beaten because so many people have already traveled it to get to him.'

It is in the work of this spirituality that the true life becomes real. The spiritual father is called upon to be a witness to the truth of the mercy of God, full of compassion, a good mediator and trustworthy partner in relationships with others and with God. Rupnik also speaks of healing, not in a physical sense per se, but of healing the mind, divorcing oneself from bad memories and feelings that weigh upon the soul. 'The baggage of unassimilated, unreflected, unspiritualised experiences becomes heavy and weighs upon the conscience.'

Rupnik offers concrete examples and spiritual conditions that those who seek a more fulfilling and authentic spiritual life might adopt. His text is occasionally academic in tone, but generally accessible to the discerning and dedicated reader.

This is part of the Ressourcement Series (dedicated to Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought) put out by Eerdmans press - it seeks to provide out-of-print or previously untranslated works to English-speaking audiences. This is a worthy volume in a worthy series.

Write your own review about In the Fire of the Burning Bush: An Initiation to the Spiritual Life

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