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LISTENING IN A LOUD WORLD (Religious Studies) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   145
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 26, 2005
Publisher   Mercer University Press
ISBN  0865549516  
EAN  9780865549517  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this astonishing book, the author's purpose is to help transform individuals by fostering a spirit of holy listening that enriches faith and opens seekers to the fullness of God's presence and of the neighbor's need. The intent is to help the reader develop a faith that seeks understanding and makes real meaning in a world of chatter. In each chapter, a prominent work of art is interpreted, which serves as a focal point for demonstrating how the eyes and the heart are integrally involved in hearing the Spirit of God. The book explores why holy listening is so difficult by examining key hermeneutical issues within the biblical text and by considering the nature of God, the journey of faith, and human limits. This illuminating book also examines the spiritual need for holy listening and analyzes critical questions of faith that lead to a greater awareness of self and the church in the mutual calling to be the incarnation of Jesus Christ in a postmodern world. Essential in the task of holy listening is an awareness of the importance of spiritual rest and the role the Sabbath plays in providing an opportunity to participate in the redeeming work of God. In this regard, the book underscores the need for faith that is both a linear journey toward wholeness and an ability to make home and community along life's way. The need for holy listening is made even more acute by the reality of suffering that accompanies life's pilgrimage, and the book ponders the meaning of suffering and how it can open one to the presence of the divine. More than a theological analysis of suffering, the book addresses the author's effort to listen for redemptive meaning in light of his own daughter's struggle withjuvenile diabetes. The book concludes with a discussion of the spiritual value of silence as the way to experience anew the story of Jesus who beckons those who listen to follow through a life of service and love.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An exceptionally well written exploration of the value in listening to God  Apr 8, 2006
Listening In A Loud World by Robert C. Shippey (Shorter College, Rome, Georgia) is an exceptionally well written exploration of the value in listening to God. Enlightening the reader on what role they play as a reflection of God in their lives and in the world, and just how they might improve their mentality by utilizing their more perceptive ear, Listening In A Loud World accessibly examines how far awareness may bring an individual, and is therefore quite highly recommended for both non-specialist general readers and dedicated students of the Christian faith.
Such clarity of insight and articulation  Feb 5, 2006
Few writers possess such clarity of insight, much less the skill to articulate thier observations in a way that the reader can truly appreciate what is being discussed. Dr. Shippey is obviously a profound thinker and scholar, but he writes in a way that does not confuse or condescend. He includes, encourages, and relates to those of us with average and sometimes superficial understanding. His overall theme of what the love of Christ really is and is not as relates to organized religion is most open hearted and non judgemental which is what the teachings of Christ were. Even if, especially if, one has ever felt rejected or judged concerning Christianity, this book clearly relates the true meaning of being a follower of Christ and loving one's neighbor. It is a good lesson also for churches that my unknowingly be turning people away.

Shippey's inclusion of the study of human nature and response to the Gospel through artwork of different eras is intriguing, and like the rest of the book allows the average a glimpse of astute appreciation and understanding that one such as myself would not "see" without such guidance.

The book also examines the eternal question many have concerning God about why there is suffering, hurt, and evil in His universe. Shippey's personal experiences and struggles with these questions again enlighten and encourage the reader.

A delightful encouraging read! I highly recommend this work for all who are interested in sharing the love of Christ in all that they do, especially those whose profession is about doing so.

Holy listening  Nov 10, 2005
Robert Shippey's book on listening and discernment is a wonder. It is a brilliant book in many respects. Shippey weaves his own life experience, the experiences of others he's known, the experiences of others in the past, and ideas about listening into a text that is both thoughtful and inspiring. Shippey is very good at bringing in modern images and popular ideas to the text, to make it directly relevant and accessible. 'Can you hear me now?', the popular catch-phrase in an advertising campaign, serves as one example; the corporate malfeasance at places such as WorldCom and Enron also serve as examples. This helps to make the book timely and engaging.

Shippey also uses art in an interesting way. He relates famous paintings, such as Caravaggio's 'Supper at Emmaus', Picasso's 'Guernica' and 'La Crucifixion', and Rembrandt's 'Return of the Prodigal Son' to the task of highlighting truths about listening, engagement with the holy, and our way of relating to the important things in life. Shippey makes the point early that there are many ways of listening, which include listening with attentive eyes, and this interplay with works of art helps to demonstrate that point well.

Shippey identifies one of the key faults in holy listening in that we are much more likely to seize upon individual and categorical divisions that our commonality - 'our society likes to struggle with the big sins of life.... We are inclined to emphasise individual impropriety because we are uncomfortable confessing the utter state of fallenness, which is the human condition common to us all.' Shippey correctly identifies that no amount of learning and scholarship will tend to overcome these things by themselves; indeed, they often serve for vehicles of inappropriate pride, itself a part of the fallenness we all share. We are separated from God in vertical and horizontal ways; we are separated from God in individual and communal ways. Our task is to work toward better listening to understand how best to overcome these difficulties of separation.

Shippey includes chapters on seeking wholeness, working when we are wounded or hurt, and working toward intentional community and understanding of ourselves in context of our communities. Shippey's references include many people that I consider strong mentors - Henri Nouwen, Parker Palmer, Augustine, and more. He has an interesting collection of pieces in his bibliography, which includes poets, prophets, theologians, scholars, and even his own daughter, Margaret, whose story of struggle with diabetes is also includes as an example in the text.

The final chapter gives a short but worthwhile list of questions that one might engage in a process of vocational discernment and holy listening. This is useful in life in many ways, not simply for those who are seeking a particular ministry in a particular church - it is a sad thing that churches and schools do not use this kind of vocational discernment on a regular basis with all people in their communities. Shippey's book extends the opportunity for self-reflection and personal discernment to all who read it, while retaining the preference for such to be done in a communal context.

When I first received this book, I shared it with a friend, who seemed to turn instinctively to the last two pages; she read this intently, and declared afterward that she had to borrow the book as soon as I was finished. When reading those same passages myself ('Beginnings' is the section heading for the last piece in the book), I saw what she meant. 'It is easy to give up and even easier never to start,' Shippey writes. 'There are so many who already have the answers and are more than willing to impart their special knowledge. But genuine listening of the heart borne out of complete devotion to God requires intentional effort in a loud world.'

This is a wonderful book.

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