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The Song of Songs: A Spiritual Commentary [Hardcover]

Our Price $ 22.94  
Retail Value $ 26.99  
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Item Number 390505  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   136
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   0.78 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2004
Publisher   Skylight Paths Publishing
ISBN  1594730040  
EAN  9781594730047  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

Let Your Deepest Soul Rejoice

You are the Beloved of the Divine Lover. You are loved with a love beyond that which human words can express, which song and pen seek in some way to convey or at least hint at. Let go. Let the currents of love invade you. Let your deepest soul rejoice. from the Preface

In the tradition of Christian mysticism, including Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose of Milan, M. Basil Pennington shares his reflections on the Bible s most challenging mystical text, the ancient love poem that is the "Song of Songs." In this extraordinary volume, Pennington is joined by the profound Jewish artist Phillip Ratner, whose inspired works call forth from Pennington not only transcendent prayer and rich analogy but also the deepest sentiments that are common to every human mind and heart.

Pennington reflects on the ways you can use the "Song of Songs" to fulfill your own unutterable aspirations. Enriched by Jewish and Christian faith, the drawings and meditations speak to you and every person who desires to connect with their deepest, most human longings. Allow yourself to let go and delve into the poetry of "Song of Songs," to find joy in the boundless love of God for you, the beloved child. Allow yourself to experience this story of love human love yearning for the Divine.

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More About Phillip Ratner M. Basil Pennington

M. Basil Pennington M. Basil Pennington is one of today s more respected spiritual beacons. A Cistercian monk with the avocation of author, he has written over fifty books including Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form (1987) and True Self/False Self: Unmasking the Spirit Within (2000). His community is located in Spencer, Massachusetts.

M. Basil Pennington currently resides in Spencer, in the state of Massachusetts.

M. Basil Pennington has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Spiritual Journey
  2. Voice from the Monastery

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Should be used in interfaith dialogue sessions  Mar 15, 2007
A dearly beloved friend of mine purchased this book for me because she said, "It screamed out at me! I had to get it for you". Well, with that kind of endorsement, what truths does it teach?

Interfaith dialogue - it can be done terribly with overtures to fanaticism and bigotry, or it can be rational and tolerant, and even classy. This is such an example.

Readers will probably unconsciously 'feel' the pull of the priest's comments, but it is uplifting, respectful, questioning language, not an indoctrination session. If you are moved by words, allow them to move you. If you are a visual person, give them primacy. There is no right or wrong way to read devtional literature. The artwork is like a window onto heaven. Get it just for the contemplative mindspace the images make ready.

This book is not a 'competition'. Some Christians may 'rejoice' that a Christian got to "control" the words (content), and consequently some folks who are not Christian may pass on that basis. Yes, one might expect a priest to be inclined to have a few christological assumptions about this particular text (as he was ostensibly trained to do in seminary). that a Jewish rabbi, of course, would not. On the other hand, because the priest is also a monk, we could quibble and claim because he is celibate, he can't possibly begin to approach such a sensual subject. Knee-jerk reactions don't take into consideration someone's whole lifetime of experience. And as if the illustrations are not powerful enough to stand on their own, I found myself looking to the depth of spirituality in those as a capstone on the text. So there, am I being biased, in my own way? Hey, at least I can say the presentation "moved" me. One might say I'm an 'educated consumer' in the 'marketplace of religious ideas'. Or does that just sound too elitist?

The authors wouldn't have collaborated, or developed their ideas together, if those thoughts weren't teleologically interfaith. Sorry, but the "Christian ghetto" is built and maintained by Christian hands. So if you won't read this book because nothing is in it besides Christian slogans, your loss. Fine, become a hostile, combative minority, you are free to do just that. The rest of us will, I think, manage to survive without you. Thank God for free speech, my tongue is my freedom.

The publisher would do well to furnish a companion volume where a Jewish person writes the commentary and a Christian illustrates. And then, a Buddhist monk writes his or her reflections on a Koranic verse, with a Zoroastrian providing visualization. Eventually, it'd be like a Baskin Robbins of human creativity, wait, isn't that what we're all supposed to be striving for, anyway?

You may not agree with all viewpoints expressed, but for such a difficult book of the Bible to read, mark, and inwardly digest, the authors show us why the Song of Songs is the holiest and most eternally relevant gift the Hebrews ever gave to the world. You should read this book.

We spiritually inclined people, and especially our leadership, do need to stop speaking FOR the texts we canonized and made holy. This book is a gentle, yet passionately forceful, reminder of that.

And to the clergy/religious educators/intellectuals who write the books that train future spiritual leaders: Spewing "religious" b.s. is STILL b.s. And worse than that, it makes you a "religious jerk". How is that effective? Because if the people sitting in your audience rise up against you, and you by your arrogance allow the work of secularism to be finished, there will be no one left in the congregations for the clergy to talk to...except themselves.

Why it for your parish priest, send it to your local Rabbi, or even just a concerned friend? I'm so glad mine gave it to me.

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