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The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path [Paperback]

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Item Number 118841  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   175
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 13, 2002
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  157075408X  
EAN  9781570754081  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Is Christianity a bland, domesticated religion, unthreatening and easy to grasp? Or is it the most exotic, unexpected, and uncanny of the religious paths? For the mystics and saints and for Robert Barron who discovered Christianity through them it is surely the strangest way. "At it's very center," writes Barron, "is a God who comes after us with a reckless abandon, breaking open his own heart in love in order to include us in the rhythm of his own life." What could be more compelling?

Publishers Description
Is Christianity a bland, domesticated religion, unthreatening and easy to grasp? Or is it the most exotic, unexpected, and uncanny of religious paths? For the mystics and saints -- and for Robert Barron who discovered Christianity through them -- it is surely the strangest way. "At its very center, " writes Barron, "is a God who comes after us with a reckless abandon, breaking open his own heart in love in order to include us in the rhythm of his own life." What could be more compelling?

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More About Robert Barron

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Father Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, the Rector of Mundelein Seminary, and the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award winning documentary about the Catholic Faith. He received a Master's Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America (1982) and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris (1992).
He has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He has also appeared on several media outlets including NBC, PBS, FOX News, CNN, and EWTN. His website, WordOnFire.org, has reached over 3.8 million people and his weekly YouTube videos have been viewed over nine million times. His pioneering work in evangelizing through the new media led Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, to describe him as -one of the Church's best messengers.-

Robert Barron currently resides in Mundelein, in the state of Illinois. Robert Barron was born in 1959.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Discipleship   [1869  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Well-Articulated Path  Aug 29, 2002
In "The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path," Robert Barron argues for a Christianity rooted in spiritual praxis, not abstraction. Barron believes that Christian spirituality - traditionally expressed in movement, practice, and apprenticeship - has been worn thin by accommodation to modernity and become a faint echo of secular culture or a privatized set of convictions. He regards the deculturalization of Christianity as beginning in the subjectivity, rationalism, and suspiciousness of Cartesian philosophy. This cultural mindset was in turn taken up by Christian apologists like Schleiermacher, Tillich, and Rahner who reduced Christianity to something best understood as interior, subjective experience.

The antidote to this development, Barron believes, is a return to spiritual practices that celebrate the playful, embodied, patient, and irreducibly complex working of the mind. According to Barron, we must "plow, climb, will, act, decide, push our way" to insight. To embrace Christianity as a world and a form of life, Barron delineates three paths of spiritual practice. The first involves "finding the center" and is achieved by prayer, pilgrimage, use of religious articles, and fasting. The second, "knowing you're a sinner," is walked by means of confession, truth-telling, and forgiveness. The third, "realizing that life is not about you," is discovered through discernment, works of mercy, nonviolence, and liturgy.

An especially attractive feature of this book is Barron's use of literature to exemplify and expand on his three paths. The selections are aptly chosen, with Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" used for the chapter on "finding the center," Dante's "Purgatorio" for "knowing you're a sinner," and Flannery O'Connor's "The Violent Bear It Away" for "realizing that life is not about you."

Barron's analyses are generally well-done but there were several lapses. I question how one could write a detailed and extended explication of "Brideshead Revisited" without once mentioning there was a character called Lady Julia Flyte? Less serious perhaps, but something that has always bothered me about "The Violent Bear It Away," is the lack of emphasis on the drowning death of the young Bishop. By focussing only on Bishop's baptism by young Tarwater, Barron joins the author and other critics who don't delve into the subject of Tarwater's moral accountability for his death.

One final observation that I feel compelled to make. In his otherwise brilliant treatment of "attachment" as addiction, Barron makes several disparaging remarks about "a culture that puts a premium on good feelings and attempts to deny and medicate depression." Only someone who has never experienced or observed the depredations of clinical depression could make a such an insensitive comment about the medications that allow otherwise ravaged persons to live productive and godly lives.

 

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