A Cry of Absence

A Cry of Absence

4.09 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 15.24mm | 226.8g
  • HarperSanFrancisco
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Ill.
  • 0060654368
  • 9780060654368

Review Text

Theology as a cri du coeur: painful, eloquent Christian meditations on the dark side of existence. The most personal of Marty's two dozen or so books, this one was apparently inspired by the recent death of his wife (though he refers to his bereavement only in veiled terms). The "winter of the heart" is the desolate psychic season marked by the death of those we love and the heightened foretaste of our own inevitable end. it is, beyond that, the whole spectrum of human misery as perceived by the believer - the "scandal" over the conspicuously unsaved condition of the world. This state of affairs, which chills the soul with "apathy, anomie, and accidie," calls for a wintry sort of spirituality, as opposed to the overheated certainties ("Christ is the Answer," etc.) of summery religion. In his hour of need, Marty seeks help from austere thinkers like Karl Rahner, not from glad-handing evangelicals (he names no names) with glazed-over smiles. Actually his main recourse is to the Book of Psalms, and he spends much of his time explaining how he read it and wrestled with it. One of the reasons, it seems, that the Psalms appealed to him was their lack of any perspective on the afterlife - other than an occasional and altogether gloomy evocation of Sheol. Bracketing for the moment Christian faith in resurrection, Marty turns to the agony and hope of Old Testament Jews as the most appropriate wintry mode for encountering God. Despite some signs of being written in haste (repetitions, sketchiness), this sermon/confession/scriptural-commentary is distinguished by its stark intensity and its utter lack of cheap consoling rhetoric. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

21 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 48% (10)
4 19% (4)
3 29% (6)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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