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The Way That Leads There: Augustinian Reflections on the Christian Life

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2006 / Paperback

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Product Description

Saint Augustine formulated the classic Christian understanding of desire, that "our hearts are restless until they rest in God." Gilbert Meilaender maintains that this frustrated desire lies at the heart of our existence. In The Way That Leads There he takes Augustine as a "conversation partner" for exploring subjects that human beings have wrestled with for centuries---desire, duty, politics, sex, and grief. Meilaender's carefully reasoned, insightful work rescues Augustine from many of our misperceptions and interacts meaningfully with both C. S. Lewis and Catholic moral theology, generating insights on difficult topics. The picture of life that emerges in these pages is one of incompleteness, of our inability to perfect and unify our moral lives. Yet this inability is not a cause for despair; it is rather a call to look, with Augustine, to God as the source and object of our greatest desire.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 080283213X
ISBN-13: 9780802832139
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Saint Augustine formulated the classic Christian understanding of desire, that "our hearts are restless until they rest in God." Gilbert Meilaender maintains that this frustrated desire lies at the heart of our existence. In The Way That Leads There he takes Augustine as a "conversation partner" for exploring subjects that human beings have wrestled with for centuries -- desire, duty, politics, sex, and grief. Meilaender's carefully reasoned, insightful work rescues Augustine from many of our misperceptions and interacts meaningfully with both C. S. Lewis and Catholic moral theology, generating insights on difficult topics. The picture of life that emerges in these pages is one of incompleteness, of our inability to perfect and unify our moral lives. Yet this inability is not a cause for despair; it is rather a call to look, with Augustine, to God as the source and object of our greatest desire.

Author Bio

Gilbert Meilaender is Phyllis and Richard DuesenbergProfessor of Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University inIndiana and a member of the President's Council onBioethics. His many other books include Faith andFaithfulness: Basic Themes in Christian Ethics;Body, Soul, and Bioethics; and Things That Count:Essays Moral and Theological.

Editorial Reviews

Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the ArtsArlin G. Meyer Prize (2007)

Robert Louis Wilken
— University of Virginia
"There is no Christian thinker writing in English today that I enjoy reading more than Gilbert Meilaender, and this new book is no exception. In the company of St. Augustine he ponders what it means to live a mature Christian life. The charm is found not only in Meilaender's wisdom (winnowed by experience) but also in his inventive selection of passages from Augustine (often unnoticed by others) and in the leisurely pace of his prose. Nothing is hurried as Meilaender patiently teases out the issues without rushing to conclusions. This is a book that invites reflection."

William Werpehowski
— Villanova University
"A splendid account of the shape of Christian identity and the Christian moral life. With characteristic wisdom and insight, Gilbert Meilaender develops the continuities and tensions present in our loves for God and neighbor, as they are made manifest in political life, sexual bonds, and the experience of grief. One of our finest Christian ethicists has written his finest book to date."

Expository Times
"This book will be of help to those really seeking to understand what it is to be fully human."

Catholic Book Review
"A series of reflections on Christian living that are uniquely Meilander. . . [The Way That Leads There] gets to the guts of morality. A good read, a good way to keep anchored in the midst of . . . the great ethical debates of the day."

Commonweal
"For all their rigor and perspicuity, [Meilaender's] books are always animated by a careful love. They take part in the 'struggle to distinguish,' but ultimately all their distinctions are for the sake of leading us to Jesus."

America
"Meilaender writes with clarity and verve, respectful of the historical distance between Augustine and us, yet refusing to let that distance separate us from Augustine's wisdom. He has truly provided a rich banquet."

Interpretation
"A gracefully written book. . . It is likely to have greatest value for pastors, and for thoughtful Christians generally, who are looking for some genuine guidance in moral reflection."

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