Night of the Confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty  -     By: Tomas Halik
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Night of the Confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty

Image Entertainment / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Tomas Halmk is a wise guide for the post-Christian era, and never more so than in his latest work, a thought-provoking and powerful reflection on the relationship between faith, paradox, change, and resurrection.

As the challenges of cultural secularization and dwindling congregation size confront religious communities across North America and Europe, and the Catholic Church in particular, Tomas Halmk is a prophetic voice of hope. He has lived through the political oppression and intolerance of religion that defined Communist Czechoslovakia, and he draws from this experience to remind readers that not only does crisis lead to deeper understanding but also that any living religion is a changing religion. The central messages of Christianity have always seemed impossible, from peace and forgiveness in the face of a harsh world to love and self-sacrifice despite human selfishness to the victory of resurrection through the defeat of the cross. Acceptance of paradox therefore is the way forward, Halmk explains. It is a difficult way that offers an unclear immediate future, but it is ultimately the only honest way.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Image Entertainment
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 0385524528
ISBN-13: 9780385524520
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 04/29/15.

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Publisher's Description

Tomáš Halík is a wise guide for the post-Christian era, and never more so than in his latest work, a thought-provoking and powerful reflection on the relationship between faith, paradox, change, and resurrection.
As the challenges of cultural secularization and dwindling congregation size confront religious communities across North America and Europe, and the Catholic Church in particular, Tomáš Halík is a prophetic voice of hope. He has lived through the political oppression and intolerance of religion that defined Communist Czechoslovakia, and he draws from this experience to remind readers that not only does crisis lead to deeper understanding but also that any living religion is a changing religion. The central messages of Christianity have always seemed impossible, from peace and forgiveness in the face of a harsh world to love and self-sacrifice despite human selfishness to the victory of resurrection through the defeat of the cross. Acceptance of paradox therefore is the way forward, Halík explains. It is a difficult way that offers an unclear immediate future, but it is ultimately the only honest way.

Author Bio

TOMÁŠ HALÍK worked as a psychotherapist during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia and at the same time was secretly ordained as a Catholic priest and active in the underground church. Since the fall of the regime, he has served as general secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops and was an adviser to Václav Havel. He has lectured at many universities throughout the world and is currently a professor of philosophy and sociology at Charles University. His books, which are bestsellers in his own country, have been translated into many languages and have received several literary prizes.

Publisher's Weekly

At the end of the first chapter, Halík (Patience with God) invites the reader not to continue unless he or she is able to explore the Christian faith in terms of paradox. A Catholic priest who has heard a lifetime’s worth of confessions, he has gleaned certain elemental attributes that bespeak deep truths about God, faith, and obedience. Halík speaks out of the experience of living under religious oppression in Communist Czechoslovakia, which may account for the book’s mournful tone. Christianity, he says, means following the “one who did not evade the darkness.” He rebukes the preening and prancing faith healers whose ministries before crowds betray narcissism and megalomania. Faith, as delineated here, is not easy; not fancy; not about formulas, platitudes, or rewards. His theme is mystery, a timely antidote to otherwise predictable notions about authentic belief. Read slowly, it makes sense, if the reader is willing to suspend systems, pietisms, and preconceived categories within the Christian faith, a challenge that does not disappoint. (Jan.)Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

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  1. Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    More than my expectations his is so revealing
    October 10, 2012
    Parcher
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    He write about things I have been thursting for. His way of writeing is so enjoyable and frank.

    I have recommended his books to many friends and Family.
  2. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    fascinating insights hidden in a burdensome read
    July 2, 2012
    juliea
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    If you're not familiar with Night of the Confessor author Monsignor Tomas Halik, you'll want to be sure to check out his bio. It's the stuff of movies, only better, since it's a true story. Between Halik's background and Publisher's Weekly's note of "a Catholic priest who has heard a lifetime's worth of confessions, he has gleaned certain elemental attributes that bespeak deep truths about God, faith, and obedience," I was sold on this book before it even arrived.

    Certainly, Halik had many fascinating insights from his life under communism and his years as a confessor... however, I found every minute I spent with this book to be forced, with the goal of finishing being my sole reason for continuing. Why? Well...

    Halik's style is very particular to a certain genre of writing. Unless you're an accomplished reader of theologians and philosophers, you may find Confessor to be a cognitively cumbersome, with a burdensome flow. Prior to the 1990's, I regularly read books in Halik's style, but in today's era of overabundant information and extreme time demands, I find I prefer to digest the material in real time as I read, rather than spending extra time working through the cognitive demands of structure to get to the concepts. (Incidentally, there were many instances where the flow was more contemporary; however those passages ended up coming across as a disorganized stream of consciousness, thus were no more enjoyable than the "heavy" sections.)

    In addition to warning GenX (and younger) readers of Halik's "old fashioned" writing style , I feel Confessor needs a geographical warning, as well. If you're not a student of European history and philosophy, it is very possible that many of Halik's references will have no meaning to you. That was the case for me; references to Czech philosophers, for example, just don't resonate with an average MidWestern 30-something, even one who devours spiritual reading.

    I wanted to like this book. I expected to like this book. I just didn't.

    (Note: the 2 other reviews I have read both raved about the need to slow down and digest Halik's material over time and with reflection, highlighting that as a selling point for this book. Know your preferences and decide for yourself, I guess.)

    I received this book free from Blogging for Books for the purpose of providing my honest review.
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