Publishers Newsletter - May 2024

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Dear Friends,


Bede Griffiths (1906-1994), one of the great pioneers of East-West dialogue, was. an English Benedictine monk. He volunteered in 1955 to establish a monastery in India, drawn by some instinct that there he would discover “the other half of his soul.” He soon came to believe that the secularized West had much to learn from India and its instinctive “sense of the sacred.” Adapting his monastery to Indian culture, he donned the saffron robe of a Hindu holy man, and tried through his worship and in his writings to express the heart of the gospel through modes of Indian thought and spirituality.

            Orbis has re-published Griffith’s book, Return to the Center. Originally published fifty years ago, it is the fruit of a lifetime spent in prayer and meditation, reflecting “on what India has done to me, on how my mind has developed, on the changes which have taken place in my way of life and in the depths of my soul.” For seekers of all traditions, Return to the Center is a classic of spiritual exploration and adventure. This new edition is enhanced by a long essay, “My Discovery of India,” and a profoundly insightful introduction by Cyprian Consiglio, OSB Cam.

            Not every spiritual exploration crosses oceans or the boundaries of faith. In The One Body of Christ in a Quantum Age, Bernard Tickerhoof, TOR, an ordained friar of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, has pursued that journey into the world of modern science. As Griffiths tried to understand the meaning of Christ in terms of Hindu and non-Western philosophy and culture, so Fr. Tickerhoof has tried to do the same by way of quantum physics. Peter Lyons notes in his endorsement: “Bernie Tickerhoof has spent a lifetime building bridges between divergent shores. Here, he probes the edges of science and spirituality, with courage and respect for both. This is a book for believers and seekers, scientists and skeptics. The author acknowledges that it is a ‘little complicated and probably dangerous,’ but it is well worth the effort.”

            In her new book, In the Shadow of Freedom: The Enduring Call for Racial Justice, Alessandra Harris embarks on a different journey, one that also raises challenges for Christian faith and action. This journey is into the world of systemic racism in America. In her analysis of police violence, mass incarceration, and the death penalty, justified as part of a “war on drugs” or a “war on crime,” she shows how all of these manifestations of racial injustice are the direct legacy of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. Her book, writes Matt Kappadakunnel, “is a clarion call to US Christians to dismantle this destructive trajectory.”

            May all these books inspire us on our own journeys—prepared to be changed by our encounter with other faiths and cultures, other ways of knowing, and other faces of human suffering and struggle.




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