Silence: A Christian History

Silence: A Christian History

Diarmaid MacCulloch / Sep 23, 2019

Silence A Christian History A provocative history of the role of silence in Christianity by the award winning New York Times bestselling authorIn this essential work of religious history the New York Times bestselling author o

  • Title: Silence: A Christian History
  • Author: Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • ISBN: 9780670025565
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A provocative history of the role of silence in Christianity by the award winning, New York Times bestselling authorIn this essential work of religious history, the New York Times bestselling author of Christianity explores the vital role of silence in the Christian story.How should one speak to God Are our prayers likely to be heard if we offer them quietly at homeA provocative history of the role of silence in Christianity by the award winning, New York Times bestselling authorIn this essential work of religious history, the New York Times bestselling author of Christianity explores the vital role of silence in the Christian story.How should one speak to God Are our prayers likely to be heard if we offer them quietly at home or loudly in church How can we really know if God is listening From the earliest days, Christians have struggled with these questions Their varied answers have defined the boundaries of Christian faith and established the language of our most intimate appeals for guidance or forgiveness.MacCulloch shows how Jesus chose to emphasize silence as an essential part of his message and how silence shaped the great medieval monastic communities of Europe He also examines the darker forms of religious silence, from the church s embrace of slavery and its muted reaction to the Holocaust to the cover up by Catholic authorities of devastating sexual scandals.A groundbreaking work that will change our understanding of the most fundamental wish to be heard by God, Silence gives voice to the greatest mysteries of faith.

    Silence A Christian History by Diarmaid MacCulloch Silence A Christian History by Diarmaid MacCulloch review The final section is the most provocative MacCulloch turns to the less edifying uses of silence the silence surrounding the Holocaust, slavery, clerical abuse the silencing of non heterosexual, non male voices within the church. Silence A Christian History by Diarmaid MacCulloch Okay, it wasn t that bad . stars I have to say that I was greatly disappointed by this book Based on MacCulloch s Gifford Lectures in , I had expected a coherent discussion of silence as a practiced concept within the Christian tradition. Scorsese s Silence Asks What It Really Costs to Follow Dec , An Incarnational Film The culture wars framed Christianity as a fight for power through the avenues of media and politics and pop culture Scorsese s Silence should remind Christians that the way of Jesus is not the way of positioning for maximum Why Are Christians Praising Scorsese s Silence Movie Though Silence is dedicated to Japanese Christians and their pastors, many Catholic churches in Japan actually banned the novel, Silence The author Endo even reportedly lost a close friend, a French priest, due to the book s publication. Silence A Christian History Reviews in History Silence A Christian History Originating as a series of public lectures on historical understandings of God, Silence A Christian History explores spaces in between the academic disciplines of history, theology and philosophy by peeling back layers to uncover Christianity s historical formations. Important Bible Verses About Silence Feb , Bible verses about silence There are times when we are to remain silent and there are times when we are to speak up The times when Christians are to remain Sometimes we must go before the Lord and stand still in His presence. Steps to Meeting God in Silence and Solitude Crosswalk Steps to Meeting God in Silence and Solitude,Whitney Hopler Read about spiritual life growth, Christian living, and faith The spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude may be quiet The Hidden Faith of Silence Christian Research Institute Jan , A movie review of Silence Directed by Martin Scorsese Paramount Pictures, One s first encounter with Silence whether reading the Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo or watching the Hollywood movie adaptation by Martin Scorsese can be a challenging experience for several reasons For one thing, the content of the story is Silence Ignatian Spirituality Practicing silence is an act of faith precisely because one cannot know for certain that anything is to be gained from it It might be a waste of that most precious commodity time What the Christian spiritual tradition teaches us, though, is that the practice of silence is the prerequisite for coming to know God. Silence novel Silence , Chinmoku is a novel of historical fiction by Japanese author Sh saku End , published in English by Peter Owen Publishers It is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to th century Japan, who endures persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan Hidden Christians that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.

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    128 Comments

    1. Okay, it wasn't that bad. 2.5 stars. I have to say that I was greatly disappointed by this book. Based on MacCulloch's Gifford Lectures in 2011, I had expected a coherent discussion of 'silence' as a practiced concept within the Christian tradition. It was that, but only to a small degree. Unfortunately, I also found it to be a hodgepodge of other things. MacCulloch expands the concept of 'silence' from a religious concept to include other forms of silence, in particular, the silence of various [...]


    2. Warning - do not read this book without a basic understanding of Christian history or copies of MacCulloch's A History of Christianity and Reformation: Europe's House Divided beside you. This book is based on a lecture series and MacCulloch assumes a fair amount of knowledge in his hearers/readers. But for those who have that knowledge, or access to it, it's an educational read.As someone who has always leaned towards religious silence I was surprised to discover what a minority tradition is is [...]


    3. A fabulous read by the eminent Diarmaid MacCulloch of Oxford University. After having read some of his other books, most notably his biography of Thomas Cranmer and "The First Three Thousand Years" (2011) I was curious how he would treat this topic, especially in light of controversies within my own denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist Church with controversies over contemplative prayer. MacCulloch weaves a narrative that begins in Scripture. God is a God who communicates and breaks silence, [...]


    4. Trying to do justice to this type of book always leaves me in two (or more!) minds…On the one hand, this beautifully written work should provide much pleasure for Christians wanting an excellent overview of the subject. My only caveat here is that the background history is extensive and quite scholarly, and possibly this quality might ultimately alienate a casual reader; but for those who persist, there is much that is enlightening and interesting, and if it were only for that (and for the qua [...]


    5. Short Review: Diarmaid MacCulloch is an excellent historian. And the riffs off the idea of silence, while interesting as individual ideas are not cohesive. So on the whole the book lacks focus and organization. My problem is that it seems like MacCulloch is saying that there is no correlation within the idea of silence. So silence can be good, it can be bad, it can be sinful, it can be holy, it can be transcendent, etc. But if it can be everything then I am not sure what the point of the book is [...]


    6. The reviews for "Silence: A Christian History" were universally positive. So perhaps it's me I found this disappointing. The title of the book suggested that MacCulloch was intending here to investigate and explore - not a church, or an institution, or a period of history - but an idea. At no point, however, does he examine in any real depth the concept of silence itself. Instead he uses a rather vague definition of silence as a vehicle to go over some old ground - from the birth of Christianity [...]


    7. Silence is not difficult to read or particularly scholarly, as some reviewers have complained. (As a scholarly indexer I know academic writing, and this is not scholarly.) But it assumes a groundwork of knowledge on the part of the reader and it is highly detailed, while at the same time vague and meandering. What I mean is: these were originally lectures and as such cover a lot of ground quite quickly and without depth. The prose reads/sounds complex until one realizes it's often just a lot of [...]


    8. I found this book deeply disappointing. It took a fascinating subject and splashed about in the shallows. It was also very disjointed, its genesis as a series of lectures is all too evident. It's a shame as it has the bones of a very good book in it.



    9. I had very mixed feelings about this book while reading it. I didn't come into it with much more than an elementary understanding of the early (or even not so early) history of Christianity. So I learned a great deal but I am sure it wasn't an ideal way to get to the main story line. The author is occasionally snarky about particular individuals or approaches to church history. That probably kept the lectures on which this is based lively and entertaining but was off putting to me in the course [...]


    10. Finished reading Silence: a Christian History / Diarmaid MacCulloch – 11 July 2017ISBN: 97802419523202.5 starsI'm not sure what I was expecting from this book as I bought it some time ago based on a review I cannot now find. What I got was certainly not like anything I might have expected.The book runs pretty much chronologically through history from (Jewish and Christian) biblical times to the present however it seems more like a grab-bag of ideas taken from snapshots of history rather than [...]


    11. Being in silence does not mean only not to have anything to say or to do not know how to express oneself.It is the attitude that permits to listen – first of all to yourself, then to the others – and last but not least – to God.The Book gives also the historical (as seen from the Bible and the history of the Church), spiritual and somehow I do dare to say social (or cultural) parcours of silence.The author does not hesitate to bring up also the difficult topics, where he considers that Chu [...]


    12. A nicely written, if slightly rambling and disjointed, series of essays on various forms of "silence" in Jewish and Christian history. MacCulloch touches on silence as a form of prayer or contemplation, silence as survival strategy (which he refers to as Nicodemism) for persecuted or reviled minorities, and the silence of things left unsaid or covered up in order to protect the institution of the church and deny its culpability in such horrors as The Holocaust, slavery or child sexual abuse .It' [...]


    13. A fascinating survey of 2000+ years of Jeudeo-Christian history, focusing on the silences in that story. The silence of God, the silence of monks, the silence of slavery and the holocaust, and much more.


    14. I found this a mostly absorbing historical study of the religious history of Christianity, both the western Roman version with its Protestant offshoots, as well as the eastern Orthodox variety. The author concentrates upon the type of God that each has created and how this God is best worshiped. If God is seen as an absolute, a view I’d subscribe to, than this study moves beyond narrow religious interests and has a lot to say to anyone, including atheists and agnostics who have their own “ab [...]


    15. Not quite what I was hoping for, but very much worth the time. As someone with a deep interest in Thomas Merton, Lane's The Solace of Fierce Landscapes, Maitland's The Book of Silence, etc. I was anticipating a book that delved into the various forms of Christian mysticism over the millennia. There's a bit of that here, but, as might have been expected from a historian whose reputation rests on the magisterial "Christianity: The First 3000 Years" and exhaustively detailed "The Reformation," MacC [...]


    16. Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of the sweeping A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, returns with a book based on a series of lectures on the value of silence in Christian religious practice.Although I'm very much agnostic, I'm fascinated by religious experience. "Silence" is a very readable mediation on silence and noise, and their respective places in worship.Although one may assume that Prof. MacCulloch sees silence as an absolute good, he also delves into the dark silences [...]


    17. This is in many ways nothing more than a rehash of MacCulloch's History of Christianity with a specific look at silence. In some ways that was what I was expecting with this. what I did not expect, and what sorely disappointed me, was the all encompassing umbrella of topics, however tenuously, he fits under the idea of silence. He scatters the idea in so many directions that there is no cohesiveness to the book. If you must read MacCulloch, you are better off sticking to his History but even the [...]


    18. MacCulloch spins off from his massive research into Christian history an examination of the role of silence--including Old Testament people struck mute, Hannah's silent prayer, hermits, Cluniac sign language (later adapted for work with the deaf), oblate children and vows of silence, Carthusians and extreme silence, icons enabling private silent prayer at home, Quakers and the acoustics of church buildings. A second half of the book examines silence as a negative space--obfuscating silence under [...]


    19. I have always enjoyed the author's works, and this is the sort of subject that I enjoy the most. But this was a terrible read - basically from start to finish. Simply: I was bored. Really bored. Still; it's worth checking out (at a library) for the eighth chapter. The book is really an appendix to his larger work ("Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years"), and probably belongs there (even if it would push the page count closer and closer to 2000). But it took me longer to read "Silence" th [...]


    20. Interesting history of the uses and mis-uses of silence in Western religion. Pray in silence or with words? Monastic silence. Silence of desert monastics. Various traditions of silence vs. words/noise at various times in history of Christianity and with various threads of the reformation. Good qualities of silence vs. uses of silence to ignore or hide abuses and failures. It is a book that is best read in chunks, however there was a large gap in my reading because this book was mislaid in moving [...]


    21. Occasionally an avid reader will simply pick a book off the shelf without thinking and find something good. The history of silence before God is a subject that is ripe for harvest. I was a quiet and nearly silent child during much of my schooling, so this is a subject dear to me. I do think a studied stance of silence can open your mind to observing and listening to others. A true silence, however, is far from being aloof and unconcerned. I would have liked to see more discussion of the concept [...]


    22. First off, though I can't praise this enough, it's probably a good idea to read this author's "History of Christianity" first, or at least watch the excellent series of the same name on DVD, because familiarity with the subject will greatly enhance one's understanding of this new book. That said-- it's absolutely marvelous. I grew up Christian and would have loved to read an author like this long before now.


    23. well, it was very interessting, but not as interesting as I thought it was going to be. I suspect I need to read more of him, but also to be more knowledgeable than I currently am. Recommended, anyway. Theologians have terrific names. My best discovery from this book was Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.


    24. I didn't like this book. It wasn't what I was looking for. I was hoping for a book on the role of silence in Christian worship historically, which is not at all what this book is. Plus it was boring. I've tried to read other book by MacCulloch and never been able to finish one. Too bad. He picks good topics, but just can't write books that hold my interest.


    25. This one is not for the spiritually naive, but, notwithstanding the author's theological and moral proclivities, it is a very interesting discussion of how the concept of silence has been understood throughout Christendom. His comments on sinful silences (including scandals relating to child molestation) are interesting.


    26. An extraordinarily thought-provoking book basically, as the title suggests, exploring the role of Silence in Christian history sometimes Silence has been the foundation of great good, at others a cloak for monstrous evil weaves together myriad strands of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions a stellar accomplishment


    27. Could have been better. It had some interesting ideas about a few moments in Christian history, but it also was too rooted in a modern consciousness and not enough in the long view. Pace was a little slow too.


    28. Wonderful book that dips into silence. One should probably read up on history and such prior to reading this book.



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