Archives For Silence


[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1524733237″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”177″]Accessible Silence
A Review of

Silence: In the Age of Noise
Erling Kagge

Hardcover: Pantheon, 2017.
Buy Now: [  [easyazon_link identifier=”1524733237″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ] [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B06XK5812S” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
Reviewed by Bailey Shannon
Erling Kagge is a man of many talents. As an explorer, lawyer, art collector, publisher, and author, Kagge possesses rich knowledge that touches all parts of the human experience. In his most recent book Silence: In the Age of Noise , Kagge reflects on some his life experiences in an attempt to answer the following questions: What is silence? Where is it? Why is it more important now than ever?

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”250″ identifier=”B06XK5812S” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”177″]One of this week’s best new book releases is:

Silence: In the Age of Noise
Erling Kagge

Hardback: Pantheon, 2017
Buy Now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B06XK5812S” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B06XK5812S” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

Here’s a great tongue-in-cheek silent interview with the author
(set to the soundtrack of John Cage’s 4:33) :

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Rainer Marie Rilke

Today is the birthday of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, born 1875…

We offer today three excellent poems of his, which can all be found (I believe) in:

The Poetry of Rilke
Edward Snow, Translator
Paperback: North Point Press, 2011
Buy now: [ [easyazon-link asin=”0374532710″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]

*** [easyazon-link keywords=”Rainer Maria Rilke” locale=”us”]Other Books By Rainer Maria Rilke[/easyazon-link]

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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1933495588″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”” width=”216″ alt=”Judith Valente” ]Conversatio: The Work of Everyday Life

A Feature Review of

Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith
Judith Valente

Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ [easyazon-link asin=”1933495588″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link]  ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B00ECY73XM” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]
Reviewed by Heidi Haverkamp

The stained-glass windows of the Mount Saint Scholastica Monastery chapel are a striking grey-blue. They were made in the mid-20th century by a German immigrant and artist who intended an altogether different shade of blue. But the fierce wind and sunshine of eastern Kansas bleached that color into “Atchison blue,” a shade of blue which “exists nowhere else” (2) according to author Judy Valente. (I wish I could find a photo of the color of these windows – I’ve looked online to no avail.)


The windows, of course, are a metaphor of Valente’s own journey with the monastery and also of Benedictine life. Benedictines make vows to conversatio morum: often translated as “conversion of life” or allowing the self to be changed over time by monastic life and the Holy Spirit. They also make a vow of stability, or a commitment to remain in one place and be committed to that place for their entire lives, no matter what. The stained glass of “the Mount” has gone through its own conversatio, shaped and transformed over time by its stability and steadfast exposure to Kansas weather!
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[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0877880867″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”112″ alt= “Madeleine L’Engle – Poems” ]

Here are three Advent poems by Madeleine L’Engle…

You can also read her well-known Advent poem “After Annunciation” here

* * * [easyazon-link keywords=”Madeleine L’Engle” locale=”us”]Books by Madeleine L’Engle[/easyazon-link]



Ready for Silence

From [easyazon-link asin=”0877880867″ locale=”us”]The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle[/easyazon-link] [ [easyazon-link asin=”B001RLBWXK” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]




The Birth of Wonder



Enuma Okoro - SILENCEA Vision of Thriving Christian Fellowship

A Feature Review of

Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent

Enuma Okoro

Paperback: Upper Room Books, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Emma Stencil.


Like the Lenten season before the celebration of Easter, Advent was traditionally a time of fasting and thrift within the early Christian churches. Today it should be a time to quiet one’s mind and prepare one’s body for the coming of Christ. In the celebration of Advent, we recognize the first coming of Christ as a child in a manger, visited and worshipped by shepherds and wise men. We also recognize and ponder Christ’s second coming at the Resurrection, when He will return in glory and power to save His followers and to judge His enemies. The very name of the season, “Advent,” was borrowed from the Latin word adventus, which refers to the grand ceremony in ancient Rome in which a conquering emperor was welcomed into a city as part of a military campaign. Christ’s second coming is to be the triumphant entry of the king into His transformed city. The season of Advent provides Christians with a time to ponder this great and terrible moment that all of time is racing to meet.


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Today is the birthday of Shusaku Endo, born 1923…

In honor of his birthday, we share the brief essay that John Pattison wrote about Endo’s novel SILENCE in

Besides the Bible:

100 Books that Have, Should or Will Create Christian Culture.

Dan Gibson, Jordan Green, John Pattison.

Paperback: IVP Books, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Besides the Bible, originally published by Biblica Books in 2010, has recently been re-released by IVP Books.


“A Dancer Preparing to Move”

A Review of
Writing the Silences: Poems
by Richard Moore

Reviewed by Thomas T. Turner II

Writing the Silences: Poems
Richard Moore
Hardback: U of California Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Richard Moore - WRITING THE SILENCES: POEMSIn her foreword to Richard O. Moore’s new book of poetry Writing the Silences, Brenda Hillman describes Moore’s poetry as evidence of a struggle “in relation to meaning itself, the idea of meaning in a world that has no easy gods or moral codes, a world in which institutions refuse to cooperate.” Hillman is apt to point this out, as the sheer brilliance of Moore’s poetry is found in the constant metaphysical probing for meaning in a post-Enlightenment world when such probing for meaning only leads to an endless chain of meaning upon meaning without any resolution. In effect, Moore writes his silences in Plato’s cave, the dim light of a fire giving up bits and pieces of poetic meaning before falling quickly back into the shadows of the cave.

Moore’s work is not a critique of modernism as much as it is a poetic realization of the world he was born into and writes about. Moore’s poem “Dog in the Forest” digs deep into the capriciousness of life and connects our metaphysical restlessness to acedia:

Can it be told when an ancient trace of faith
gave way under stress in every modern world?
. . .
There are paths which have left behind no odor of life.
. . .
Read the wind dream a sleep of unknowing lie down
with the Noonday Demon.

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America’s fundamental problem with health care isn’t economic. It’s moral. So believes T. R. Reid, a longtime Washington Post correspondent who recently completed a yearlong study of health-care systems in wealthy nations around the globe. “If we want to fix American health care,” he writes, “we first have to answer a basic question: Should we guarantee medical treatment to everyone who needs it?”

Reid’s book should be required reading for every senator, member of Congress, religious leader and talk-show host in America. By describing how health care works in other technologically advanced societies, he allays ideology-based fears (socialism! government takeover! higher taxes!) and offers a variety of options that we could choose among if we ever get serious about reforming our disaster-bound system.

Read the full review:

The Healing of America:
A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.

T.R. Reid.

Hardback: Penguin, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

by Gordon Hempton and John Grossmann.

One Square Inch of Silence was published at the end of March 2009 in time for the authors, Gordon Hempton and John Grossmann, to appear at the Earth Day events in New York’s Central Park on April 26th, at the end of their book-launch tour. I was only halfway through the book at that date, reading it over coffee, sitting in the sun by the river in the old Swedish university city of Uppsala during the mid-morning rush-hour of students cycling to classes. In spite of the modest traffic I could enjoy the sounds of river water running, birds singing, and trees soughing in a light breeze on a glorious spring day, in sight of a hillside of blue scillas reaching up towards the castle. It would be hard to find the equivalent relative quiet in an outdoor café in the center of London or New York, or even Cambridge, England, another ancient seat of learning, where the pavements are as congested as the roads and the traffic noise is deafening. The contrast with less densely populated Sweden was thought-provoking. One Square Inch of Silence is a thought-provoking book. It makes you listen to the world with different ears and question the inevitability of the background cacophony you take for granted.

Read the full review:

One Square Inch of Silence:
One Man’s Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World.

Gordon Hempton and John Grossman.

Hardback: Free Press, 2009
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

From Powells Review-A-Day

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a baby, or how a young child’s perceptions and introspections might differ from those of an adult? Reading Alison Gopnik’s new book, The Philosophical Baby, is probably the closest you will ever come to knowing.

Gopnik is a leading developmental psychologist, an expert on philosophy of mind and an excellent writer. What distinguishes this book from others on children’s cognition is the author’s emphasis on philosophical issues such as consciousness, identity and morality. She argues that the psychological study of children provides a rich source of insight into these issues, one that philosophers have traditionally overlooked.

Within developmental psychology, Gopnik is perhaps best known for promoting (with Henry Wellman, Andrew Meltzoff and others) the “theory theory” — the idea that children construct implicit causal models of the world (theories) using the same psychological mechanisms that scientists use to construct explicit scientific theories. In other words, children are like little scientists — or, as Gopnik prefers to put it, scientists are like big children. The focus in this book is broader. Gopnik argues that although young children’s thinking may seem illogical and their play functionless, their imagination and exploration actually reflect the operation of the same powerful causal learning mechanisms that enable our uniquely human achievements in areas such as science or art.

Read the full review:

The Philosophical Baby:
What Children’s Minds Tell Us about
Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life
Alison Gopnik.

Hardback: FSG, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]