Download Bede Griffiths: A Life in Dialogue by Judson B. Trapnell, Kenneth Cracknell PDF

By Judson B. Trapnell, Kenneth Cracknell

Bede Griffiths, O.S.B.Cam. (1906–1993) was once a pioneer within the assembly of faiths and of cultures within the moment 1/2 the 20 th century. This beautiful learn of his pioneering paintings in intercultural and interreligious discussion attracts from meticulous learn of Griffiths's writings and his resources, in addition to quite a few own interviews with the guy himself.

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This pattern of withdrawal and return is repeated in Griffiths’s life as he works out his ambivalent and prophetic role toward Western cultures. Even while in the solitude of the English countryside, however, Griffiths attended to the dialogue of ideas sparked by both his experience in nature and his philosophical reflection upon it. 1 While he was ready for such an awakening, nevertheless Griffiths’s intellectual and spiritual search was given new energy, if not direction, by this experience. In the following years, this experience of the divine in nature would stand at the center not only of his spiritual journey but also of his intellectual life.

2 Reflecting late in life upon the value of his family background, he says: “I realize more and more what a grace it was for me. ”3 As a boy and later as a youth in school, he spent much time outside, especially bicycling or walking through the countryside of Sussex. His experience of nature resonated strongly with the sensibility conveyed by the English Romantic poets he began to read, especially Swinburne, Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth. 4 Immersion in Western Culture Griffiths was attracted at an early age to reading and to the life of ideas.

7 This identification with the past as well as his distrust of modernity become thematic in Griffiths’s self-understanding throughout his life. It was also near the end of his school years in 1924 when Griffiths experienced his dramatic and formative opening to the presence of God in nature. 8 Of the enduring quality of this experience he writes: I experienced an overwhelming emotion in the presence of nature, especially at evening. It began to wear a kind of sacramental character for me. I approached it with a sense of almost religious awe, and in the hush which comes before sunset, I felt again the presence of an unfathomable mystery.

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