Refreshingly free of self-serious dogmatism, the author’s study of other religions shows how it deepened his commitment to...

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GOD'S OTHER CHILDREN

PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS WITH FAITH, LOVE, AND HOLINESS IN SACRED INDIA

An American Catholic theologian offers a candid memoir about his unusual spiritual journey and a plea for ecumenical tolerance.

A checkered path led the author to his present calling as professor of comparative theology at the University of Notre Dame, as he recounts in these personal essays. Raised in upstate New York, Malkovsky drifted into the Catholic Church via the anti–Vietnam War movement and moved from monastic life to the study of theology in Germany, where he began to learn about liberation theology and “God’s preferential option for the poor.” His interests in the Hindu-Christian dialogue took him to the University of Pune, India, where he frequented the Christa Prema Seva Ashram and immersed himself in the study of Sanskrit. Malkovsky’s years in India profoundly influenced his sense of spirituality—by practicing yoga and meditation, being healed by an Ayurvedic physician, and observing closely the lives of the extremely poor and disenfranchised—but he also met a Muslim woman who became his wife. Though she converted to Catholicism, her family did not immediately accept her choice. Malkovsky shares how his witness and participation in Hindu and Muslim rituals such as burials and weddings have deeply moved and impressed him, adding yet another rich layer to the expression of human spirituality that can be understood and embraced by all. In a long chapter on yoga, the author takes aim at opponents of the practice, called “demonic” by some Catholics and Protestant evangelicals. For Malkovsky, yoga imparted a rigorous control over the body and a “healthy dualism” compatible with Christianity.

Refreshingly free of self-serious dogmatism, the author’s study of other religions shows how it deepened his commitment to his Christian faith.

Pub Date: May 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-184068-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperOne

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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