THE HIDING PLACES OF GOD

In his excellent A Thief in the Night (1989), Cornwell looked into rumors that Pope John Paul I had been murdered. Here, the former seminarian conducts a yet more subtle and meaningful investigation—of the ``incidence and significance...of paranormal religious phenomena'': flying monks, weeping statues, divine apparitions, and the like. A professed agnostic, Cornwell a few years ago found his nonbelief undermined when he experienced a prophetic ``religious dream.'' His curiosity aroused, he set off on a worldwide hunt for earthly signs of a divine hand, beginning with a visit to the Yugoslavian town of Medjugorje, where, for years, three children have allegedly been conversing daily with the Virgin Mary. Although repulsed by the commercialization of the phenomenon—with souvenir- vendors and millions of tourists creating a ``spiritual Disneyland''—Cornwell found the sight of the children ``speaking silently'' to the invisible Virgin ``truly astonishing,'' with one girl's eyes seeming ``to shine with an unearthly light.'' But what to make of this? And of his subsequent experiences, including witnessing the stigmata of a Montreal recluse, the liquefaction of the dried blood of St Januarius in Naples, and the devotion inspired by the alleged miracles of Padre Pio (healing, stigmata, bilocation)—and, on the dark side, the terror of a man supposedly possessed by evil incarnate? As a journalist, Cornwell's trained skepticism compels him to dig out mundane, generally psychological, explanations for nearly all; and yet he finds himself profoundly moved by the ``symbolic'' power of these ``miracles,'' declaring- -especially after soul-stirring meetings with Briege McKenna, a nun with an apparent gift of healing—that the importance of ``prodigies'' lies not in whether they offer ``supernatural `evidence,' '' but how potent they are as living ``symbols'' of the ``religious imagination.'' An affecting personal spiritual memoir as well as a tantalizing tour through the miraculous, which reveals its mystery- -if not its secret—under Cornwell's fresh and compassionate gaze.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 1991

ISBN: 0-446-51468-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1991

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THE WEIGHT OF GLORY

The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS

Internationally renowned because of his earlier books, among them tape Letters, Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis making religion provoking, memorable and delightful is still more latest Reflections on the Psalms. Though he protests that he writes learned about things in which he is unlearned himself, the reader is likely thank God for his wise ignorance. Here especially he throws a clear lightly or not, on many of the difficult psalms, such as those which abound with and cursing, and a self-centeredness which seems to assume' that God must be side of the psalmist. These things, which make some psalm singers pre not there, have a right and proper place, as Mr. Lewis shows us. They of Psalms more precious still. Many readers owe it to themselves to read flections if only to learn this hard but simple lesson. Urge everyone to book.

Pub Date: June 15, 1958

ISBN: 015676248X

Page Count: 166

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1958

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