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Beyond the Darkness: A Biography of Bede Griffiths

Du Boulay, Shirley

24 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385489463 / ISBN 13: 9780385489461
Published by Doubleday
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Wonder Book (Frederick, MD, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Beyond the Darkness: A Biography of Bede ...

Publisher: Doubleday

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Even though the English Benedictine monk Bede Griffiths was well known during his lifetime (1906-1993) for his efforts to harmonize the spiritual practices of East and of the West, the full range of his influence is only just becoming widely appreciated. Now, from respected journalist and biographer Shirley du Boulay, comes the first major biography of Griffiths's life, Beyond the Darkness.

Du Boulay shows the transformation of Griffiths from an idealistic, highly intelligent, serious, and sometimes irritable schoolboy into a man of profound wisdom who emanated unconditional love and who was often revered as a holy man and a living saint. During his life of intellectual and spiritual discovery, he became an associate of the Inklings, a close friend of C.S. Lewis, and eventually a leader of an ashram in India. His long and eventful journey was often filled with controversy, pain, and anguish. Yet, Griffiths attained a spiritual wholeness granted to few, enabling him to express in simple and direct terms the underlying unity of religions.

In Beyond the Darkness, readers experience a life as exciting as space travel and as passionate as a great romance. They will realize for themselves the culmination of Griffiths's knowledge: Beyond the opposites, beyond the darkness, is "that Great Person, of the brightness of the sun."

Review:

To hear about a Catholic monk who meditates and seeks nondual union with Christ doesn't seem so astonishing anymore. That's because Bede Griffiths began blazing a trail to the East as far back as 1955. You might call Bede the Thomas Merton of England, except that Bede delved further into Eastern spirituality than Merton ever dreamed of doing. In Beyond the Darkness, Shirley Du Boulay traces Bede's ascetic tendencies back to early experiments in communal living after graduating from Oxford. A staunch atheist, Bede, like his professor and friend C.S. Lewis, then rediscovered the spiritual profundity of the Christian tradition. After entering the monkhood, a certain unarticulated pantheism led Bede to pursue the wide-open spiritual landscapes of the East, and to "discover the other half of my soul." In the 1950s, when the rest of the West turned to science and materialism for salvation, he donned the saffron robes of a Hindu monk and started a Catholic ashram in southern India. Left to his own devices by Rome, Bede, through his implacable kindness and theological writings, drew an increasingly large following, right through 1992 when he was drawing thousands of people to talks all over the world. Beyond the Darkness reveals a man who was called a saint while he lived but who achieved that status only through sustained curiosity and sincerity in his search for the truth behind all religions. --Brian Bruya

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