From the Publisher
"Sure to intrigue thoughtful readers."
"Karl Rahner once said that the Christian of the future will be a mystic, or nothing at all. Bursting with energy, full of deep wisdom, these prayers do more than address God in the light of evolution. They set the heart on the path of mysticism, beautiful and awesome."
Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ, professor of theology, Fordham University; author of She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse and Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit
“If prayer means (as W. H. Auden said) 'paying attention to something larger than yourself,' these prayers by William Cleary invite us to pay attention to the largest thing imaginable, the creativity that resides at the core of our Cosmos, teaching us to speak with reverence in this post-Newtonian universe. Faith and science embrace happily in these pages, to the betterment of both.”
Rev. Gary Kowalski, author of Science and the Search for God
“Good theology is rooted in worship and prayer. In Bill Cleary's book, the 'God of evolution’ is not an abstract topic of theological reflection but the focus of meditation, prayer, and praise. In a unique and creative way, the author brings the insights of science into contact with the very heart of religious experience. I think Teilhard de Chardin would smile on this bold project.”
John F. Haught,Thomas Healey Professor of Theology, Georgetown University
Cleary, a former Jesuit priest, offers a prayer-book and catechism of sorts, rooted in process theology and the evolutionary mysticism of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Chardin's poetic and scientific artistry, however, is sadly lacking in this volume of lyrically flat-footed prayers interspersed with pedantic metaphysical commentary. Cleary struggles to articulate a role for verbal prayer in post-traditional spirituality: "you know in advance that talking to God is like talking to your dog"-perhaps not pointless, but not essentially concerned with what is being said. Accordingly the book's prayers tend to equivocate between disclaiming God's personal involvement in the world ("You really have no divine face that smiles on us, no hands that distribute blessings or hold us safe") and recognizing it ("We bless you for your caringness through all the eons of evolutionary unfolding"). Evolution is, as expected, a dominant theme for many of the prayers. But Cleary's concept of evolution is hard to untangle, especially when the possibility of divine guidance makes evolution almost like creation, albeit without the accountability that a traditional Creator bears towards creation: "Holy Mystery, our relational spirit-creator, allow us to feel nonplussed by your evolutionary strategies." Reflections like these put humanity in its place, but confronted with such profound ambiguities about who is being addressed in prayer and what its relationship to us might be, meditation or silent contemplation probably come more easily than verbal or written prayers. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.