The Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.74
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 70%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $4.74   
  • New (4) from $11.85   
  • Used (8) from $4.74   


Probing the depths of science and faith, scientist Chet Raymo investigates the mysteries of human spirituality and meaning contained in astronomy. Ranging through the stars and the myths humans have told about them for millennia, Raymo delves into “a pilgrimage in quest of the soul of the night.” Chet Raymo’s elegant essays link the mysterious phenomena of the night sky with the human mind and spirit, as he ranges through the realms of mythology, literature, religion, history, and anthropology. Originally published two decades ago, The Soul of the Night is a classic work that is a must for those interested in the relationship between science and faith.

Twenty lyrically inspired essays on astronomy, the new cosmology, nature, and man's place in the universe.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Fascinating information about astronomy and . . . cosmology. . . . An attractive and informative backdrop for stargazing.
Ann Zwinger
Chet Raymo’s book is for anyone who loves the music of words, the melodies of physics and the lyrics of a far-ranging and ingenious mind. Chet Raymo is one of my favorite writers for his wealth of imagery and the sheer pleasure of the writing
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Originally published in 1985, astronomer Raymo's essays on the night sky explore the links between faith and reason. (Sept.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561012367
  • Publisher: Cowley Publications
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 223
  • Sales rank: 366,994
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Chet Raymo is professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. A teacher, naturalist, and former science columnist for the Boston Globe, he is the author of many books including Honey from Stone, Climbing Brandon, and The Path.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Scientist with the soul of a mystic poet

    Raymo, like Lorne Eiseley before him, is a scientist with the soul of a poet. I have read a number of his books and each one (with the possible exception of his novel about St. Valentine, which wasn't his best) leaves me with a sense of wonder and a renewed awe in creation. I am always amused when Raymo, who is Jesuit trained, says he doesn't believe in God. Certainly the God he doesn't believe in is one I couldn't believe in either, and yet his work is unmistakably spiritual, arousing in this reader a deep sense of the holy. His book, "When God is Gone Everything is Holy," is one of the most spiritually enriching books I've ever read. In this book he tackles the night sky, and although I lack the scientific background perhaps necessary to completely understand everything in this slim, yet weighty, volume, Raymo's writing is simply so beautiful, his prose so alluring, and his wealth of knowledge so vast, that even someone like me is entranced by every mystical and enlightening essay. Raymo guides the reader through the stars, and refreshes at each new constellation by sharing the myths, poetry and stories humans have created about them generation after generation. Although Raymo is a meticulous scientist, his quest here is not into the mathematics of night (although there is some of that) as it is into the title's soul of night. The essays are elegant, lyric and mysterious. His erudition shows as he quotes everyone from Thoreau (with whom he has been compared) to Roethke, Rilke, Shelley, Thoreau, Buddha, the Bible and the Koran. His comparison of the night sky to Melville's great White Whale, is inspired. Originally published two decades ago, The Soul of the Night is a classic work that is a must for those interested in the relationship between science and faith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)