The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria

Overview

The inspiration for the major motion picture "Of Gods and Men"

 

In the spring of l996 armed men broke into a Trappist monastery in war-torn Algeria and took seven monks hostage, pawns in a murky negotiation to free imprisoned terrorists. Two months later their severed heads were found in a tree; their bodies were never recovered.

The village of Tibhirine had sprung up around the monastery because it was a holy place protected by the ...

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The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria

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Overview

The inspiration for the major motion picture "Of Gods and Men"

 

In the spring of l996 armed men broke into a Trappist monastery in war-torn Algeria and took seven monks hostage, pawns in a murky negotiation to free imprisoned terrorists. Two months later their severed heads were found in a tree; their bodies were never recovered.

The village of Tibhirine had sprung up around the monastery because it was a holy place protected by the Virgin Mary, revered by Christians and Muslims alike. But napalm, helicopters, and gunfire had become regular accompaniments to the monastic routine as the violence engulfing Algeria drew closer to the isolated cloister high in the Atlas Mountains.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312302948
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 636,629
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

John Kiser is the author of Communist Entrepreneurs: Unknown Innovators in the Global Economy and Stefan Zweig: Death of a Modern Man. A former international technology broker, he has an M.A. from Columbia University in European History and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. His articles have been published in Foreign Policy magazine, the Harvard Business Review, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He lives with his family in Sperryville, Virginia.

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Reading Group Guide

In the spring of 1996 armed men broke into a Trappist monastery in war-torn Algeria and took seven monks hostage, pawns in a murky negotiation to free imprisoned terrorists. Two months later their severed heads were found in a tree; their bodies were never recovered.

The village of Tibhirine had sprung up around the monastery because it was a holy place protected by the Virgin Mary, revered by Christians and Muslims alike. But napalm, helicopters, and gunfire had become regular accompaniments to the monastic routine as the violence engulfing Algeria drew closer to the isolated cloister high in the Atlas Mountains.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    A spiritual experience

    This book will raise your faith in the human spirit. It's a true story and contemporary. It will provide a different prospective on both faith and different cultures. I hightly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2002

    compelling and provocative

    Kiser has written a compelling and inspiring account that humanizes the tragedy of the monks of Tibhirine and of the Algerian civil war more generally. What I find particularly impressive is Kiser's refusal to exploit the subject matter, and his determination to dig below the surface level and take the drama of events to a deeper level. He provides the necessary information to situate the drama of the monks within a much larger context of politics, history, and culture, and finds hope in the midst of suffering. Kiser is aware that there are two rights and too many wrongs in Muslim-Christian relations. He affirms that, by remembering what is _right_ on both sides of the cultural divide, we can find sufficient energy, resolve, and inspiration to build bridges of understanding between two estranged religious and cultural traditions. I would recommend this book to anyone who shares Kiser's desire to truly _understand_ what has 'gone wrong' and what might 'go right' in Muslim-Christian relations. If used in an academic classroom environment, Kiser's well-researched and thoughtful prose narrative would provide valuable supplementation to more standard textbook treatment of Muslim-Christian relations and the modern Middle East.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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