Touching the Heart: Tales for the Human Journey by William J. Bausch
Everywhere in the world, at all times and in all places, in every era, story is the vehicle of wonder, guidance, reflection, and wisdom. In a world in which, until very recently, the oral story prevailed for most of humanity's journey, and given the fact that even with the invention of writing, less than one percent of the people could read and write, story's dominance, power, and place must be respected.
No one can write about storytelling like Father Bill Bausch. Both his words and his stories are compelling, convincing, and completely absorbing. Here in this landmark work, which he insists is his last, his goal is to help readers see the centrality of stories, to read and hear Scripture as story and not as history, and to learn to enrich and expand their lives by looking at the "story behind the story." He wants to break readers out of the literalism that constricts their spiritual and social lives, so they might gain an appreciation of metaphor and symbol and the "sacramentality" of the world.
Here Father Bausch hopes to once and for all disabuse readers of the myth that the only valid truth is demonstrable scientific truth and that everything else is subjective. He maintains that truth most definitely can be found in other modes and on other levels, namely in the story. The falling apple demonstrates the law of gravity and that's a scientific truth. But truth is also found in the fiction of Jane Austin and Charles Dickens, the fables of Aesop, and the parables of Jesus-and in the many stories in this book. As the old saying goes, "Some stories are factual. All stories are true." This book makes a point of that. As always, Father Bausch weaves social commentary and engagingstories to demonstrate the challenging truths that shed light on the human journey. Highly enjoyable, highly engaging, written as only Bill Bausch can write!
About the Author: William J. Bausch is a retired priest of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey
Acknowledgments VII Introduction 1 The Seven Basic Plots 9 Tellers, Types, and Techniques 35 The Healing Power of Stories 63 Stories and the Moral Lives of Children 93 Stories for the Second Half of Life 122 Stories for the Spiritual Journey 157 Nursery Rhymes 191 Stories That Challenge 197 The Tale of Two Stories 232 Credits and Notes 250 Bibliography 260