The Work of Silence

Maggie Ross “Silence: A User’s Guide Paperback [Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd, 2014]
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“”Silence: A User’s Guide”, the first of a major two-volume work, exposes the processes by which silence can transfigure our lives – what Maggie Ross calls ‘the work of silence’; it describes how lives steeped in silence can transfigure other lives unawares. It shows how the work of silence was once understood to be the foundation of the teaching of Jesus, and how this teaching was once an intrinsic part of Western Christianity; it describes some of the methods by which the institution suppressed the work of silence, and why religious institutions are afraid of silence. Above all, this book shows that the work of silence gives us a way of being in the world that is more than we can ask for or imagine.”

“Today we are bombarded by so much noise – the blare of loudspeakers in our shopping malls, the roar of motorbikes, the screeching of cars, on our highways, the banging of doors, a veritable cacophony of noise, all a mad turbulent rush. But sometimes we have the joy of silence – when we have been quiet and discovered how it all helped us to be creative, to think deeply. Two people in love often discover they have communicated wordlessly and deeply as they sat quietly and their spirits have embraced and kissed in the pregnant silence. ‘Maggie writes out of a long and deep experience of silence. She is a sure guide, authoritative and scholarly – her bibliography is formidable. What a splendid gift to God’s children everywhere.’ Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town. ‘Maggie Ross brings an extraordinary combination of practicality, scholarship and prayerful reflection to this remarkable book. Readers cannot fail to profit from its many explorations, which lead to a passionate, iconoclastic and cheering affirmation of the centrality of silence in our meetings with God.’ Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford.”

““Silence: A User’s Guide”, the first of a major two-volume work, exposes the processes by which silence can transfigure our lives – what Maggie Ross calls ‘the work of silence’; it describes how lives steeped in silence can transfigure other lives unawares. It shows how the work of silence was once understood to be the foundation of the teaching of Jesus, and how this teaching was once an intrinsic part of Western Christianity; it describes some of the methods by which the institution suppressed the work of silence, and why religious institutions are afraid of silence. Above all, this book shows that the work of silence gives us a way of being in the world that is more than we can ask for or imagine.”

Maggie Ross is an Anglican solitary under vows to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is also the author of:
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“Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding” [BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship), 2011]
“Casting new and often startling light on ancient texts and long-established spiritual practices, Maggie Ross shows how faith cannot be divorced from an outlook characterised by a rigorous questioning and testing of assumptions, and a passionate concern for the created world in which we are blessed to live. This is a book that challenges as well as inspires, and takes us deep into what it truly means to worship, to love, to pray—and to be human, made in the image of God.”
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“The Fountain & the Furnace: The Way of Tears and Fire” [Wipf and Stock, 2014]
“”Tears are a little-known subject spiritually to most people, and Maggie Ross is very helpful in giving us both a historical grounding and a contemporary personal relevance for it.”” –Tilden Edwards, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation “”Maggie Ross has written a lovely, intelligent, and costly book: costly in that it is evident that it cost her a great deal to write it, and costly in that the conscientious reader cannot but be challenged by it.”” –Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco “”This is the only major work on tears today. A fountain in the desert, this book fills a genuine need–which is more than most books can claim.”” –David Steindl-Rast, OSB “”Maggie Ross skillfully examines the gift and way of tears in relation to the evolution of Christian thought and spiritual theology. Her thesis that ‘tears release us from the prison of power and control into the vast love and infinite possibility of God’ is truly ecumenical.”” –William H. Frey II, author of “Crying: The Mystery of Tears.””

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