Paul by A. N. Wilson
The Mind of the Apostle

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Synopsis

From the author of the best-selling Jesus comes an extraordinary new biography: the psychological journey of the man who invented Christianity.

It begins on the road to Damascus, in a moment graven on the consciousness of Western civilization: "Saul, Saul," asks the voice of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth, "why persecutest thou me?"

From this experience, and from the response of Saul of Tarsus, the Jewish merchant later known as Paul, springs the Christian Church as we know it today. For as A. N. Wilson, biographer of Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, and Jesus, makes clear in this astonishing and gripping narrative, Christianity without Paul is quite literally nothing. Jesus, with the layers of exegesis, scholarship, and ceremony stripped away, is a Jew, a fastidious and fervent Jew, who would lead his followers into a stricter, purer observance of Judaism. It is Paul who will claim divinity for him, who will transform him into the Messiah, center of an entirely new religion.

And it is Paul who will negotiate the dangerous political currents of the Roman Empire, traveling everywhere, making converts, writing the great epistles that define our understanding of Christ and of the sublime paradoxes of his teaching, defusing the natural antagonism of the supreme temporal power to this dangerous spiritual force, Christianity, which would in time consume that empire from within.

What drove Paul? What fueled this act of inspired creativity? What would he think of what his church has become?

At the time that Paul was traveling and preaching his doctrine of salvation in Christ, the Emperor Nero was lighting the gardens of his palace, the Vatican, with torches made of living Christians. Such was the force of Paul's message that within two hundred years the Roman emperor was a Christian and the Vatican belonged to the Church.

 

About A. N. Wilson

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A. N. Wilson is the author of the acclaimed biographies Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Jesus, and Paul; God's Funeral, and several celebrated novels. He lives in London.
 
Published April 1, 1997 by W W Norton & Co Inc. 273 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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In an author’s note, Wilson informs readers that in their collective hands they now “hold the final installment of the Repairman Jack series.” If so, it’s a rather melancholy valedictory.

Sep 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

Kirkus Reviews

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To a shellshocked friend, clinging to the idea of bedrock fundamentals, Glaeken explains that the Change is irrevocably the Change: “We’ll have to learn to forget about physical laws—or any laws, for that matter.” If there’s any way of forestalling the Change, an overmatched Glaeken acknowledges ...

May 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

The Guardian

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Now Liam has sloughed off one life and Patrick can no longer mythologise or hide behind him.

May 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

The Guardian

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If Paul Wilson isn't the most productive of writers – his last novel, Someone to Watch Over Me, came out in 2001 – then that may largely be attributable to his day job working with young offenders and the mentally ill.

May 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

Publishers Weekly

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Government officials have a moral responsibility to serve the people, according to this forthright personal testament from Havel, the playwright who is now president of the Czech Republic.

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Publishers Weekly

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Last seen with his life mostly ruined after an attempt to unionize a group of sims results in their murder, Patrick Sullivan brings the personal injury lawsuit, abetted by the alluring Romy Cadman, who seems to have every man in the story pining after her.

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Publishers Weekly

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Whenever accused child murderer (and defrocked priest) Bill Ryan is near a telephone, it wails a continuous ring.

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The Independent

Tindal Street Press £7.99 A man on the ledge of heaven I must confess that I had never heard of Paul Wilson until I was sent this to review, but The Visiting Angel is his sixth novel and on the strength of it alone, he deserves to be much, much better known.

Feb 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

Blogger News Network

The cover states “A Repairman Jack Novel.” It’s one of a series about Repairman Jack.

May 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

Jeremy Lynch

After an altercation at his job, Jack finds himself on the wrong side of some angry Dominicans and quickly must find a new line of work.

Dec 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

The New York Review of Books

In March 1991, when Havel went to Bratislava to confront a demonstration of Slovak nationalists celebrating the fifty-second anniversary of the founding of the wartime Slovak fascist state, an angry mob shouting “Dost’ bolo Havla!“—”We’ve had enough of Havel!”—threw eggs at him.

Apr 10 2003 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

The New York Review of Books

It was now about Havel the president, Havel the hero, Havel the warrior for human rights, Havel the statesman.

Feb 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Paul: The Mind of the Apostle

The New York Review of Books

March 2, 1995 An Upheaval for Czech Readers October 20, 1994 ...

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