Silence by Diarmaid MacCulloch
A Christian History

56%

5 Critic Reviews

MacCulloch covers some intriguing historical ground and raises many points of reflection for Christians. However, he fails to produce a cohesive and convincing history of silence.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A provocative meditation on the role of silence in Christian tradition by the New York Times bestselling author of Christianity

We live in a world dominated by noise. Religion is, for many, a haven from the clamor of everyday life, allowing us to pause for silent contemplation. But as Diarmaid MacCulloch shows, there are many forms of religious silence, from contemplation and prayer to repression and evasion. In his latest work, MacCulloch considers Jesus’s strategic use of silence in his confrontation with Pontius Pilate and traces the impact of the first mystics in Syria on monastic tradition. He discusses the complicated fate of silence in Protestant and evangelical tradition and confronts the more sinister institutional forms of silence. A groundbreaking book by one of our greatest historians, Silence challenges our fundamental views of spirituality and illuminates the deepest mysteries of faith.
 

About Diarmaid MacCulloch

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DIARMAID MacCULLOCH is the author of The Reformation, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Wolfson Prize, and the British Academy Prize, and of Thomas Cranmer, winner of the Whitbread Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and the Duff Cooper Prize. Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, he was brought up in a country rectory in East Anglia and now lives in Oxford, England.
 
Published September 12, 2013 by Penguin Books. 353 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Silence
All: 5 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jul 07 2013

MacCulloch covers some intriguing historical ground and raises many points of reflection for Christians. However, he fails to produce a cohesive and convincing history of silence.

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Kirkus

Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jul 07 2013

Discussing everything from strict monastic orders to the rewriting of Holocaust history as being about “silence” stretches the term to a state of near-meaninglessness. MacCulloch has bitten off more than most readers will want to chew.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Stuart Kelly on Mar 29 2013

Expanded from his Gifford lectures, it is, as one might expect of the author of A History of Christianity and Reformation, intellectually robust, and without the prevarications and self-qualifications that sometimes stymie academic prose.

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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by D.G. HART on Oct 27 2013

Mr. MacCulloch gallops too fast through too many incidents in scriptural history. Instead of a narrative emerging from a variety of better and lesser known episodes, the author's own judgments about good and bad instances of silence hold this jigsaw puzzle together.

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The Economist

Above average
on Mar 30 2013

He is entitled to challenge conventional ecclesiastical wisdom, but that does not mean his alternative theories are demonstrably true.

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Reader Rating for Silence
65%

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