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The Presence of Absence: On Prayers and an Epiphany Paperback – Aug 1 1999

2.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1 edition (Aug. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807070939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807070932
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,562,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Amazon

As a 27-year-old, the poet Doris Grumbach had a fleeting yet undeniable experience of God's presence. In order to recapture that experience, she began a frustrating few decades of churchgoing, and eventually she abandoned formal prayer--only to begin an equally frustrating search for God in private. The Presence of Absence: On Prayers and an Epiphany is a slim memoir of her ongoing search. Grumbach is most interesting when she reflects on the writers and thinkers--from Meister Eckhart to Kathleen Norris--who have shaped her understanding of the risks and rewards of solitary prayer. And although her unyielding integrity has trapped her in a loneliness that sometimes sounds terrifying, Grumbach's stringent refusal to be glib about God will serve as an inspiring corrective example for many. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

More than half a century ago, novelist and essayist Grumbach (Coming into the End Zone, etc.) experienced an overwhelming "feeling of peace so intense that it seemed to expand into ineffable joy." In that fleeting moment, she felt the presence of God, and this book is an extended meditation on her longing for a renewed sense of God's presence. After years steeped in the liturgy and clamor of the institutional Protestant church, Grumbach abandoned communal prayer in favor of solitude and the Psalms and found guidance in the works of Simone Weil, Dag Hammarskjold and Thomas Merton, whose assertion that "prayer means yearning for the simple presence of God" guided her contemplative journey. In telling of her fight against the intrusions of her ego and of her struggle to pray through the intense pain of neuralgia, Grumbach achieves a determinedly patient, honest and down-to-earth voice. She wants God wholeheartedly, but she also refuses any experience of God less than the "heart-churning" experience she felt so long ago. For Grumbach, the absence of this epiphanic experience calls into question God's presence. It is not until she discovers psychotherapist James Hillman's idea that "absence is the first form of knowing" that she can accept the possibility of God's presence even in the apparent absence of an epiphany. Grumbach's graceful and elegant prose records the agonies and the joys of her search for God's presence.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
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December 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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June 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.2 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsCredible and Moving Reflections on Mystical Theology and Practice
January 15, 2013 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.
Deborah Ann Kline
5.0 out of 5 starsSatisfied
June 12, 2016 - Published on
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Tom Herren
4.0 out of 5 starsA Reluctant Reviewer
December 23, 2000 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
9 people found this helpful.
2.0 out of 5 starsanother boring book
June 13, 1999 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
2 people found this helpful.

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