Item description for Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker Spirituality by J. Brent Bill...
Overview For centuries, Quakers have taught that when people are silent, God grants them insights, guidance, and spiritual understanding. In this profound book, Bill invites readers to discover this and other unique gifts of Quaker spirituality.
Publishers Description People of all faiths and backgrounds are drawn to silence. They yearn for it in these busy and difficult times, but often, when silence becomes available, we don't know what to do with it. For centuries, Quakers have taught that when we are silent, God grants us insights, guidance, and spiritual understanding that is different from what we might realize in our noisy, everyday lives. In this profound book, J. Brent Bill invites readers to discover this and other unique gifts of Quaker spirituality. The result is a satisfying experience and taste of a spiritual tradition unflinching in its dedication to listening for the sounds and voice of God.
From Publishers Weekly For anyone who has ever wondered about the history and devotional life of this
small but influential denomination, Bill's anecdotal and chatty book about the
Quaker "sacrament" of silence will serve as a useful introduction. Some
readers may not know, for example, that Quaker meetings may have pastors or a
sacramental theology of silent worship that is analogous to that of many
Protestant and Catholic liturgical traditions. "We believe that Christ comes
in a physically present way in the same way that Catholics believe that when
the host is elevated it becomes the literal body and blood of Jesus," writes
Bill, the executive v-p of the Indianapolis Center for Congregations. In this
brief primer on Quakerism in general and silence in particular, the author
uses a practical tone to anchor reflections on what is essentially a matter of
mystery: how God speaks in and through individual and communal silence. A
self-confessed "type A personality," Bill brings a buoyant but realistic tone
to his subject. Interspersed with quotations from various Christian writers
and pauses for "quietude queries," or reflective moments for relaxation and
contemplation, the slim volume is a useful tool for readers seeking a guide to
devotional practice. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Studio: Paraclete Press (MA)
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.98" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.45" Weight: 0.43 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2005
Publisher Paraclete Press (MA)
ISBN 1557254206 ISBN13 9781557254207
Availability 0 units.
More About J. Brent Bill
J. Brent Bill is a writer, photographer, popular speaker, retreat leader, and Quaker minister. His other books include Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble toward Simplicity and Grace and Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment.
J. Brent Bill currently resides in Mooresville, in the state of Indiana. J. Brent Bill was born in 1951.
Reviews - What do customers think about Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker Spirituality?
...well... Jan 15, 2008
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed, especially after all those quite good reviews I've read here before I've ordered the book. I only just got interested in Quakerism and since you can't get much on the subject in Germany I've ordered a couple from the States. I'm quite glad I've read a fair bit on Quakerism on the internet before the book arrived cause otherwise I would have lost interest straight away. All the way through he makes it sound like there is only one way of worship and he points out that Quakerism is rooted in Christianity and so on. Well yes, but it would have been nice to read a bit more about it than his personal conservative view (and bible quotes). Bill's view is not the only one and certainly different in other parts of the world. I can imagine the book is quite good though when you are a Friend or at least familiar with the whole subject. But not as a newcomer.
popular quaker theology Jan 17, 2007
"I have often repented of speech," wrote the fourth-century desert father Arsenios, "but never of silence." In this simple and popularly written book, J. Brent Bill introduces readers to the "holy hush" theology and practice of Quaker spirituality. Quakers number only about 200,000 people in the United States, but their influence extends far beyond that tiny remnant. With no creed, no liturgy, no sacred place defined by architecture, no observance of holy days, no sacraments, and no professional clergy, Quaker simplicity revolves around silence, both in personal spirituality and in corporate worship. Silence is what Bill calls the Quaker "sacrament," that place where a believer meets the real presence of Christ. Given the ambient noise in so much of our culture, silence is a gift most believers would do well to cultivate, and Quakers can help show us the way. Throughout his six chapters Bill shares his own personal successes and failures (banging nails on Good Friday, his divorce, visiting a Catholic church, etc.), and intersperses the texts with "Quietude Queries" that serve as guided self-examinations to help readers hear the voice of God. At the end of the book a glossary provides simple definitions for common Quaker terms, while a section called "Words on Silence" gives fifteen annotated suggestions for further reading (but where was Richard Foster?!). Readers will need to consult other books for more technical treatments of Quaker history, theology, and ethics (cf. pacifism), but I will say this--reading Bill's book tempted me to visit the Quaker meeting place not far from my house.
The Sacrament of Silence Dec 28, 2006
INTRODUCTION: If you were every wondering what makes Quakers stand out from the rest of the Christian traditions, it is their simplicity, their emphasis on a worship comprised of 'holy silence' and their pacifist stand. They are also known as the "the Society of Friends." Reading this book I could only be tempted to visit the closest Quaker meeting place in my Santa Cruz.
AUTHOR: In the tradition of Richard Foster (another great Quaker author - "Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth") - J. Brent Bill expands our horizon about Christian spirituality. Bill focuses on one primary aspect of Quaker life - silence.
CONTENT: In this book I was introduced to the "holy hush" theology and practice of Quaker spirituality. The Friends have their origin in 17th century England, have no liturgy, no creed, no observance of a Christian calendar, no professional clergy, and above all no sacrament (maybe silence is the exception). The simplicity of the Quakers is centered in "silence" - both in their corporate worship and in their personal spiritual life. "Holy Silence" six chapters discusses how to find silence amid the noise of daily life, ways to practice silence both individually and communally, and how to listen to God with one's whole heart and mind.
CONCLUSION: I have never read anything like this before. For someone who values moments of solitude, of escape from noise (external and internal), and deep personal peace, I had a lot to learn from fellow Christian J. Brent Bill. In our post-modern fast-paced society and our chatty & noisy personal lives, "holy silence" can be something very elusive to attain ... but a valuable treasure, nevertheless..
A compassionate and devout guide Oct 7, 2006
Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker Spirituality by J. Brent Bill ( Executive Vice President of the Indianapolis Center For Congregations Inc.) is an invitation for readers of all faiths to discover spirituality through the Quaker way of listening for the voice of God in silence. Chapters discuss how to find silence amid the noise of daily life, ways to practice silence both individually and communally, and how to listen to God with one's whole heart and mind. "Quietude Queries" such as "Have I ever been a part of a 'non-church' experience where I felt God's presence? What made me feel that God was there?" are suggested for contemplation while experiencing the spiritual transcendence of silence. A compassionate and devout guide recommended to Christian readers of all denominational affiliations.
I like it! Aug 6, 2005
I pre-read Holy Silence to see if it would be suitable for my Quaker meeting's study group. I've been a Quaker for 42 years, and Holy Silence is helpful for both the experienced practicer of silent worship and the newcomer. When I recommended the book to our study group, it was with the proviso that while Brent Bill is not at all doctrinaire, he does make heavy use of Christian metaphors, which the Universalists in the group should be prepared to learn from. If the Universalists in your group are similarly non-doctrinaire about their Universalism, they can profit from the book. If some metaphor sticks in someone's craw, my advice would be to challenge the group to brainstorm together how else to express the idea. Throughout the book Bill has inserted opportunities to experience silence while responding to a query. I will recommend to the study group that we respond to the Quietude Queries together, and afterward share what bubbled up to us during the silences. I look forward to reading the book again in the company of good Friends.