Item description for Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith by william f. buckley jr....
Overview The noted author and conservative thinker chronicles one man's exploration of faith as he faced difficult personal struggles and dealt with the great social changes around him. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.
Publishers Description This is the story of one man's faith, told with unrivaled reflection and candor. William F. Buckley, Jr., was raised a Catholic. As the world plunged into war, and as social mores changed dramatically around him, Buckley's faith -- a most essential part of his make-up -- sustained him. In Nearer, My God, Buckley examines in searching detail the meaning of his faith, and how his life has been shaped and sustained by religious conviction. In highly personal terms, and with the wit and acuity for which he is justly renowned, Buckley discusses vital issues of Catholic doctrine and practice, and in so doing outlines for the reader both the nature of CathoLic faith and the essential role of religious belief in everyday life. In powerfully felt prose, he contributes provocatively and intelligently to the national interest in the nature of religion, the Church, and spiritual development. Nearer, My God is sure to appeal to all readers who have felt the stirrings of their own religious faith, and who want confirmation of their beliefs or who are seeking a guide to understanding their own souls. The renowned social and political commentator, William F. Buckley Jr., turns to a highly personal subject -- his faith. And he tells us the story of his life as a Catholic Christian. "Nearer, My God" is the most reflective, poignant, and searching of Bill Buckley's many books. In the opening chapters he relives his childhood, a loving, funny, nostalgic glimpse into pre-World War II America and England. He speaks about his religious experiences to a world that has changed dramatically. He is unafraid of revealing the most personal side of his faith. He describes, in his distinctive style, the intimacy of a trip to Lourdes, the impact on him of the searing account by Maria Valtorta of the Crucifixion, the ordination of his nephew into the priesthood, and gives a moving account of his mother's death. And there is humor, as Buckley gives a unique, hilarious view of a visit to the Vatican with Malcolm Muggeridge, Charlton Heston, Grace Kelly, and David Niven. Personal though this book is, Buckley has gone to others to examine new perspectives, putting together his own distinguished 'Forum' and leaning on the great literature of the past to illustrate his thinking on contemporary Catholic and Christian issues.
Citations And Professional Reviews Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith by william f. buckley jr. has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 955
New York Times - 10/18/1998 page 36
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 754
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Studio: Mariner Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.08" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.81" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Oct 15, 1998
Publisher Harvest Books
ISBN 0156006189 ISBN13 9780156006187
Reviews - What do customers think about Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith?
Do not judge this book by the cover Apr 9, 2008
I wanted to get a glimpse of contemporary conservative thinking. After Mr. Buckley passing away I heard that he was a sort of beacon for modern Conservative political thought. There's no better way to get a lowdown on this than to get under conservative skin, i.e. going into the subject of faith, since this is a sort of underlying building block for conservative thought.
Referring to the subtitle "An autobiography of faith", there is very little "autobiography". We get just a glimpse of Mr.Buckley's privileged childhood in the beginning of the book. But the major body of the text is a commentary on someone else's religious writings, filled with very generous quotations. From the initial premise of the book - "autobiography of faith" - I got an impression that it's going to be a personal account of how someone like Mr. Buckley comes to Catholic faith and what strengthens him in his beliefs. What you get instead is a very referential analysis of certain developments in the history of Catholicism and some current religious concepts. For example, Vatican abandoning the Latin liturgy in favor of modern languages (the author strongly disagrees with it), issues of contraception, the influence of church on the state, etc. In general, it leaves a strong impression that this book is written by a journalist, who wanted to mull over the current agenda, not by a person, who wanted to explore and share his personal relationship with God.
Roman Catholic Thought Dicussed Dec 8, 2007
I am not a Roman Catholic and never have been. My review is by an individual who is critical of the Roman Catholic Faith. The author of this book, William F. Buckley is a devout Roman Catholic and believes in the teachings of his church. The title of this work makes it sound like a devotional; it is not. The cover of the book calls the book an autobiography of Faith; It is not. William F. Buckley does share some personal experience in his life interacting with the Roman Catholic church. He also discusses thoughts of fellow Catholics in his life. It is not explanation or presentation development of faith through life experience or study. This book is about Roman Catholic doctrine. The original working title of this book was Why am I still a Catholic. William F. Buckley felt this title made it seem like he was or should be embarrassed to be a member of the Catholic Church; something he surely is not. The author uses the same intellect and serious thought to his religious faith as he argues his political views.
The Catholic church is the ultimate arbitrator of Truth. This book defends the Pope's obligation to make biblical teaching clearer and easier to understand. The author details the churches' position on developing doctrine. Difficulties between Arnold Lunn, then at the time not a catholic, and friar Arnold. Included in the discussion is papal inerrancy , the inquisition and slavery , eternal punishment, indulgences, difficulty with Biblical interpretation and Biblical literalism. In other places in this work the author defends Mother as the Mother of God, the praying to `the saints', miracles at Lourdes, issues of no woman priests, divorce - annulments, birth control, and remarriage. Obviously I disagree with most everything in the defense of Catholic teaching but is done well. Ordination of Michael Bozell is told about. The principles of being a God Father and how the application in real life is discussed.
Included are observations and experience with fellow Catholics. An example of this is Malcolm Muggeridge.
gentle Jun 4, 2007
Written in a gentle way without any super big words pushing you to the nearest dictionary. A statement of faith and belief. But spiritual questions remain which even the super intelligent can not totally figure out. This reviewer found the book enlightening.
A Christian Apologist Apr 22, 2007
I'm suprised he's a Mr. Buckley instead of a Dr. Buckley. His philosophical defense on Christianity are as complex and as detailed as other leading doctorate Christian Apologetic defenses by such professors as William Lane Craig and Peter Kreeft. His book is more than just intriguing; it's a work of deep thought and faith. Although the extravagant words that Mr. Buckley uses (Many of the words he use are unfamiliar to Microsoft Word!) can be quite confusing, it's logical structure is superb. Mr. Buckley must have some very good knowledge on formal logic. I personally like how he seperates his defenses of Christianity and Catholicism, allowing this book to be tolerated for even the most evangelical Christian. That's another great aspect of the book, in my opinion. (I am not an evangelical) Mr. Buckley is obviously a conservative Catholic, seperated by the popular Christian evangelism that is sweeping through churches. Buckley put's aside the evangelical dogma, and shows Christianity on how it really is. Not by saying that every religion is wrong except for Christianity - the evangelical approach but by saying why Christianity is the right religion, and how he possibly could be wrong. Christian apologetic books like this make Atheists, like Sam Harris, beg for a chance to slow down and let them organize their thoughts. So instead of having Rick Warren and Sam Harris debate on Newsweek, let's see Sam Harris and William F. Buckley bust out their beliefs. But I do believe Mr. Harris would plead for a Dictionary somewhere in the middle of such a debate.
The book is superb and I recommend it for those Christians who feel their faith lacks intellectual and rational standing.
Interesting, but not riveting Mar 20, 2006
Interesting, but not riveting...I would say the best chapters are the first several - Buckley seems to lose his way through the book - what is he trying to convey to us in the latter chapters? He, himself says he took on and then abandoned the project (it sounds like a couple of times) before settling down to write it. His writing is always interesting - delightful 'turn of phrase' springs to mind...IMHO - not up to the Buckley standard (and admittedly - it is a high standard)