3 Dec 2018


You may well be thinking these are unusual choices of reading material for me and you'd be right but recent events within my family ...

Well, lets just leave it at that both books proved helpful at a time when I found myself struggling. TT


Using Derrida's provocative paradox as the epigraph and starting point for his new book, Richard Holloway tackles the complex theme of forgiveness. It is a subject that he explores from both a personal and political perspective but underpinning this examination is his belief that religion has given us many of the best stories and metaphors for understanding the act. He proceeds to relate forgiveness to such events as September 11th, the Truth Commission in South Africa, and the ongoing conflicts in Palestine/Israel, Northern Ireland and Serbia

On Forgiveness is a discourse on how forgiveness works, where it came from and how the need to embrace it is greater than ever if we are to free ourselves from the binds of the past. Drawing on philosophers and writers of the calibre of George Steiner, Frederick Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt and Nelson Mandela, Holloway has written another fascinating and timely book.
- Inner Front Cover Blurb

SOURCE ... On loan from the library at the Diocese of Newcastle's Resource Centre by Mr T. I thought I too would give On Forgiveness a read.


MY THOUGHTS ... Though very much a book with the author's Christian faith at its heart this is what I thought of as an 'accessible' read; Holloway's secular stance of what is often thought of as a 'religious' topic refreshing.

Not too theological (though I dare say some would argue it warrants a more indepth philosophical debate) and certainly never 'preachy' ... at no point does Holloway ever insist we MUST forgive instead exploring the ramifications of when we do or likewise, don't, forgive ... its ideal for both those of faith and those of none dealing with as it does the inherent value of forgiveness for all.

Creating A Life is a powerful commentary on the importance of the examined life, illustrating how we may arrive at an understanding of our life choices and relationships by exploring our core complexes and personal history.

With insight and compassion grounded in the humanist side of analytical psychology, Hollis elucidates the circuitous way of individuation. The text is deeply enriched by the inclusion of poems and excerpts from the works of many modern writers (including John Fowles, Rike, D.H. Lawrence, Thoreau, Pascal and Kierkegaard).
- Back Cover blurb

SOURCES ... Purchased on the suggestion of a psychologist.

READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... No, neither book was read as part of a challenge.

MY THOUGHTS ... In a nutshell, a book which sets out to "explore the attitudes and practises necessary for the second half of life".

Using excerpts from the works of various writers (some of whom were familiar, most of whom weren't) the author, a graduate of the Jung Institute in Zurich, takes you on a scintillating journey albeit it one that as he says "will not solve all your problems or heal your pain." 

At times uncomfortably challenging. Sometimes a  tad wordy and academic; many of the metaphors going over my head, I admit I was on occasion seen to throw my hands up in the air and shout 'what?'  BUT oh my goodness! Thought provoking, astonishingly insightful, a real eyeopener; how it spoke to and of me.


Brian Joseph said...

This is very interesting reading Tracy. I think that I would like both books, especially the Hollis book. It sounds as if you also got a lot out of it. Sometimes thinks can lay on the references very heavy. It is difficult for any one person to get them all. I tend to Google a lot when reading books like this.,

Kelly said...

I'm much more drawn to the first book than the second. I think forgiveness, whether viewed from a religious slant or not, is something that's vital for our mental health. I believe it's often more therapeutic for the forgiver than the one being forgiven. Interesting to see the reference to Nelson Mandela. I find him to be one of the greatest modern day examples of one who was able to forgive and move on and I greatly admired him. As for a religious example, my favorite is Joseph from the Old Testament.

Alexia561 said...

I've been exploring non-fiction titles lately too, although not these particular subjects. May have to take a look at the first one, as I sometimes have trouble with forgiveness. Glad you said that it wasn't too preachy, as that's an automatic turn-off for me. Hope you and Mr T are doing well!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

These do sound quite serious and challenging on a few levels. I'd probably like to read On Forgiveness. Life has taught me that the person doing the forgiving probably benefits most.
I wish you well, Tracy.

Sherry Ellis said...

That's good that a book spoke to you. Those are the most meaningful. I hope it helped.

nightwingsraven said...

Both of these two books sound
very interesting, insightful
and truly thought provoking.
I will add both of them to my
list. And thank you for your
excellent review.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. I'm not a practising Christian (as I was in my recent past), but I have a heart for forgiving, and like Tracy, I believe it is self-healing. Blessings. Love love, Andrew.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Sorry, I meant to say 'Kelly'! Oops.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Interesting topics. I'm glad the first one wasn't overly religious. Sometimes it's nice to be able to read these type of things without feeling like it's preaching at you the entire time.


sherry fundin said...

Glad the books worked for you. I have to be in the right mood for reading them.
sherry @ fundinmental

Karen Alderman said...

I like the idea of a book being "uncomfortably challenging" yet still speaking to you.

Both of these sound very good Tracy. I hope they did help you.

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Good to hear these worked for you. I am dealing with disappointment, stress, fear, anger, worry and more concerning a member of our family and seeking answers on the road to forgiveness is not easy.

DMS said...

I haven't heard of either of these before. Glad that you enjoyed both of them. The second one has me most intrigued. Thanks for sharing. :)

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