The Divine Heart of Darkness: Finding God in the Shadows


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Book Details

Rating: ★★★★

Format: Paperback (140 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-910519-58-5

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“A fascinating read ... intelligent and accessible”
The Independent

There is a universal assumption that associates darkness with fear and evil. Why is it that light has come to be exalted, venerated—worshipped even—whilst darkness has become demonised and feared? As a devoted lover of the dark, Catherine Bird seeks to ask how we can use the experience of darkness to lift our spirits, challenge our hearts and minds, and draw us closer into the heart of God. 

Drawing on material not only from Biblical and religious studies, but also from anthropology, biology, sociology and the creative arts, The Divine Heart of Darkness offers a new way of understanding darkness and invites you to enter a new realm in which light and darkness co-exist and complement each other, both with beautiful and life-affirming qualities, and both with challenging and negative qualities—not reflecting a dichotomy of good and evil, but rather a balanced universe in which God’s nature is revealed in all things which are healing and affirming of life.

Demonised and feared, darkness has long been associated with evil and despair, while light has come to be venerated, worshipped even. With her new book, author Catherine Bird seeks to challenge those long held assumptions. … A fascinating read … intelligent and accessible … excellently written and the reader is left both entertained and informed. Henry Austin, The Independent

A personal and betrothed narrative, conveying the beauty, wellbeing, benevolence, inner warmth and inspiration that darkness can and should bring.
Kim Holmén, International Director, Norwegian Polar Institute

Catherine Bird redefines darkness as a liberative concept with transformative effects for liturgy, spirituality and mission.
Professor Robert Beckford, Canterbury Christ Church University

This close but accessible study asks readers to think about darkness in ways that have been seldom explored. I warmly recommend it to all who are willing to question their assumptions, and to look at familiar day and night experiences in a new way.
The Revd Graeme Watson, author of Strike the Cloud

Powerfully inverts our customary imagery surrounding light and dark … Projects such as this serve to challenge the complacency of cultural thinking and lazy theology that stigmatises an essential ingredient of God’s purposes for creation. The Revd Richard Greatrex, The Church Times

Cathy Bird is in love with darkness! She can’t wait to put the clocks back in October and leave behind the long summer days in order to embrace the gifts of the night. … Cathy is not trying to turn the light off completely, but rather to question the commonly held understanding that light is good and darkness is bad – and to open our eyes to the presence of God in the darkness. … I found this book deeply moving, beautifully written and – even though this seems like the wrong metaphor – illuminating! It has encouraged me to treasure the darkness and has also stimulated some thinking about her sister, silence, and how we need to give more space to her amidst all our words and music.The Revd Nicola Vidamour, The Methodist Recorder

There are more resources for The Divine Heart of Darkness on the author’s website.

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