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By John S. Dunne

Dark mild of Love, John S. Dunne's twenty-third booklet, used to be written sooner than his dying on November eleven, 2013. Dunne, referred to as through Christian Century "one of the main severe and unique theologians within the country," keeps his quest of religion looking figuring out. during this new e-book he examines darkness as a metaphor for unknowing and the unknown. If darkish mild is like actual mild touring throughout the darkness of outer area, invisible until eventually it moves an item, then the darkish mild of affection is the kindly gentle that leads us by means of the center, one step at a time, towards God.
during this slim, deeply meditative paintings, Dunne engages with a wealthy number of sources—literature, theology, philosophy, and music—in an attempt to complicated how "the darkish gentle of affection" illuminates a soul within the procedure wherein it's "oned" with God via emergence, separation, and at last union. As Paul Kollman observes within the foreword, by way of interpreting his personal figuring out and his personal loving in that technique, Dunne leads us to think again our personal understanding and loving, thereby shining mild at the puzzles that perplex every one of us.

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5 What is “the understanding in the will”? I think of it as the quest of understanding, faith seeking understanding, and see it as contrasting with doubt seeking certainty.

On the affirmative way of “an understanding heart” we can be doing what God is doing in creating human beings, cooperating in our own creation. ” I gain insight by following the “kindly light,” and I can share insight with others, rekindling hearts in a world that grows chill. A life of gaining and sharing insight is the life we see in paradigmatic individuals, Buddha and Socrates and Jesus. There is a common experience here of gaining and sharing insight, but there is in each instance a unique insight, the enlightenment of the Buddha, the knowing unknowing of Socrates, the revelation of the God of Jesus that he calls Abba.

As God is spirit, I gather, so God acts spiritually, kindling hearts and illumining minds, and thus learning to love with all your heart and with all your mind is cooperating with God. It is learning also, as Tolkien says, to “rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill,”21 and thus to do what God is doing. A phenomenology of spirit, if we understand “God is spirit,” has to go not just from the presence of others to presence to self, as Hegel’s does, but must go on to the presence of God. ” That road takes us through purgative, illuminative, and unitive phases, through “purity of heart is to will one thing,” as Kierkegaard says,22 to seeing the one thing like Solomon answering the divine invitation “Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5) with a prayer for “an understanding heart” (1 Kings 3:9), to the union of love in “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

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