Touching Heaven, Discovering Orthodox Christianity on the Island of Valaam

Touching Heaven Discovering Orthodox Christianity on the Island of Valaam Deep in a northern Russian forest of jade and brown far from any hint of civilization Valaam Monastery sinks into the seasons of the year as it has for a thousand years before So begins the story of

  • Title: Touching Heaven, Discovering Orthodox Christianity on the Island of Valaam
  • Author: JohnOliver
  • ISBN: 9781888212655
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Paperback
  • Deep in a northern Russian forest of jade and brown, far from any hint of civilization, Valaam Monastery sinks into the seasons of the year as it has for a thousand years before So begins the story of John Oliver, a young evangelical American on a journey of discovery a journey that leads him to an ancient Russian monastery, a place of peace and a place of struggl Deep in a northern Russian forest of jade and brown, far from any hint of civilization, Valaam Monastery sinks into the seasons of the year as it has for a thousand years before So begins the story of John Oliver, a young evangelical American on a journey of discovery a journey that leads him to an ancient Russian monastery, a place of peace and a place of struggle For on Valaam, he encounters Orthodox Christianity and is reminded that the Christian life is not for the faint of heart And on Valaam, the treasure of stillness requires a fierce guarding Foreword by Fr Jonah Paffhausen, abbot of the Monastery of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, in Northern California Excerpts from book reviews Lyrically, eloquently, and with great wisdom, this book speaks to the soul Part spiritual autobiography, part penetrating description of what Orthodox spirituality can and should be, John Oliver s words evoke in the reader s mind and heart a longing for God, at once fierce and tender Great art, great architecture, he says, always leads us inward and upward This marvelous book does no less It leads us inward and upward, until, for a moment at least, we even touch heaven Fr John Breck, Author, professor of biblical interpretation and ethics at St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris Touching Heaven is a lovely book, quiet and contemplative, and full of peaceful revelations Frederica Mathewes Green, Author of Facing East, National Public Radio commentator This is a gripping and finely written account of what drew John Oliver into the deeper waters of Christianity and made him an Orthodox Christian Jim Forest, Author of Praying with Icons, lecturer

    One thought on “Touching Heaven, Discovering Orthodox Christianity on the Island of Valaam”

    1. A lovely and beautifully written account of a John Oliver's pilgrimage as a young man to a monastery on the island of Valaam in Russia. Oliver, raised in an evangelical Christian family, discovered the Orthodox church and clearly felt at home. The trip to Valaam itself is interesting, but I found his account of returning to "the world" most compelling. He also spends the four penultimate chapters discussing poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, and has an excellent perspective on all four [...]

    2. John Oliver wrote TOUCHING HEAVEN during and after a pilgrimage to the Valaam monastery in Russia, where he and a group of other Orthodox Christians from the US repaired a site badly scarred by the communist years. I thought the book would be interesting, but was ultimately quite disappointed.Oliver's book consists mainly of personal musings inspired by moments at the monastery. These concern the difficulty of the ascetic life on the island and the unhealthy values of American consumerism back h [...]

    3. Oliver does a nice job of describing the life of the monastics on Valaam. The book is heartfelt and sincere. Oliver's love for the orthodox faith comes through loud and clear.

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