I Want You to Be

On the God of Love

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Tomᚹ Halík
Translator(s): 
Gerald Turner
  • Notre Dame, IN: 
    University of Notre Dame Press
    , August
     2016.
     200 pages.
     $25.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780268100728.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In his two previous books translated into English, Patience with God and Night of the Confessor, best-selling Czech author and theologian Tomáš Halík focused on the relationship between faith and hope. Now, in I Want You to Be, Halík examines the connection between faith and love, meditating on a statement attributed to St. Augustine—_amo, volo ut sis,_ “I love you: I want you to be”—and its importance for contemporary Christian practice. Halík suggests that because God is not an object, love for him must be expressed through love of human beings. He calls for Christians to avoid isolating themselves from secular modernity and recommends instead that they embrace an active and loving engagement with nonbelievers through acts of servitude. At the same time, Halík critiques the drive for mere material success and suggests that love must become more than a private virtue in contemporary society. I Want You to Be considers the future of Western society, with its strong division between Christian and secular traditions, and recommends that Christians think of themselves as partners with nonbelievers.

Halik’s distinctive style is to present profound insights on religious themes in an accessible way to a lay audience. As in previous books, this volume links spiritual and theological/philosophical topics with a tentative diagnosis of our times. This is theology written on one’s knees; Halik is as much a spiritual writer as a theologian. I Want You to Be will interest both general and scholarly readers interested in questions of secularism and Christianity in modern life.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Tomáš Halík worked as a psychotherapist during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia and at the same time was active in the underground church as a secretly ordained Catholic priest. Since the fall of the regime, he has served as general secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops and was an advisor to Václav Havel. He has lectured at many universities throughout the world and is currently a professor of philosophy and sociology at Charles University. His books, which are best sellers in his own country, have been translated into many languages and have received several literary prizes.

Under the pseudonym of A.G. Brain, Gerald Turner has translated numerous banned authors from Communist Czechoslovakia, including Václav Havel, Ivan Klíma, and Ludvík Vaculík. His many published translations include Tomáš Halík’s Patience with God (2009) and Night of the Confessor (2012). He received the US PEN Translation Award in 2004.

Keywords: 

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