The Promise of Paradox: a celebration of contradictions in the Christian life
First published in 1980 – and reissued here with a feisty new introductory essay – The Promise of Paradox launched Parker J. Palmer s career as an author and his ongoing exploration of the contradictions that vex and enrich our lives. In this probing and heartfelt book, the distinguished writer, teacher, and activist examines some of the challenging questions at the core of Christian spirituality. How do we live with the apparent opposition between good and evil, scarcity and abundance, individuality and community, death and new life? We can hold them as paradoxes, not “either/ors”, allowing them to open our minds and hearts to new ways of seeing and being.
Animated by the insights of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, The Promise of Paradox explores spiritual questions in the open and generous spirit of Christian mysticism, challenging forms of Christianity that are closed and even cruel. There are no easy answers to these questions, and there may be no answers at all. But with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Palmer advocates the rich possibilities that emerge when we learn to “live the questions”.