Gladfest 2021: The Quiet Haven: An Anthology of Readings on Death and Heaven with Professor Ian Bradley
11th September - 11th September 2021
According to Professor Ian Bradley, author of The Quiet Haven: An Anthology of Readings on Death and Heaven, 'The inspiration for my new book is both pastoral and personal. Over recent years I have found myself increasingly being asked about death and what may lie beyond it, often though not always from those themselves close to death or feeling that it cannot be far off. I have felt the need to have a collection of suitable readings to hand and it has grown into this anthology compiled from the writings of some of the world’s greatest minds and most devout believers over the last three thousand years.
'The contents of the book are very varied. They range from brief epithets to longer poems and complex philosophical musings. Some are very simple and unashamedly sentimental, which may well be all that one can cope with as death approaches; others are more challenging and even disturbing.
'The overwhelming majority express a Christian perspective but there are also extracts from the foundational texts of other faiths such as the Hindu Upanishads and from non-Christian mystics and philosophers. Every one of them is here because I have found it helpful, consoling or thought-provoking in my own wrestling with what the great Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca called the ‘question beyond questions’, the ultimately unfathomable mystery of death and what lies beyond it.'
Ian Bradley is a British academic, author, theologian, Church of Scotland minister, journalist and broadcaster. He is Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Spiritual History at the University of St Andrews where he served until recently as Principal of St Mary's College and a University chaplain.
He has researched and written widely on religious matters, from Celtic Christianity to the spirituality of water and the future of the churches in Britain. In addition, he has published numerous books on the subjects of hymnody, monarchy, British identity, the Victorian era, Gilbert and Sullivan, musical theatre and spas.
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