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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New book by Maggie Ross: 'Writing the Icon of The Heart' : In Silence Beholding

What do we mean by the term ‘beholding’? Why is it missing from so many modern Bible translations?
Maggie Ross discusses through twelve essays the critical importance of silence and beholding as the basis for Christian life, and the dire consequences, especially to understanding the Bible, spiritual texts and practice, wrought by the absence of the word ‘behold’ from contemporary translations. She demonstrates how a true understanding of silence and beholding goes beneath religious language and clichés to the actual processes of mind rooted in the body, essential to understanding the Christian textual and iconographic heritage.

‘Behold is profoundly theological. It describes a reciprocal holding in being, the humility of God sharing the divine nature with what it creates. God the Creator of all who is beyond being, in humility allows us, created beings, to hold God in space and time even as God is sustaining us in existence and holding us in eternity.’

Ross also places special emphasis on the current global ecological crisis as a spiritual crisis.
This interdisciplinary book celebrates ancient and medieval insights into the mind’s journey into silence as they converge with contemporary psychology and neurobiology.

‘Maggie Ross clears away the “white noise” that so often attends writing, and talking about faith. She invites us into real quiet, which is also real presence, presence to ourselves and the threefold mystery that eludes our concepts and even our ordinary ideas of “experience”. A really transformative book.’
Archbishop Rowan Williams

Maggie Ross is the pseudonym of a professed Anglican solitary, who divides her time between Oxford and the USA, preaching and lecturing, leading retreats, offering pastoral care, and writing books and liturgies. Among her other books are Fire of Your Life (second rev. edition 2007, Church Publishing) and Pillars of Flame (rev. edition 2007, Church Publishing). She blogs at
Writing the Icon of the Heart is published 20 May 2011, priced £6.99, ISBN 978 1 84101 878 2, pb, 128 pages
For further information, a review copy or author interview, contact: Kevin Ball, Tel: 01865 319709, email:

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