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About Martin Beck Matustik
Out of Silence: Repair across Generations
Copyright © 2015 by Martin Beck Matuštík
The story of one man's journey through three generations and five continents to find--and heal--a past he didn't know existed.
In 1997, Martin Beck Matuštík made a dramatic discovery at the age of forty: he was the child of a Holocaust survivor. His mother's shocking secret came from the most unlikely of places--shoeboxes full of her literary and personal archives. These dramatic revelations changed his life forever and set him on a path to discover his true identity. His research unveiled his mother's remarkable life--and the truth behind her painful decision to reject her Jewish heritage and keep it hidden from her family.
Matuštík's Out of Silence is an intensely personal Czech-Slovak-American Jewish journey into the past to understand the present and find hope for the future. Dealing with self-transformation, loss, memory, recovery, and the unsettling reality of living with multiple identities, Matuštík's exhaustive research and selfless prose offer other children of survivors--and the world at large--a remarkable look inside one man's endeavor to repair the shattered map of his life.
Born in Slovakia in 1957, Martin Beck Matuštík grew up in Prague behind the communist Iron Curtain. A firsthand witness of the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, Matuštík was raised in an atheistic home by communist parents until he was orphaned at the age of fourteen. Fleeing Prague in 1977 at the age of nineteen, he spent five years in training with California Jesuits, studied with Jürgen Habermas in Frankfurt a/M, and returned to Prague after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Matuštík received his PhD from Fordham University in 1991 and went on to teach in Purdue University's philosophy department. In 1995, he was a Fulbright fellow at Charles University in Prague. The author of six books and the editor of other distinguished works, Matuštík is on the faculty at Arizona State University as the Lincoln professor of ethics and religion and professor of philosophy and religious studies.
No one will deny that we live in a world where evil exists. But how are we to come to grips with human atrocity and its diabolical intensity? Martin Beck Matuštík considers evil to be even more radically evil than previously thought and to have become all too familiar in everyday life. While we can name various moral wrongs and specific cruelties, Matuštík maintains that radical evil understood as a religious phenomenon requires a religious response where the language of hope, forgiveness, redemption, and love can take us beyond unspeakable harm and irreparable violence. Drawing upon the work of Kant, Schelling, Kierkegaard, Levinas, Derrida, and Marion, this work is written as a series of meditations. Matuštík presents a bold new way of dealing with one of humanity's most intractable problems.