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Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith Paperback – October 15, 1998
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Buckley writes with consistent intelligence and precision; how, indeed, could it be otherwise? Even those who do not agree with him politically will be struck by the sensitivity of his spiritual inquiry, particularly in his elaboration of the distinction between contemporary Catholic practice and the enduring Catholic heritage. Nearer, My God serves as a splendid testimony to the maintenance of faith. --Ron Hogan
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
I came back to this book for a second reading after Mr. Buckley was mentioned several times in the new book by Gary Wills, "Why I Am A Catholic". Mr. Buckley's working title was the same as that of Mr. Wills, but when his book was published in 1997 it had become, "Nearer, My God". Mr. Wills and Mr. Buckley had worked together with Mr. Wills having written for the National Review. Their personal preferences in the political sphere were to become incompatible, and the professional relationship ended.
"Nearer My God", is not as critical of the Church although it does raise a variety of questions about Vatican II, and the decline of virtually any form of religious instruction in education, public or private. Mr. Buckley shares the changes that have taken place at the preparatory school he attended, and includes at the end of his book a list of quite prestigious private schools generally founded by Christians, and their present course offerings that are devoid of anything other than religious homogeneity. The effort spent ensuring that any discussion/teaching is as far from any study of specific religions, is either laughable, or offensive depending on the reader's point of view.Read more ›
In "Nearer, My God," written before President Bush took office (and whose title springs from the hymn,"Nearer My God To Thee") Mr. Buckley draws from Catholic liturgy, philosophy, dialogue, art and debate (reaching to Scripture itself) to describe and affirm his love for Christ and his Catholic faith.
The book is subtitled, "An Autobiography of Faith," and often reads with warm, vivid, humorous family memories and familial wit (a WFB trademark.) Mr. Buckley vividly describes his youth in strict but nurturing St. John's school in Beaumont, and recalls his parents and siblings' religious practice (closing with tender remembrances of his mother Aloise, to whom he dedicated the book). Mr. Buckley tempers memories of a nephew's ordination into a strict Benedictine order, a Sistine Chapel TV taping and audience with Pope John Paul II with humorous asides on bad wine, camcorder angles and papal misintroductions. Mr. Buckley also bemusedly describes his years at Yale, from where gradual, hard-hearted removal of Christian symbolism and ethos inspired his first best seller and a recurring theme in this book. (WFB's dismantles Millbrook College's Christmas, um, "Candlelight" service with particular humor and relish.)
But WFB also at times falls into the moderator role he often took on his flagship PBS show, "Firing Line.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Partly autobiographical and partly a tome on historical Roman Catholic thought, William F. Buckley Jr takes the reader through a leisurely stroll through his own fertile mind with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Pastor Mark
I will write a review when I finish consulting my 'dictionarium'Published 14 months ago by Il marito
The author is at his best when dealing with Christianity. Old WF Buckley Jr sings like a poet and makes my
Lutheran soul take delight in my Catholic brothers.
Enjoyed reading this book. Not too heavy theologically, but interesting.Published 21 months ago by bookemdanno
WFB, I miss you! Reading the very excellent National Review for years educated me in so many ways. Reading Nearer, My God brought back great memories of being schooled by WFB and... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Sierra Oscar