John O'Donohue was awarded a Ph.D. in philosophical theology from the University of Tubingen in 1990. He is the author of several works, including a book on the philosophy of Hegel, Person als Vermittlung; two collections of poetry, Echoes of Memory and Conamara Blues; and two international bestsellers, Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes. He lectures and holds workshops in Europe and America, and is currently researching a book on the philosophical mysticism of Meister Eckhart. He lives in Ireland.
The author of the bestselling Anam Cara hits a lyrical mark again with this book that boldly takes up an eternal verity and ideal-beauty. O'Donohue's premise is urgent and sweeping: "Politics, religion, and economics and the institutions of family and community all have become abruptly unsure. At first, it sounds completely naive to suggest that now might be the time to awaken and invoke beauty. Yet this is exactly the claim that this book explores." And so the author, who has a background in philosophy and has written about Hegel, seeks "intimations" and manifestations of beauty, finding it in music, color and movement, as well as some less likely locations-imperfection and death. Beauty is sensuous and present, but it is also always pointing to the transcendent. Its trail leads to the recognition of God, with O'Donohue quoting the novelist Dostoyevski-"Perhaps it is beauty that will save us in the end"-as well as medieval Christian mystic Meister Eckhart, whose thought he weaves through the book. O'Donohue writes like the poet he is ("Memory is the place where our vanished days secretly gather"), and he generously quotes from other poets across cultures and times. He also liberally draws into his circle of imagination the great philosophers of beauty, from Plato and Aquinas to contemporary German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer. The resulting book is a lively and informed discussion among great minds-a digest of provocative views on an inexhaustible and compelling topic. This refreshing book falls like rain on the parched plain of contemporary discourse. (Mar.) Forecast: The Irish scholar O'Donohue will launch this book in the U.S. this month with visits to New York, Austin, Baltimore and Los Angeles. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.