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My Affair with Christianity – Lionel Blue

June 3, 2017

As usual, the author manages to combine serious questions with a lightness of touch and much humour.

Having been “married” to Judaism all his life, he, nonetheless likens the union to an “arranged marriage”, because I had been born into it. I had never chosen it.” Rabbi Blue had many “extra-marital” affairs of the spiritual kind, with different philosophies and religions. He had his Marxist affair at the age of 20 followed by the Quaker and the psychoanalytical affairs at Oxford. Then came the Vendantic one where he learned to meditate. There was the Buddhist affair, the Anglo-Catholic affair and finally most importantly his Christian affair where he literally identifies and falls in love with the figure of Jesus, (note that I say Jesus and not Christ). Hence the title of this funny and entertaining book.

He recounts with sensitivity and humour his near-Baptism and his near-conversion to the Christian faith, as well as his days at the BBC.

Quotations:

“My Judaism is not the same since that experience”

“After all the tides of feeling I have described, this is what remains for me. I come back to it again. There is a power of redemption at work in me, in you, and in the world outside which makes the crooked straight. For many reasons I began to experience that power as personal, dwelling in me and others. It redeemed me from bitterness and anger.

“I began to discover that heaven was my true home and also that it was here and now, woven into this life.”

“there I am moved by the arrivals and departures, the businessmen, the beggars, ladies anxious about their luggage and students looking like Rumpelstiltskin under their backpacks. As seen through the eyes of God, they seem so holy.”

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