From the best-selling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, an illuminating book about fear--and what we can do to overcome it.
An inescapable component of our lives, fear comes in many guises: fear of unemployment; fear of aging, illness, losing beauty; fear of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. In uncertain times, coping with these fears can be especially challenging, but in this indispensable, hopeful book, Harold S. Kushner teaches us to confront, master, and even embrace fear for a more fulfilling life.
Drawing on the teachings of religious and secular literature and on the true stories of people who have faced their fears, Kushner helps us to see that fear can present us with extraordinary opportunities--to connect with our emotions, rethink our values, and change our lives, and the world, for the better. For those who fear helplessness, he suggests empowerment: through prayer, service, and education. For those who fear for mankind's future, he insists on hope and pragmatic measures, such as working to protect the environment. For those who fear death, he proposes life--lived boldly and purposefully.
In Conquering Fear, we are again inspired by Harold S. Kushner's wisdom, at once deeply spiritual and eminently practical.
Soon after his international bestsellerWhenBad Things Happen to Good People appeared in 1981, Kushner stopped being a congregational rabbi in order to devote full-time to writing and lecturing. Conquering Fear, his 12th book, is the latest result of this concentration. It is a popular theology primer designed to help readers grapple with common problems of suffering, significance, disappointments, guilt, forgiveness and conscience. Although traditional Jews object to Kushner's view of suffering as reflecting God's limited capacity to control the hazards of life, his books have won general acclaim. The fears that Kushner tackles include terrorism, natural disasters, rejection, growing old and death, among others. His recommendations for coping require trust, religion, hope, courage, faith; he also urges living with purpose and differentiating between God and nature. Some readers may find Kushner's prescriptions to be inspiring; others will see them as banal platitudes. A useful idea he offers about fear of terrorism is "be alert but not frightened, vigilant but not paranoid."Perhaps his least helpful advice is about the fear of death: "The most important thing to remember is not to be afraid." (Oct.)
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October 04, 2009
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