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Circle Dance of Time

The Circle Dance of Time

John S. Dunne

“There is nothing wiser than the circle,” Rilke says in his Stories of God. John Dunne’s new book explores the wisdom of the circle. He uses the metaphor of the circle dance, a folk dance in which the women form an inner circle, holding hands and moving clockwise; the men form an outer circle, moving counterclockwise. When the music stops the person opposite you is your partner for the next dance. Dunne interprets the circle as the great circle of life and light and love that comes from God and returns to God.

Dunne emphasizes the far point on the circle, farthest away from God, and uses that to discuss the difficulties of our secular age. In the individual life, the far point is a dark night of the soul. Yet Dunne sees that far point of loneliness and darkness as a point as well, marking the return to love and light. So the theme of the book is like the words of an old Bedouin to Lawrence of Arabia, “The love is from God, and of God, and towards God.” The book concludes with the words of twenty-one “Circle Songs,” composed by the author.

“I think of John Dunne as a kind of erudite Catholic Tevye, carrying on such an intimate conversation with God that we can learn about love just by listening in. Repetitive in the same way as Proust, or the rosary, his Circle Dance of Time is so joyful a meditation on our journey through time with and toward God that in places I thought my heart might burst.” — Melinda Henneberger, Editor-in-chief, PoliticsDaily.com

ISBN: 978-0-268-06337-5
176 pages
Publication Year: 2010

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John S. Dunne was the John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame until his death in 2013 and the author of twenty books, including Deep Rhythm and the Riddle of Eternal Life (2008) and A Vision Quest (2006), both also published by the University of Notre Dame Press.

“Almost every sentence calls on readers to meditate, to ponder images until insights come, to become aware through these insights of ‘God with us’ in our own hearts, and finally to experience our lives and world as taking part in the great circle of God’s love. None of this come easily . . . . Dunne invites us to make the effort, even if only a paragraph a day, to share the vision and join the dance.” — America

“In this remarkable book, The Circle Dance of Time, Dunne describes the intellectual and spiritual journey through time like a circle dance, where God’s love will illuminate the dark side of the human condition, or the far point on the circle, according to Dunne’s metaphor. . . . The Circle Dance of Time brings to the reader the light of intellectual nourishment and spiritual encouragement needed in these dark and hectic days. This book is recommended for college, university, and seminary libraries.” — Catholic Library World

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P00069

City of the Gods

A Study in Myth and Mortality

John S. Dunne

P00374

Reasons of the Heart

A Journey into Solitude and Back Again into the Human Circle

John S. Dunne

P03437

Beyond East and West

John C. H. Wu
Foreword by John Wu, Jr.

P03274

I Want You to Be

On the God of Love

Tomáš Halík
Translated by Gerald Turner

P03249

Uncommon Prayer

Prayer in Everyday Experience

Michael Plekon

The Circle Dance of Time

John S. Dunne

The Circle Dance of Time
Cloth Edition
Paper Edition

“There is nothing wiser than the circle,” Rilke says in his Stories of God. John Dunne’s new book explores the wisdom of the circle. He uses the metaphor of the circle dance, a folk dance in which the women form an inner circle, holding hands and moving clockwise; the men form an outer circle, moving counterclockwise. When the music stops the person opposite you is your partner for the next dance. Dunne interprets the circle as the great circle of life and light and love that comes from God and returns to God.

Dunne emphasizes the far point on the circle, farthest away from God, and uses that to discuss the difficulties of our secular age. In the individual life, the far point is a dark night of the soul. Yet Dunne sees that far point of loneliness and darkness as a point as well, marking the return to love and light. So the theme of the book is like the words of an old Bedouin to Lawrence of Arabia, “The love is from God, and of God, and towards God.” The book concludes with the words of twenty-one “Circle Songs,” composed by the author.

“I think of John Dunne as a kind of erudite Catholic Tevye, carrying on such an intimate conversation with God that we can learn about love just by listening in. Repetitive in the same way as Proust, or the rosary, his Circle Dance of Time is so joyful a meditation on our journey through time with and toward God that in places I thought my heart might burst.” — Melinda Henneberger, Editor-in-chief, PoliticsDaily.com

ISBN: 978-0-268-06337-5

176 pages

“Almost every sentence calls on readers to meditate, to ponder images until insights come, to become aware through these insights of ‘God with us’ in our own hearts, and finally to experience our lives and world as taking part in the great circle of God’s love. None of this come easily . . . . Dunne invites us to make the effort, even if only a paragraph a day, to share the vision and join the dance.” — America

“In this remarkable book, The Circle Dance of Time, Dunne describes the intellectual and spiritual journey through time like a circle dance, where God’s love will illuminate the dark side of the human condition, or the far point on the circle, according to Dunne’s metaphor. . . . The Circle Dance of Time brings to the reader the light of intellectual nourishment and spiritual encouragement needed in these dark and hectic days. This book is recommended for college, university, and seminary libraries.” — Catholic Library World