John S. Dunne
Dark Light of Love, John S. Dunne’s twenty-third book, was written before his death on November 11, 2013. Dunne, called by Christian Century “one of the most serious and original theologians in the country,” continues his quest of faith seeking understanding. In this new book he examines darkness as a metaphor for unknowing and the unknown. If dark light is like physical light traveling through the darkness of outer space, invisible until it strikes an object, then the dark light of love is the kindly light that leads us by the heart, one step at a time, toward God.
In this slender, deeply meditative work, Dunne engages with a rich variety of sources—literature, theology, philosophy, and music—in an effort to elaborate how “the dark light of love” illuminates a soul in the process whereby it is “oned” with God through emergence, separation, and finally union. As Paul Kollman observes in the foreword, by examining his own knowing and his own loving in that process, Dunne leads us to reconsider our own knowing and loving, thereby shining light on the puzzles that perplex each of us.
“This book, like each of the many by John Dunne that I have read, reminds me of the gift to us that his life as a writer and a teacher has been. He helped so many of us to understand the need to take seriously our own experiences, and he showed us how to plumb those experiences for insights inspired by his own. In reading this book, I am reminded of what he still can teach us and of what his untimely death has taken from us.” — Paul Kollman, C.S.C., from the foreword
“John Dunne provides a clear and seemingly simple path leading to a connection with the Divine. Years ago, I spoke with him about his writing, and John told me his work was meant to be read a little at a time, followed by meditation. His writings circle around, repeating and deepening, and thus facilitate the kindling of the heart followed by the illumining of the mind.” — Mary Theis, counselor with the Apple Farm Community, Three Rivers, Michigan, and the C.G. Jung Center, Evanston, Illinois
“When first I heard Fr. John Dunne teach, I felt like I had come ‘home.’ Over forty years have passed since then and still, when I read but a few thoughts from any one of his books, that sense of ‘coming home’ returns, all inner striving ceases, and there is great peace. This new work, Dark Light of Love, seems to coalesce for me this experience of grace. John’s words still penetrate to the heart of things, to all that matters most.” — Claire M. Wing, liturgical artist and designer
“‘Our life is a journey in time, and God is our companion,’ Dunne writes in this elegant meditation on darkness, light, love, and the cloud of unknowing which is always with us. With creative strokes, the author leads us through the labyrinth of emergence, separation, and reunion.” — Spirituality & Practice
“. . . Dark Light of Love with its easily readable, joyful, and deep reflections may inspire a well-rewarded further exploration of [Dunne’s] earlier writings . . . . uplifting, vibrant, reverent, deeply moving, joyful, and reflective. He opens our heart’s door to a greater, deeper, closeness with the Lord. His last gift to readers, Dark Light of Love, is a must-have title for parish, seminary and university libraries.” — Catholic Library World
“Over the course of his 17 previous books, Dunne’s journey had become increasingly mystical. The current work is one of the best contemporary examples of . . . the ‘ fundamental and momentous change in the human reality that a theologian is’. . . . Seasoned readers . . . will already know something of the kindling of the heart and the illumining of the mind that this book presents and provokes.” — Theological Studies
Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year, Bronze, Religion