Touch the Wounds
On Suffering, Trust, and Transformation
170 pages, 5.50 x 8.50
Hardcover | 9780268204891 | March 2023
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268204884 | March 2023
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268204914 | March 2023
- Press Kit
- Author Bio
In this masterfully written book, Tomáš Halík calls upon Christians to touch the wounds of the world and to rediscover their own faith by loving and healing their neighbors.
One of the most important voices in contemporary Catholicism, Tomáš Halík argues that Christians can discover the clearest vision of God not by turning away from suffering but by confronting it. Halík calls upon us to follow the apostle Thomas’s example: to see the pain, suffering, and poverty of our world and to touch those wounds with faith and action. It is those expressions of love and service, Halík reveals, that restore our hope and the courage to live, allowing true holiness to manifest itself. Only face-to-face with a wounded Christ can we lay down our armor and masks, revealing our own wounds and allowing healing to begin.
Weaving together deep theological and philosophical reflections with surprising, trenchant, and even humorous commentary on the times in which we live, Halík offers a new prescription for those lost in moments of doubt, abandonment, or suffering. Rather than demanding impossible, flawless faith, we can look through our doubt to see, touch, and confront the wounds in the hearts of our neighbors and—through that wounded humanity, which the Son of God took upon himself—see God.
Tomáš Halík is a Czech Roman Catholic priest, philosopher, theologian, and scholar. He is a professor of sociology at Charles University in Prague, pastor of the Academic Parish of St. Salvator Church in Prague, president of the Czech Christian Academy, and a winner of the Templeton Prize. His previous books with University of Notre Dame Press, I Want You to Be (2016, 2019) and From the Underground Church to Freedom (2019), were selected as the Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards in Philosophy and in Religion, respectively.
Gerald Turner has translated numerous authors from Czechoslovakia, including Václav Havel, Ivan Klíma, and Ludvík Vaculík, among others. He received the US PEN Translation Award in 2004.
“Touch the Wounds will be a source of great insight and inspiration for seekers, drawn potentially to Christian faith, and will liberate many others from stultifying forms of false certainty. It will open others again to ecumenical exchanges that will enrich their faith. The world needs more Tomáš Halík.” —Charles Taylor, co-author of Reconstructing Democracy
“We’re part of a world full of wounds. For many people, the dark cloud of pain conceals the certainty of faith; the face of a benevolent God is hidden in the darkness that we are passing through together. But the Easter scene that inspired this book can speak to us with enormous urgency precisely at such a time. It is through Jesus’s wounds that the apostle Thomas sees God.” —from the preface
"One of the most profound meditations on suffering, from a Christian perspective, that I have ever read." —James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray
"Tomáš Halík's Touch the Wounds is an elegant and profound set of meditations on the place and purpose and meaning of suffering. Halík shows that, and how, attention to suffering is attention to Jesus, and, therefore, a means of entry for Christians into the world's healing. It is a lovely book, and an inspiring one." —Paul J. Griffiths, author of Regret: A Theology
"Tomáš Halík is one of the most insightful voices in contemporary Catholicism, and his book on the wounded church and sin in the church is a turning point in the effort to make sense of the ecclesial crisis that has taken shape in the last few years: from the new phase in the abuse crisis to the pandemic." —Massimo Faggioli, author of Catholicism and Citizenship
"In this deeply personal narrative, Tomáš Halík invokes the figure of Thomas, less to affirm the importance of doubt in religious life than to remind us that Christian faith passes through our wounds and through the reality of pain and suffering. As ever, Halík manages to offer a fresh and hopeful Christian message without condemning the secular world." —Catherine Cornille, co-author of Christian Identity between Secularity and Plurality
"What we need now is the voice of a prophet in the tradition of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, who were unafraid to confront hypocrisy in high places and fearless in identifying the self-inflicted wounds of a society in desperate need of a particular and urgent healing touch. That prophetic voice for our time and our world belongs to Tomáš Halík, an impressive scholar who writes with flawless grace and instinct so that truth is disclosed page after page in his latest, powerful book." —Doris Donnelly, editor of Sacraments and Justice
"Tomáš Halík's Touch the Wounds is a masterfully written, personal, and at the same time critical book that brings into dialogue contemporary life experience, biblical message, mystical tradition, and modern criticism of religion, all showing how in the wounds of our world as Christians we touch the wounds of God not by turning away from suffering but by confronting it. A fascinating, challenging, and encouraging vision." —Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
"Offers profound reflections on faith and its roots in suffering. . . . Halík’s erudition is dizzying . . . with a theological depth that makes for slow, rewarding reading. . . . those seeking deeper Christian insight will find much to gain." —Publishers Weekly
"Consistent with his numerous other writings on faith in a post-religious and post-secular age, Halik, a Czech Roman Catholic priest, offers a series of meditative reflections on finding faith amidst our personal, interpersonal, and social wounds. . . . [T]he overall effect is a beautiful and challenging account of a Gospel-inspired faith that highlights the extreme paradox of God becoming flesh, and thus a God who indwells our creaturely vulnerability without reserve." —Theological Studies