Dante to Dead Man Walking

One Reader's Journey through the Christian Classics

Raymond A. Schroth, S.J.



My definition of spiritual is broad. The books that follow are spiritual classics in that, with the exception of a few published within the last decade, they have worked their magic on centuries and generations of readers. They speak to the human spirit, to that divine gift by which we transcend the limitations imposed by our self-absorption, our narrow-mindedness and our moral cowardice. If we approach a book in the way Karl Rahner says we should approach life – fully open to human experience and God’s grace – it can transform us in much the same way that a friend, a teacher, or a coach can help us become something we have not been before.

– from the author’s Introduction

Reading this book is like taking a guided tour of some of the greatest works of literature Western Civilization has produced. And having a guide who is expert beyond any reasonable expectation!

There are 50 essays covering 50 authors or works – a sampling of those discussed ranges from The Book of Genesis to Dante Alighieri to Dostoyevsky, James Joyce, Willa Cather, Evelyn Waugh, Edward Steichen, C. S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Shusaku Endo. Of course, there are many more. Schroth’s essays go right to the heart of the matter — what is it about the subject that is exciting, that keeps the author and his/her work alive in our hearts, that moves us forward as we read?

If you like literature, you’ll love this book!

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