The best books about faith according to the philosopher Marina Mikhailova
The next issue of our project "5 books about faith." Today –
Marina Mikhailova, Ph.D., professor of RCHGA, author and presenter of the radio programs “Grad Petrov”.
First, I would call the Lewis Chronicles of Narnia. I read them to my children, but at that time, of course, the joy of communion with Christ was very lively and real.
The second book is Doctor Zhivago, which I read in very old Soviet times in a Tamizdat book. The book, it would seem, is not at all about Christianity, but very much about Christianity at the same time. The Doctor Zhivago deep stream is reflections on what living life is with Christ. And the verses from the novel are immensely beautiful just like Christian poetry.
The third book is "Saint Francis" of Chesterton. All of Chesterton's works are magnificent, sparkling, very witty, but the little book about Saint Francis is filled with some special freshness, joy and tenderness. For me, a real acquaintance with Francis and with Christ through him took place, deepened thanks to this book.
Next I would call Dante's “Divine Comedy.” This, of course, is not one of those books that should be immediately read by the original Christian. Just better to start with Chesterton, Lewis, something like that. But the “Divine Comedy”, when you begin to think a little “who God is,” “how He arranged everything,” it has an amazing power of testimony. Dante, of course, read it all out in books, partially invented it himself, but it feels like you're not traveling around the afterlife, but generally touching God as He is. This book is for a person not new, but a second-level Christian is very good.
I began to think about the fifth book. I wanted to name three books about priests that Father Alexander Men singled out: “Strength and Glory” by Graham Greene, “Keys of the Kingdom” by Archibald Cronin, “Diary of a Village Priest” by Georges Bernanos. But then I realized that no, after all for me the fifth book about faith is “The Game of Beads” by Hermann Hesse, which I read in those times when I was not at all a church person, but thanks to this story I understood how beautiful is faith and spiritual life and some way that unfolds through faith and trust, through spiritual effort. It seems to me, “Bead Game” is a very useful book for believers.
You can watch / listen to the lectures of Marina Mikhailov here.
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