Sheldon Vanauken

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Sheldon Vanauken


Born
in Auburn, IN, The United States
August 04, 1914

Died
October 28, 1996


Average rating: 4.24 · 20,033 ratings · 1,444 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Severe Mercy: A Story of ...

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4.24 avg rating — 19,192 ratings — published 1977 — 23 editions
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Making Sense Out of Suffering

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4.25 avg rating — 620 ratings — published 1986 — 6 editions
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Under the Mercy

3.78 avg rating — 202 ratings — published 1985 — 3 editions
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Little Lost Marion

3.85 avg rating — 27 ratings — published 1996 — 2 editions
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Gateway to Heaven

3.33 avg rating — 15 ratings3 editions
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Glittering Illusion

3.85 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 1989 — 2 editions
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The Intellectuals Speak Out...

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3.56 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1984
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Mercies: Collected Poems

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4.29 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 1988
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More books by Sheldon Vanauken…
Quotes by Sheldon Vanauken  (?)
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“It is, I think, that we are all so alone in what lies deepest in our souls, so unable to find the words, and perhaps the courage to speak with unlocked hearts, that we don't know at all that it is the same with others.”
Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy and Triumph

“The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians--when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them. Indeed, there are impressive indications that the positive quality of joy is in Christianity--and possibly nowhere else. If that were certain, it would be proof of a very high order”
Sheldon Vanauken

“He had been wont to despise emotions: girls were weak, emotions–tears– were weakness. But this morning he was thinking that being a great brain in a tower, nothing but brain, wouldn’t be much fun. No excitement, no dog to love, no joy in the blue sky– no feelings at all. But feelings– feelings are emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But then– this was awful!– maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself, showing one’s emotions was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with the revelation. What is beauty but something is responded to with emotion? Courage, at least, is partly emotional. All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, the purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How did one find joy? In books it was found in love– a great love… So if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have it, if he could find it, in great love. But in the books again, great joy through love always seemed go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain– if indeed, they went together. If there were a choice– and he suspected there was– a choice between, on the one hand, the hights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths.
Since then the years have gone by and he– had he not had what he chose that day in the meadow? He had had the love. And the joy– what joy it had been! And the sorrow. He had had– was having– all the sorrow there was. And yet, the joy was worth the pain. Even now he re-affirmed that long-past choice.”
Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy and Triumph

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