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Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace

Dr. Miroslav Volf
February 2006

About the Author
As the Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, Dr. Miroslav Volf, a native of war-ravaged Croatia, works to promote a theology of forgiveness, non-violence and unity. A member of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Church in Croatia where his father was pastor, Dr. Volf spent more than a decade involved in international ecumenical dialogues, including the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Building Bridges Seminar on Muslim Christian Relations and the Vatican Council for Promotion of Christian Unity. He and his wife Judy have two sons, Nathanael and Aaron.  When not writing, Dr. Volf can often be seen cycling, playing soccer, or skiing with his boys.

Giving and Forgiving: Free of Charge – DALLAS/FORT WORTH, TXIt isn’t often that an Ivy League theologian writes a book that flies off the shelves.  That is, however, exactly what happened when Dr. Miroslav Volf’s Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (Zondervan, February 2006) was released in England this past November.  It was a complete sellout in its very first printing.

As a native of war-ravaged Croatia and son of a father who endured unspeakable torture at the hands of concentration camp guards, Dr. Volf, Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, understands more than many about the horrors of indiscriminate brutality.  He also understands the unforgiving heart that can often result from living through such trauma.  Despite his experiences with the desolation and destruction that follow in the wake of such horrifying violence, Dr. Volf has spent decades building a theological legacy of forgiveness, generosity, reconciliation, and non-violence.

In his latest and quite possibly most important work, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace, Dr. Volf explores the immeasurable blessing of living a life of generosity of spirit and ready forgiveness.  In melodic prose reminiscent of C. S. Lewis, Dr. Volf’s work is at once scholarly yet easily accessible.  With the precision and authority that reflect his experience and credentials, Dr. Volf skillfully peels back the layers of our distrustful, self-absorbed culture to reveal the heart of a people searching for real love and peace in their lives and offers a new way of life for them.  In doing so, he also reveals how to reconcile and transform entire communities with the healing power of forgiveness and generosity.

Through poignantly personal stories and gripping insight into the soul of a culture stained with the poisoned fruit of self-gratification, Dr. Volf answers readers’ questions such as “Why should I give when everyone around me is taking?” and “Why should I forgive those who hurt me when they deserve punishment?”  With uncommon clarity and vision, he reveals to readers that the loss of forgiveness and generosity in our culture has not only left us unfulfilled and longing for more meaningful relationships with each other and in our community, but left unchecked, that loss also robs us of the very achievements upon which flourishing individuals and communities thrive and depend.  With pin-point accuracy, Dr. Volf provides a correct diagnosis about the frightening direction humanity is headed, and Free of Charge offers treatment and healing for a “culture stripped of grace.”  He invites those searching souls to explore with him the precepts of a new way of living that can reverse the decay of this graceless age and forever change their lives and the lives of the people around them.

Dr. Miroslav Volf, who often speaks on reconciliation and relations between Christians and Muslims and the public role of religion, was educated in Croatia, the United States and Germany, earning doctoral and post-doctoral degrees with highest honors from the University of Tubingen in Germany.  He is the author of dozens of scholarly articles and ten books, including Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation which won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.  

Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace was commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Official 2006 Lent Book.

Courtesy of The B&B Media Group.


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