A Search for God in Time and Memory is an experiment in religious thought. While Catholic in scope and in historical perspective, it bypasses religious authority and official documents to find its sources in the life experiences of individuals. "It is a search," says John S. Dunne, "which will carry us on quests and journeys through life stories, through hells, purgatories and heavens, through ages of life, through stories of God." /// The quest begins with an examination of one's own life, with an awareness of patterns of its past and the contingencies of its future. The point of individual departure then is to seek comparison and perspective from the lives of great writers and philosophers, finding resonances between their lives and one's own and returning at last to one's own standpoint. It is in this process of "passing over" that one discovers the greater dimensions of man, those which reach beyond the self and the individual life story. This process is ultimately how man "brings time to mind, how he searches through time and memory, for passing over avails him of the time and memory of others, and coming back leaves his own time and memory enriched." /// In analyzing the stages of life--childhood, youth, manhood, and age--as they appear in modern autobiography, he discovers beneath these life experiences the possibilities of companionship with God in time and "the face underlying all, that of the compassionate God and the Compassionate Savior."
JOHN S. DUNNE, C.S.C. (d. 2013) was the John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and the author of twenty books, including Circle Dance of Time (2010), Deep Rhythm and the Riddle of Eternal Life (2008), and A Vision Quest (2006), all published by the University of Notre Dame Press.