Written by an experienced teacher of religious and moral education, Lives That Made A Difference offers a unique survey of outstanding Christians who have distinguished themselves for their commitment to the values and ideals that have helped shape Western Civilization, ranging from the self-sacrifice of the martyr to the various forms of social and moral commitment shown by key individuals in the pursuit of a more just and enlightened world. Thus, while the book draws mainly from the Christian tradition, it has a more universal significance. Its focus on how certain individuals have struggled in their different ways towards the creation of a more just and humane world makes it of immediate relevance to students and readers of all religious persuasions, and none.
The book is in two parts, featuring outstanding individuals drawn from both the ancient and modern worlds. Common to both parts is the way religious faith has provided the springboard for the pursuit of the great human and moral ideals of goodness, truth and justice. Examples range from the contributions of the great philosophers and theologians, the influential impact of religious leaders, the humanitarian work of the great founders, including international charities, to the examples of victimization and courage of the modern martyrs whose protest against injustice, cruelty and inhumanity stand as a continuing inspiration, as well as rebuke, to a world still a long way short of the ideals they stood for: the attainment of justice, goodness, truth and equality among peoples.
An interesting feature of the book is the space given to those who have dealt with life's questions, ranging from the theologians and philosophers whose search for life's answers was intense and profound, to the writers and novelists who dealt with these questions in a less systematic way by showing the ups and downs, the successes and failures, the doubts and uncertainties of life as it is lived in the actual world, either under the influence of religious faith or its abandonment.
Feedback from the printed version has confirmed the book's popularity among teachers, priests, ministers and youth leaders, as well as those looking for examples of spiritual inspiration as a basis of private reflection. The book is proving highly useful in schools, both as a classroom resource and for assemblies; and among priests and ministers as a source of material for talks and sermons. Overall, it is a unique educational resource in the field of human inspiration.
About the Author
P. J. Clarke is a retired teacher with many years experience in UK schools. A graduate of Louvain University in Belgium, and England's Lancaster University, he has written three other educational books for A level studies in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. When not travelling, he enjoys fishing and golf.