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eBook Beyond the Threshold A Life in Opus Dei: The True, Unfinished Story ePub

eBook Beyond the Threshold A Life in Opus Dei: The True, Unfinished Story ePub

by Maria del Carmen Tapia

  • ISBN: 0826410960
  • Category: World
  • Subcategory: History
  • Author: Maria del Carmen Tapia
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Continuum; Revised edition (July 1, 1998)
  • Pages: 378
  • ePub book: 1961 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1949 kb
  • Other: lrf azw mbr lit
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 550

Description

Beyond the Threshold A Life in Opus Dei: The True, Unfinished Story.

Beyond the Threshold A Life in Opus Dei: The True, Unfinished Story. Opus Dei is a secretive cult run like a fanatical military organization with unconditional loyalty-up demanded, but little evidence of loyalty-down from the leadership. Dissent is harshly punished.

Beyond The Threshold book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Beyond The Threshold: A Life In Opus Dei as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Much has been written about Opus Dei, which under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II has become the most powerful organization in the Roman Catholic Church. ISBN13:9780826409379.

Beyond the threshold. inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china.

My encounter with opus dei. Opus Dei is a socio-religious phenomenon bound up with the political situation following the Spanish Civil War (July 1936 to April 1939). By the end of the war, the hopes and dreams of the country's youth had overcome the animosities and hatred of the adults. We were filled with personal, political, and religious aspirations. Beyond the threshold. Beyond the threshold Close. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Are you sure you want to remove Beyond the threshold from your list? Beyond the threshold. Published 1997 by Continuum in New York. Opus Dei (Society), In library.

First, a necessary disclaimer: the present writer has been invited to attend Opus Dei conferences, has spoken at events organized by people in the Work (as it is called by members), and has even made a retreat under the prelature’s auspices.

"A fascinating and disturbing book. . . a literary grenade seeking to blow apart Opus Dei's benign and exalted image. . . a picture of an obsessively secretive, manipulative and sexist organization with a virtual cultlike veneration of its founder."-Boston GlobeTapia's book is a comprehensive account of the inner workings of the women's branch of Opus Dei. It should fascinate sociologists and feminist and contribute to needed self-criticism in the Roman Catholic Church. . . A best seller in Spain, and a success in Germany, Portugal and Italy, Tapia's book has important lessons not only for John Paul II and other Catholics, but for all who wish to see religion freed from the tyranny of self-proclaimed saints."-Christian Century"The little I knew about Opus Dei before reading this book was enough to make me feel uneasy about the increasing strength and visibility of the organization in the Catholic Church. Tapia's book deepened my wariness into something akin to dread. Her book, however, is not a cheap or sensational expose. It is the chronicle of an intelligent and sensitive woman who served the organization in responsible positions during her 18 year sojourn as a full member." -National Catholic Reporter

Comments

Winotterin Winotterin
Obviously, this is a controversial work, and thus one which is difficult to evaluate. I am giving it five stars here not because I can personally verify everything in this book, but because, based on my experience, it is worth reading for anyone who is involved in - or is being invited to become involved in - Opus Dei. Read other books on the Work as well and make your own decision, but be aware that Opus Dei often does try to "lure" people into participating in its activities without telling them much of anything about how the Work operates - or about how they will be treated once they become involved, even as a cooperator.

Though I have never been a member of Opus Dei, I was a cooperator for many years and am approaching the book from that perspective. There are a number of scathing reviews here on Amazon and on other websites, and this is likely to confuse anyone who is considering this book. Personally, I am inclined to believe most of what Tapia writes, and I say this for several reasons:

1. Her book (which is an autobiographical account, not a scientific study) does not come across as an angry, vengeful rant. Someone with a virile vendetta against Opus Dei would really struggle to be restrained from going after anyone associated with it. She, on the other hand, speaks in very positive terms of many of the people whom she knew in the Work.

2. To write a three hundred-page book comprised of one long, fanciful story would be too much of a challenge for most people to write without obvious inconsistencies and discontinuities showing through. To concoct a convincing fantasy story of this length and depth would require someone with the abilities of J.K. Rowling. Most of us could only write this sort of book if we already had the story line written for us, i.e. if the events we're relating are true. This book just does not seem at all to me like a fantasy concoction or a vengeful smear. Did the author, when writing this, struggle with psychological issues? Very possibly. But, if what she writes about Opus Dei is true, then there is good reason for her to come across that way!

3. Most importantly, I tend to believe her because what she describes fits with what I saw and experienced in my involvement with Opus Dei, even as a cooperator. I can believe her because I have seen for myself a small bit of what she saw: the silly apostolic tactics, the artificiality, the opulence, the pursuit of donations accompanied by a lack of regard for material charity, and - especially - the lack of honesty. Some of the ways in which members are instructed to treat others, to me, defy charity and honesty to the point of being sinful, in some cases gravely so. So, when she relates events that resemble what I myself have seen, it makes it more likely in my mind that other parts of her account are correct.

Now, there are plenty of negative reviews and attacks out there. My take on those:

1. The accusations I have seen against her are both varied and vague. I have seen references to sexual impropriety with priests, sexual improprieties with women, insubordination, subversion, and psychological mania. When I see such a wide range of accusations, I am led to believe that none of them may be true. After all, if she clearly was guilty of one of these things, wouldn't her critics converge upon that one point - and wouldn't we see some concrete evidence of its truth? Also, you will notice from the reviews here and other sites that the accusations are also very vague. No specifics!

2. Many of Tapia's critics are members of Opus Dei. However, members are typically prohibited from reading works critical of Opus Dei, and so I would bet that most all of them have never actually read her book. This would explain the vague nature of their comments and lack of specific references to anything in the book. What they are likely doing is simply repeating talking points conveyed by superiors.

3. The fact that Escriva was canonized does not make Opus Dei perfect, nor does it render noncredible anyone who levies accusations against the Work. Canonization pertains to an individual's sanctity, and does not convey any sort of infallibility upon an organization founded by the individual. One need not look far in the Catholic Church today to find religious orders with major problems - orders that were founded by certifiable saints many years ago. We cannot approach Tapia's book, therefore, from the assumption that the Work must necessarily be good and right through-and-through, and that she therefore must be off her rocker.

I have known plenty of members of Opus Dei over the years who are clearly sincere in wanting to live their faith well and sanctify the world around them. The sad part, to me, is that they are bound by obedience to do and suborn things which, in some cases, are obviously contrary to Catholic teaching, Tradition, and the Gospels. My hope is that Opus Dei will have its own "reformer" some day, as some religious orders have.

In the meantime, there is risk involved in becoming a part of Opus Dei activities. How you will be seen and treated (especially behind the scenes, in ways that you cannot see) is not what you would reasonably expect, even if you are never recruited to become an actual member. Nobody can be "tricked" into sanctity, even though Opus Dei's fundamental approach to apostolate seems to presume this. They don't want people asking too many questions or knowing too much about how they work, as I learned myself. "Beyond the Threshold" will be painful reading for some, but we all have the right to know where we're heading when we choose a spiritual direction.

UPDATE: I have seen a few references in some of the negative reviews here on Amazon, as well as on some other websites, to a supposed "retraction" that Tapia made in 2002. One writer online even crowed that she made some statements that year retracting virtually the entire story. I did some research into this and found the following. First, I can find very few references to actual, specific statements allegedly made by her that constitute this retraction. Most of what I find is simply the assertion that she retracted - without any elaboration. Second, the statements that I have found do not constitute any retraction at all. Conceding that others involved in the situations she describes may have seen them differently is not a retraction of one's own story and experiences, but simply common sense. If someone, hypotheticallly, is committing a grave crime against us, conceding that they may not see their actions as evil is not the same as condoning or defending what they are doing. Plus, if she made statements commending the faith of the founder of Opus Dei, that also does not constitute a retraction. We can find and recognize positive qualities in just about anybody. If anything, her recognition of such qualities in Escriva can enhance her credibility by making clear that her experiences have not blinded her to seeing positive attributes even in those who did wrong to her, as she alleges that Escriva did. Frankly, the claims on the part of some Opus Dei members that such statements constitute a retraction on her part weakens their credibility in my eyes, not hers.
Kazracage Kazracage
Ms. Tapia's story is completely believable, because not at all
sensational-sounding. Pretty much all the negative stuff you
hear about Opus Dei sounds like it's true: that it's rigid,
hierarchical, oppressive, hypocritical, fanatical and not
nearly as Catholic as it pretends to be, and is in fact
a church within a church. At least, it was during the
earlier days when the author was herself a fanatically
devoted member.

Plus you get some interesting information on Spain
under Franco.
Broadraven Broadraven
I just read the review of Javier Puerta (Spain), and I'm strongly agree with him. Anyone who was numerary knows what happen inside the Opus Dei...and this book it's not a surprise for me; I could writte the same...different places and names, but similar circunstances... I hope that many people read this book and know the truth ....and we're save, because God it's not going to measure us with the wand of the Opus Dei!! He really knows what is charity, love and comprehension...
Mbon Mbon
For anyone that has been a "numerary" member of Opus Dei, the facts that the author describes constitute no surprise. In different countries, in different times, the story of strong psychological pressure and manipulation on potential recruits and on members has been repeating itself for decades now. The very detailed description of places, names, and practices, has made me so vividly recall the asphyxiating atmosphere that I once lived when recruited by Opus Dei at the age of fourteen. The book reflects the great fraud of the Opus Dei praxis which consists in presenting to the catholic people the attractive message of being a way to help them live their faith from within the society as citizens and professionals; however, once inside, the numerary member gradually becomes just a component of the recruiting machinery of Opus Dei. Without physical violence but via tremendous though subtle psychological pressure, the member gradually abdicates his/her own will and renounces to making his/her own decisions even on very small details of his/her life. Once the mind of a person has been manipulated to make him/her convinced that "the will of God is transmitted to him through the directors of Opus Dei", the degree of control over that person is complete. The book very well describes this process which is common to all "numerary"" members. The last part, describing the last stay of the author in the Opus Dei headquarters in Rome, is very impressive and demythify the figure of the founder of Opus Dei but does not constitute the key argument against the Work. It is all the previous chapters, showing how, in the name of the father, very young persons are recruited and converted into instruments of the Opus Dei organization through a process that finally makes them convinced that it is God's will that they become obedient members. With all my love for current and former Opus Dei numerary members who at very early age have undergone a recruitment and indoctrination process that has caused them anxiety and distress, I want to say that "Beyond the Threshold" is a true testimony of what Opus Dei has meant in the life of many.