Sohrab Ahmari was a teenager living under the Iranian ayatollahs when he decided that there is no God. Nearly two decades later, he would be received into the Roman Catholic Church.
InFrom Fire, by Water, he recounts this unlikely passage, from the strident Marxism and atheism of a youth misspent on both sides of the Atlantic to a moral and spiritual awakening prompted by the Mass. At once a young intellectual's finely crafted self-portrait and a life story at the intersection of the great ideas and events of our time, the book marks the debut of a compelling new Catholic voice.
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About the Author
Sohrab Ahmari is the op-ed editor of the New York Post and a contributing editor of the Catholic Herald. Previously, he served as a columnist and editor with the Wall Street Journal opinion pages in New York and London, and as senior writer at Commentary magazine. His work has also been published in the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Weekly Standard,First Things, Dissent and America, among many other publications. Ahmari is also the author of The New Philistines: How Identity Politics Disfigure the Arts.
Table of Contents
Foreword Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia 9
Chapter 1 "You Brought the Imam with You" 21
Chapter 2 Sorrows and Afflictions 37
Chapter 3 Of God and Djinn 55
Chapter 4 Resident Alien 70
Chapter 5 The Road from Zarathustra 86
Chapter 6 Divine Condescension 104
Chapter 7 Borderlands 120
Chapter 8 Three Feasts 138
Chapter 9 Et Incarnatus Est 148
Chapter 10 The House on the Cape of Olives 168
Chapter 11 From Fire, by Water 189
Further Reading 211
What People are Saying About This
"His book offers a long, candid, and unsparing look at the young Ahmari, at the Shi’ite Muslim society into which he was born in Iran, and the secular America where he came into maturity."
"Sohrab Ahmari is emerging as one of the finest minds and writers of his generation, and the story of his conversion recounted here will stay with the reader for a very long time."
"Ahmari's memoir took me to places I have never been, and gave me a fresh look at people and places that seemed very familiar. Most especially, Ahmari’s book explored a restless human heart, searching and seeking, until, quite unexpectedly, coming to rest in the Lord."
"Memoirs written by people who are still in their thirties are almost never of interest to anyone. Sohrab Ahmari's, however, is a grand exception. It's a gripping account of the fascinating life of someone who was born to a liberal family in post-revolutionary Iran, migrated to the United States where he and his mother lived among Mormons in Utah, made a series of bad choices, and found his way to political conservatism and a career in journalism, and wrestled with Godunsuccessfullyto stay out of the Catholic Church."
"Relentlessly honest, deeply moving, Sohrab Ahmari's story of his intellectual and spiritual journey from dismissive disbelief to vibrant Catholic faitha journey propelled by some intriguing companions, including Nietzsche, Camus, and Koestleris food for both mind and soul and an important testimony to the invigorating power of truth."
"I started reading it last night, and found it hard to put down. . . . I am confident that this book is going to make a big splash. He's a fantastic writer."
"From Fire, By Wateris not so much about Sohrab Ahmari but about the work of divine grace in his soul disposed to hear God's voice calling him with immeasurable and enduring love. It is the story of the journey of faith in which it is always God Who first calls us to believe in Him and place all our trust in Him. The same humility before God, which disposed the author to respond to God's call, permits him to give a most compelling and indeed inspiring account of how He came to know God, to love Him and to serve Him with all his heart. The author's extraordinary gift for writing truly approaches, as best as one can at any given time, a true account of the incomparable beauty of the reality he recounts."
"This book is a testimony of Eucharistic triumph. God seeks us and will transform us if we let Him. Sohrab Ahmari's beautiful memoir will help all of us trust in God alone better."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I started reading it the day I bought it. I finished reading this book the very next day. Solace for me since all 3 of my sons left the Catholic Church. Maybe they'll recognize the emptiness of their personal errors and return to the Catholic Church.