The Language of Tears



“It’s not often that I come across a new book that would label a ‘spiritual classic’. At one level it is a simple book. But deceptively so. There is a richness and a depth that needs exploring. Runcorn is writing about that thing we all do, that is woven through Scripture, that for many of us is a frequent occurrence in prayer, that is described as a gift of the Spirit. But that is so little written about.”  Richard Peers

“A rich, moving, thought-provoking treasure of a book. Read this and you’ll never utter the words ‘don’t cry’ again.”  Paula Gooder.


From the back cover: 

Human beings are thought to be the only creatures to shed tears of emotion. Tears go with being creatures who experience wonder, longing and depth of feeling. We weep tears in joy, pain, relief, bewilderment, loss and more besides. Weeping is more than just a physical reflex: our tears are always telling us something. Like springs and streams in the natural world, they shape the landscape of our lives. 

In the Christian spiritual tradition, tears have an honourable place and were  significant in revealing God’s purpose and involvement in someone’s life and a sign of devotion and prayerfulness. Today, we are more often embarrassed by tears, seeing them as a sign of weakness, to be kept hidden.   

This fascinating and original book seeks to recover the gift, mystery and meaning of human tears. David Runcorn weaves together biology, culture, history, gender, chemistry, religion, spirituality, temperament, emotion, and literature to explore the lost richness that is the gift of tears. 

Canterbury Press