The Christian Imagination is an exceptional exploration of Christian belief, imagination, reading, and writing. Leland Ryken has collected essays and excerpts, long and short--nearly 500 pages'' worth--all devoted (some more directly than others) to "thinking Christianly about literature." Contributors including J.R.R. Tolkien, Madeleine L''Engle, Flannery O''Connor, and T.S. Eliot discuss such topics as a Christian philosophy of literature, success and failure in current Christian fiction and poetry, realism, fantasy, and narrative. Perhaps the most common thread among these pieces is the understanding that Christian art "is by no means," as Ryken puts it, "always religious art." If you want to make a Christian work, advises Jacques Maritain, "then be Christian, and simply try to make a beautiful work." Also of particular interest is Clyde S. Kilby''s "The Aesthetic Poverty of Evangelicalism." Despite the fact that the Bible is "a piece of art ... an imaginative book," says Kilby, the people who spend the most time with it "are in large numbers the foes of art and the sworn foes of imagination." --Jane Steinberg
The Christian Imagination brings together in a single source the best that has been written about the relationship between literature and the Christian faith. This anthology covers all of the major topics that fall within this subject and includes essays and excerpts from fifty authors, including C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Dorothy Sayers, and Frederick Buechner.
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