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Fall 1998 · Vol. 27 No. 2 · pp. 193–94 

Recommended Reading

On Faith and the Arts

Sarah Klassen

  • Wendy Becket, The Gaze of Love: Meditations on Art and Spiritual Transformation. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

    Forty reproductions of art with texts designed for personal reflection during the season of Lent. Sister Becket aims to show that art can “carry us away from the limitations of what we already know and set us free in the infinities of a deeper vision.”

  • Annie Dillard, Living by Fiction. New York: Harper and Row, 1982.

    This book emphasizes the importance of literature and the creative process in penetrating the world and in the search for meaning. In looking at the way fiction writers illuminate and interpret the world (by creating art that in turn requires interpretation!), Dillard draws on her considerable knowledge of writing and writers and her ideas about literary criticism.

  • Michael Edwards, Towards a Christian Poetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984.

    A scholarly work that explores the possibilities of language and literature in a fallen world. In developing his argument for a Christian poetics, Edwards includes chapters devoted to painting and music.

  • Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. Wheaton: Shaw, 1980.

    In illustrating the connection between Christian faith and the arts, L’Engle draws on her own faith and on her personal experience in making art and teaching others about it.

  • Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Selected and ed. Sally and Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1957. {194}

    A collection of essays and lectures. Writing from a Catholic believer’s point of view, O’Connor is witty, direct, and intelligent in her discussion of topics that include writing and teaching of literature as well as the relationship between church, faith, and fiction writing.

  • Al Reimer, Mennonite Literary Voices. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1993.

    In this survey of historic and contemporary Mennonite writers and writing, Reimer traces the growth of literary work among Mennonites, pointing out that some of the strongest contemporary writing comes from “outsider” Mennonites.

  • Margaret Loewen Reimer, Mennonites and the Artistic Imagination. Winnipeg, MB: Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1998.

    These are the published Winter Lectures presented at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in 1998 by Margaret Loewen Reimer, associate editor of The Canadian Mennonite. She traces and analyzes the relationship between Mennonites and the arts under three topics: “Graven Images,” “Shattered Images,” and “The Resurrected Imagination.”

  • John Ruth, Mennonite Identity and Literary Art. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1978.

    Ruth addresses the topic of the Mennonite as artist in the American milieu. He calls for Mennonite literary writing that would grow out of the center of the faith community and would “achieve a creative balance between critique and advocacy.”

  • Dorothy L. Sayers, The Mind of the Maker. 6th ed. London: Methuen, 1942.

    An exploration of human creativity as reflecting the image of God, the Maker.

Sarah Klassen is a poet and fiction writer who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is a member of the River East Mennonite Brethren Church. She has published several collections of her work and recently spent two years teaching English in Lithuania.

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