Special Issue| August 16, 2003

Intruding Upon the Timeless:
Meditations on Art, Faith, & Mystery
by Gregory Wolfe

"Far from being preachy or doctrinaire, Wolfe's elegant prose is a joy to read and savor; his provocative, illuminating essays fully engage the mind." -Booklist

Originally published as the editorial statements at the beginning of each issue of Image, these short, evocative essays constitute a new Christian aesthetic for our time. Each of the meditations is like a polished gem: radiant, gracefully written, beautiful in itself, but also serving as a stimulus to further reflection. They remind us of the way that both faith and imagination reach beyond the limits of reason to intuit the mystery of redemption.

Among the subjects of these meditations are:

  • The intimate relationship between faith and imagination
  • The perennial conflict between art and morality
  • When controversial artists are truly prophetic vs. mere sensationalists
  • The spiritual value of irony
  • Why making good art for use in churches is so hard these days
  • The great divorce between Christian subculture and the larger American mainstream
  • Post 9/11-America's lack of a tragic sensibility
  • How technology and changing media alter our understanding of the divine

The book is enhanced with the engravings of Barry Moser, one of America's leading artist/illustrators.

Paperback, 173 pp.

Paperback, $9.99


Praise for Intruding Upon the Timeless

Gregory Wolfe's vision is the animating force behind Image, one of the best journals on the planet. Intruding Upon the Timeless, a collection of his pieces from Image, takes its title from a phrase of Flannery O'Connor. That's apt, because not since O'Connor's Mystery and Manners has there been such bracing insight on the pile-up where art and faith collide. This book will rev your engines and propel you down the same road.

—Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize-winning
author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I’ve long been a big fan of Greg Wolfe’s editorials in Image and I’m thrilled to find them all collected in one volume. Nobody does a better job of reconciling and synthesizing art and religion than Wolfe. His brilliant insight into the spirtual is founded on his understanding that artists and preachers are asking the same questions about the universe. Intruding Upon the Timeless is an essential book for anyone who perceives—as Jesus did—that storytelling is the primary mode of understanding the infinite.

—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning
author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

Gregory Wolfe's reflections from his editor's chair are much more: they are spiritual essays. For, with a prose as fine and sharp as a surgeon's knife, Wolfe manages, over and over, to cut very close to the soul.

—Richard Rodriguez, author of
Hunger of Memory and Days of Obligation

In an age that has been facilely identified as secularized or post-Christian, Gregory Wolfe was among the first to perceive instead a renaissance of religious humanism in the arts: of writers and artists who did not abandon their faith in Mystery but drew courage, guidance, and inspiration from it. The trenchant and erudite short essays of Intruding Upon the Timeless serve as a stirring introduction to that popular but rather subterranean movement, and establish Gregory Wolfe as one of the most incisive and persuasive voices of our generation.

—Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and Atticus

For nearly two decades, Gregory Wolfe has kept a keen eye on the increasingly busy crossroads of art and religion in America; his initiating and ongoing insight has led to a wealth of significant accomplishment, but the most sustained (on his part) and sustaining (in the service of countless others) has been his shepherding of Image Journal. While these editorial essays can serve, most readily, as documents of recent literary and art history, recording the surprising renewal of substantive religious thought in both, we would do well to bear in mind that each has served, in its turn, as initiating, encouraging, visionary impulse for much of what it both describes and brings into being.

—Scott Cairns, author of
Philokalia: New and Selected Poems

Paperback, $9.99