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How Else Would God Enter?

By Peggy Rosenthal Book Review

  The Corpse Flower: New & Selected Poems by Bruce Beasley (University of Washington Press, 2007) Mary’s House: New & Selected Poems by David Craig (Idylls Press, 2007) Some Heaven by Todd Davis (Michigan State University Press, 2007) Apropos of Nothing by Richard Jones (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)   IS THERE a contemporary Christian poetic aesthetic? This question came…

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The Nature of a Marriage

By Jessica Murphy Book Review

The Maytrees by Annie Dillard (HarperCollins, 2007) A NEW BOOK by Annie Dillard comes with extraordinarily high expectations. We expect her observations to make us sit up and notice the natural world—and our part in it—with new eyes. We expect to focus small in order to think large. We expect her lyricism to impress, her language…

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The River Rises

By Brian Volck Book Review

Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces Robert Clark Doubleday, 2008. AT THE END of Robert Clark’s nonfiction account of the 1966 Arno flood, an American expatriate artist offers what he calls “a puzzle, a labyrinth”: “The river’s flooding. And there’s a baby and a Leonardo painting floating down it. Which do I…

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Young-Adult Fiction Comes of Age

By Hannah Faith Notess Book Review

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2008) Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes (Hyperion, 2005) Trouble by Gary Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2008) Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown, 2009) AS A TEENAGER, I was given several novels in a series of inspirational young-adult (YA) books. On their pastel covers, modestly sweatshirted girls with big hair and…

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Hiatus of Unbelief

By Christopher Benson Book Review

Believing Again: Doubt and Faith in a Secular Age by Roger Lundin   THOUGH BURIED in an avalanche, Brand continues to be buried by epitaphs. He is the pale, intense, somber priest of Henrik Ibsen’s dramatic poem about possessing “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2). Few characters from nineteenth-century literature…

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On the Strange Place of Contemporary Art

By Jeremy Begbie Book Review

On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art by James Elkins God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art by Daniel Siedell   FOR MANY OF US, the world of contemporary visual fine art is a strange place—not only in the sense that it can seem odd, but also in that it…

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If Penetrated by Light

By Peggy Rosenthal Book Review

If Penetrated by Light: Five Poets Consider the Darkness The Fortieth Day by Kazim Ali (BOA Editions, 2008) Astonishment: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska ——-Translated by Grazyna Drabik and David Curzon (Paraclete Press, 2007) The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems of Adélia Prado ——-Translated by Ellen Watson (Wesleyan University Press, 1990) Hovering at a…

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Erotic Theology

By James K.A. Smith Book Review

Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life William A. Dyrness Eerdmans, 2011 CONTEMPORARY theology is a lot of things, but poetic it is not. Quite the contrary: long captivated by the supposed rigor of a flattened rationalism, and saddled with a desire for intellectual respectability, theology speaks in the jargon-laden tongue of the…

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Writing in Invisible Ink

By Lauren F. Winner Book Review

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012) When I Was a Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012) The Man within My Head by Pico Iyer (Knopf, 2012) My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir by Meir Shalev (Schocken, 2011)  …

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