The L’Engle Seminars
“Science, literature, art, theology: it is all the same ridiculous, glorious, mysterious language.”
— Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet
Image is pleased to announce the L’Engle Seminars, six events held over the next three years that will bring together artists and scientists to explore how their work is in conversation with theology. These seminars are made possible by a grant from the estate of Madeleine L’Engle and are inspired by three characteristics of her life and work:
+ attention to the generative interplay between faith, art, and science;
+ recognition that all art is incarnational and that science enlarges our understanding of creation; and
+ generous engagement with diverse faith traditions, including diverse Christian communities.
The L’Engle Seminars will launch in Madeleine’s beloved New York City in 2020 and then travel across North America.
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About Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) was a prolific writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that reflect her energetic engagement with both Christianity and science. She won numerous literary prizes in her lifetime and her many bestselling books, including the classic Wrinkle in Time, continue to find new readers. The diversity of her reading public and breadth of her influence can be seen in the fact her papers are housed at both Wheaton College and Smith College. Learn more about her life and legacy here.
Madeleine L’Engle on art, science, and faith:
The discoveries made since the heart of the atom was opened have changed our view of the universe and of Creation. . . . The universe is far greater and grander and less predictable than anyone realized, and one reaction to this is to turn our back on the glory and settle for a small, tribal god who forbids questions of any kind. Another reaction is to feel so small and valueless in comparison to the enormity of the universe that it becomes impossible to believe in a God who can be bothered with us tiny, finite creatures. . . .Or we can rejoice in a God who is beyond our comprehension but who comprehends us and cares about us.
—The Rock that is Higher
But everything we are learning about the nature of Being is making it apparent that “us” versus “them” is a violation of Creation. Tribalism must be transformed into community. We are learning from astrophysics and particle physics and cellular biology that all of Creation exists only in interdependence and unity.
—A Stone for a Pillow
Science, literature, art, theology: it is all the same ridiculous, glorious, mysterious language.
—A Circle of Quiet
Many thousands of those suns must have planets, and it’s surely arrogant of us to think of our earth as being the only planet in creation with life on it.
—Dragons in the Waters
If I affirm that the universe was created by a power of love, and that all creation is good, I am not proclaiming safety. Safety was never part of the promise. Creativity, yes; safety, no.
— And It Was Good
Creative scientists and saints expect revelation and do not fear it. Neither do children. But as we grow up and we are hurt, we learn not to trust, and that lack of trust is a wound as grievous as whatever caused it.
—Walking on Water
A story where myth, fantasy, fairy tale, or science fiction explore and ask questions moves beyond fragmatic dailiness to wonder. Rather than taking the child away from the real world, such stories are preparation for living in the real world with courage and expectancy. A child who has been denied imaginative literature is likely to have far more difficulty in understanding cellular biology or postNewtonian physics than the child whose imagination has already been stretched by reading fantasy and science fiction.
—Walking on Water
The Word is not a pet. The Word is the wildness behind creation, the terror of a black hole, the atomic violence of burning hydrogen within a sun.
—And It Was Good