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Intruding Upon the Timeless: Revised and Expanded Second Edition


Intruding Upon the Timeless is a collection of essays, written over nearly three decades, by the founder and editor of Image journal, Gregory Wolfe. This revised, expanded edition includes not only the short, evocative meditations written for Image in its early years—which established Wolfe as a pioneer in the “arts and faith” movement and a groundbreaking cultural critic—but also more recent considerations of contemporary artists and writers such as Scott Cairns, Alice McDermott, Christopher Beha, and Edward Knippers, This edition features works (many created specifically for this volume) by a generation of artists influenced by Wolfe’s writings.



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 Greg Wolfe’s editorials in Image, and I’m thrilled to find them collected in one volume. Nobody does a better job of reconciling and synthesizing art and religion than Wolfe. His brilliant insight into the spiritual 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


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 three 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 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 Slow Pilgrim: Collected Poems


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 Brown

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Weight .8 lbs

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