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1. Return of the Prodigal Son
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2. Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
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3. Imagine: A Vision for Christians
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4. A Zoroastrian Tapestry: Art, Religion
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5. Buddha & Christ : Images Of
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6. With Burning Hearts: A Meditation
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7. Signs & Symbols in Christian
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8. The Mirror Of The Gods
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9. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist
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10. The Image of God: The Glory of
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11. Spaces for Spirit: Adorning the
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12. Visions of Mary
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13. Iznik: The Artistry of Ottoman
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14. Stories in Stone: A Field Guide
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15. The Art of Pastoring: Ministry
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16. Luther Bible of 1534-FL
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17. Meditations on Mary
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18. The Altarpiece in Renaissance
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19. Surrealism and the Sacred: Power,
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20. Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's

1. Return of the Prodigal Son
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385473079
Catlog: Book (1994-03-01)
Publisher: Image
Sales Rank: 1847
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming is a spiritual adventure story. A chance encounter with a poster depicting a detail of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son set in motion a chain of events that enabled Nouwen to redefine and claim his vocation late in his life. In this book, which interweaves elements of art history, memoir, Midrash, and self-help, Nouwen brings the parable to life with empathic analyses of each character. Nouwen's absorption in the story (and the painting) is so complete that the father's challenge to love the son, and the son's challenge to receive that love, become Nouwen's own. And Nouwen's writing is so clear and his tone is so appealingly frank and humble that readers--no matter how far from home--will find hope for themselves in the prodigal peace Nouwen ultimately achieves. --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars 1/2 New Insight and 1/2 Recycled Themes
I have read about 6 books by Henri Nouwen so far, and this one was probably the hardest one to stay focused on and get through. However, there are also a couple of chapters in the book that were real gems and shouldn't be missed. The first couple of chapters about Henri's fascination with Rembrandt's painting of the prodigal son are average. Even when he goes through the two brothers in the painting (the elder brother and the prodigal), there is nothing here that is extraordinary or newly insightful. Anyone who has done a group study or personal meditation on the passage likely already thought through the implications of being both the young son who is welcomed home, and the obedient elder son who is resentful of the father's welcome to his younger brother. These are certainly wonderful things to ponder, but Henri is far from the first to explore them; so that section of the book is a bit laborious. However, if you have never really thought a lot about the story of the prodigal son, the beginning and middle sections of the book should prove quite interesting. However, what I found very insightful and compelling in this book was the way Henri explored how we are to become like the father. It is a powerful exhortation to accept our homecoming as the younger son, but also to become welcomers ourselves. This book may not hold your attention as well as many of Nouwen's other books, but in the end, it's worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book; a simple but profound message
What an incredible book. What a simple message, deeply explored and wonderfully exposited.

Henri Nouwen is a master of reflection, study, self-knowledge, and of writing beautiful, profound books. This book is amazing, perhaps life-changing. It has spoken to me in profound and deep ways, and I am deeply thankful for it.

Nouwen's main message, I think, is the unconditional, unfailing, all-surpassing love of the Father, this love that meets all needs easily. He puts himself in the place of the younger son, the older son, and the father, and considers this love - and the things that keep us from fully experiencing it - in all of these places, places that ring universal.

The media of realization here is the parable of course, but also Rembrandt's painting, Return of the Prodigal Son. It is profoundly helpful, fun, and provoking to consider this representation of the story and let it work spiritually in us, as it has in Father Henri. This book has more than opened my heart to the love of my Father, it has given me a new love for art, and a side education on Rembrandt and one of his most famous paintings.

In short, this is another truly rare, truly wonderful book from a modern mystic. Nouwen will be remembered, I hope, alongside Augustine, Lewis, and others I have yet to discover but now believe exist.

A sample:

"Home is the center of my being where I can hear the voice that says: "You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests"-the same voice that gave life to the first Adam and spoke to Jesus, the second Adam; the same voice that speaks to all children of God and sets them free to live in the midst of a dark world while remaining in the light. I have heard that voice. It has spoken to me in the past and continues to speak to me now. It is the never-interrupted voice of love speaking from eternity and giving life and love whenever it is heard. When I hear that voice, I know that I am home with God and have nothing to fear. As the Beloved of my heavenly Father, "I can walk in the valley of darkness: no evil would I fear." As the Beloved, I can confront, console, admonish, and encourage without fear of rejection or need for affirmation. As the Beloved, I can be tortured and killed without ever having to doubt that the love that is given to me is stronger than death. As the Beloved, I am free to live and give life, free also to die while giving life."

If you'd like to discuss this book with me, or recommend others, or just chat, e-mail me at I'd love to talk with you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grace for Prodigals and Other Sinners
The Lord God has broadened my horizons in recent years, causing me to read works by authors I'd previously have dismissed. Henri Nouwen, much to my amazement, has become one of my spiritual mentors. In this little gem, Henri offers meditations on a very familiar (perhaps too familiar) parable. Countering the strong tendency to focus almost entirely on the prodigal, he also gives touching insights into the responses of the Father and of the oft-overlooked, prideful older brother. Any of us could find ourselves reflected on one of the three!
The Return of the Prodigal Son is written with Nouwen's characteristic sensitivity and willingness to allow his own doubts and fears to be examined. Having read it, I found that I better understood the incredible grace of the God who could receive a prodigal such as me and I've been better able to deal with the arrogance of those "older brothers" whose gracelessness and legalism have often caused me increased pain in the midst of life's trials.
Far from being a "brick" as another reviewer avers, this book is a balm, a soothing and healing medicine gently applied by one who has felt the same wounds. My list of books that have had a major influence on my life has grown beyond the possibility of a "top ten" now, so I'll just say this one is easily in the top twenty. I highly recommend The Return of the Prodigal Son for Prodigals and other sinners who need a touch of God's forgiving, receptive grace.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Father Judgeth No Man-John 5:22
Someone from my church recommended this book to me, and it's another book that will be an eternal, spring cleaning survivor in my house! I read this book several years ago.

At first, I was skeptical of the book's content. How, I thought, could an entire book be written upon a short, but well-known parable of Jesus and a painting of Rembrandt's? What else could I learn about this parable that I hadn't learned already? No telling how many sermons or sunday school lessons I've heard in my lifetime on this parable.

It's really a beautiful book. Hang in there; I had a hard time at first getting interested in it. I loved his analyses of each of the three characters in the painting and parable, the father, elder son, and prodigal son. There is something in all of us resembling the character of the two sons, which is usually the take home message from Sunday service. For me, the take home message from Nouwen's book, which was novel to me, was his understanding of the father, whose character is synonymous with God the Father, and how God wants us to model that character in our own lives. Nouwen's analysis is really beautiful; believe me the book is a keeper.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Religious Book Read Yet
This book was recommended by our priest. It was easy to read, and not terribly long. It told a beautiful story and gave several new dimensions to one of the most told (and I would now say least understood) parables. ... Read more

2. Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
by Ross King
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
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Asin: 0142003697
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 2501
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work-from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.
... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Art and a Fine Tale
Rivalry! Intrigue! War! Oh yes . . . and some timeless art too.

Ross King's "Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling" is an ambitious work which combines artistic study, the mechanics of fresco painting and the oft-sordid history of early 16th century Europe. The painting of the Sistene Chapel ceiling provides the framework for this story but there is more to be told than what meets the eye. The author successfully spins a narrative which deftly interweaves the creation of the fresco with the events of the time.

Each section of the Sistene Chapel is reviewed in the order in which it was created. The story progresses along with the work on the ceiling. We can see Michelangelo's work gain confidence as he moves through the vault and we see how the interplay of politics and the opinions of the artist interact to yield the final product. The players in this story gather to form a veritable who's who of the Renaissance. Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael along with the Borgia and Medici clans play a role. There are even guest appearances by Henry VIII, Machiavelli and Martin Luther.

The book also offers a detailed, yet presentable to the layman, look at the process of fresco painting. No, Michelangelo did not lie on his back to paint. Nevertheless the work was complex and these complexities are examined in full. No small detail, from the chemistry of each color to the mechanics of application is overlooked. Yet even with this fine level of detail the book does not lose focus or get bogged down by the minutia. Indeed, these details are woven back into the story in such a manner as to provide the reader with a richer and fuller sense of the accomplishment.

An outstanding historical work in its own right, this book is also a must for anyone with an interest Michelangolo's magnum opus.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sixteenth Century Soap Opera
Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King tells the story of four years, 1508-1512, in the life of three larger than life personalities: Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael. Mr. King's latest nonfiction historical "thriller" is, however, more than a story of the four years that Michelangelo spent laboring over the twelve thousand square feet of the vast ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In Mr. King's able hands it becomes an early 16th century soap opera, starring Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael, and featuring all the intrigue, passion, violence, and pettiness of a Sopranos' episode. What's so astonishing is that all that is told actually happened -- it's history.
Ross King's gift is his ability to bring us, his readers, back through the maze of time and lead us to an understanding of all that coalesced -- politically, socially, and artistically -- to create great art, great history and, for us, great reading.
According to King:
"Pope Julius II was not a man one wished to offend.... A sturdily built sixty-three-year old with snow-white hair and a ruddy face, he was known as il papa terrible , the 'dreadful' or 'terrifying' pope.... His violent rages, in which he punched underlings or thrashed them with his stick were legendary.... In body and soul he had the nature of a giant. Everything about him is on a magnified scale, both his undertakings and passions."
Michelangelo and Raphael as portrayed by King:
"Almost as renowned for his moody temper and aloof, suspicious nature as he was for his amazing skill with the hammer and chisel, Michelangelo could be arrogant, insolent, and impulsive....If Michelangelo was slovenly and, at times, melancholy and antisocial, Raphael was, by contrast, the perfect gentleman. Contemporaries fell over themselves to praise his polite manner, his gentle disposition, his generosity toward others....Raphael's appealing personality were accompanied by his good looks: a long neck, oval face, large eyes, and olive skin -- handsome, delicate features that further made him the antithesis of the flat-nosed, jug-eared Michelangelo."
The stories of these three men during this extraordinary four year period and the art they produced is the story embodied in Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling. The confrontations between Julius II and Michelangelo are legendary. "The major problem seems to have been that Michelangelo and Julius were remarkably alike in temperament. Michelangelo was one of the few people in Rome who refused to cringe before Julius."
For almost the entire four years Michelangelo was shadowed by the brilliant young painter Raphael, who was working in fresco on the neighboring Papal apartments. This rivalry the Pope seemed to enjoy and encourage. To help us better understand the friction between these two great artists King introduces us to Edmund Burke's treatise on the sublime and the beautiful:
"For Burke, those things we call beautiful have the properties of smoothness, delicacy, softness of color, and elegance of movement. The sublime, on the other hand, comprehends the vast, the obscure, the powerful, the rugged, the difficult -- attributes which produce in the spectator a kind of astonished wonder and even terror. For the people of Rome in 1511, Raphael was beautiful but Michelangelo sublime."
For me, reading a book like Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling is the way to read history. Mr. King transported me back to those four years during which Michelangelo and Raphael created art both beautiful and sublime. I was there with and among the players, engrossed in the anecdotes King skillfully wove into his narrative. This is history -- up close and personal -- and yet far, far away from the pain, anguish, anger and turmoil that pervaded so much of the lives of Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael. As I read, I learned, I felt, and I understood. Isn't that what reading is all about? I certainly could not ask for anything more.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, overall - more on the topic would have been better.
I'm not a fan of historical books but the topic of arts intertwigled with the Papacy was too good for me to resist. The book is a very well written, real non-fiction page-turner, which does not have the typical hundred names and hundreds places and dates of the typical historical book. It has plenty of interesting facts about the time of Michelangelo's fresco paintings, and places the topic well in the time and place context of such an age. However, there is a relatively small proportion of the book that is specifically focused on the topic of the title. Rather, the author sidetracks time and time again on events that occur at the time when the Sistine Chapel ceiling was being painted. Although not related, the topics described are quite interesting and the overall narration flows quite well.

This is definetly not a biography on Michelangelo, neither is it a compendium on fresco painting. It is a very good historical book, which could have been complemented with plenty of more insights into the subject matter rather than delving on tangents.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tremendously focused and comprehensive history
Appreciators of art, particularly the classics, will have a field day with Ross King's Michelangelo & The Pope's Ceiling, not just because it gives a blow-by-blow account of how one man, figuratively if not literally, could achieve a creation of such power, grace, and style that it still remains today one of the most famous works of art in the world. Add to that a complex history of the papacy and European monarchies and you've got a wonderful narrative, supplemented by accurate technical information on exactly how the whole thing was brought about.

If you've seen the film The Agony and the Ecstacy, you've only gotten a fraction of the story behind the Sistine Chapel ceiling and indeed, the perceptions of one man painting while on his back that have lingered are in large part due to tales like it. However, as King is quick to point out, while Michelangelo's genius was the driving force there were other artists involved who get the short shrift of history.

The book also gives generous space to Raphael, the rival and artist working elsewhere in the Vatican at the time and, naturally, to the amazing character of Julius II, a pope who clearly did not conform to tradition. Elements of both the Sistine ceiling and Raphael's work are given thoughtful attention and analysis.

The detailed descriptions of the methods and techniques employed by the artists were interesting, but in some instances went on for too long and took something away from the narrative flow that had been established. Even so, it was very educational and entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best way to meet Michelangelo
King exhibits a masters touch in his descriptive writing, panache and almost daily record of the artists life. The reader is taken into the work area of the master and provided a firsthand knowledge of how the conditions of this era played upon the capability of producing artistic results. The descriptions of the personalities of King's characters reflect the detailed research this author has done with much discipline to properly set the atmosphere for the reader. The description of the diferences between Michelangel's and Raphael's use of assistants and teaching is a typical, interesting side story. " He ( Michaelangelo) was interested in instilling his art in only "noble people"....and not in plebeins"
King also is not intimidated by other authors writing on this era. In fact, it is refreshing to see his references to Condivi,George Bull, and Lehmann in much of his storytelling.
Truly a "keeper" for the grndkids to read as an into to Michaelangelo Buonarroti ... Read more

3. Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts
by Steve Turner
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0830822917
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Sales Rank: 20421
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
Steve Turner has shed some refreshing light on an age-old controversial subject. Should a Christian's art be obviously Christian or is there room to fudge a bit? These and many other types of questions are answered by Turner. Perhaps the greatest insight he shares in the book is that a Christian artist is also a human being. The art created by this person is affected by all things in their environment. To create only art that reflects an inflexible spiritual message is ludicrous. If the artist is touched by the power of God, the artist paints it. If the artist is hurt by a lover's rejection, the artist writes a song about it. If the artist likes french toast, the artist writes a short story about it. Christian themed or not, it's art and it's justified. Let the fundamental, backward thinking, Super Christians beware. Steve Turner is a champion for the cause of Christians in the arts.

5-0 out of 5 stars a very honest look at the life of the artist of faith
This is, quite simply, the best book on the issues surrounding the life of a modern day Christian artist that I have ever read--period. I say this for several reasons:

1. It is uncompromising, both in its descriptions of the artist's mind, dreams, and motivations, and also in its exacting analysis of what it means to be a Christian. Turner pulls no punches in describing the incredible dichotomy between the gift of new life we have been given as a result of faith in the death and resurrrection of Christ as atonement for our sins, and the very emotions, dreams, insecurities, and passions that drive the artist in his or her creative endeavors. It is true, at least in my experience (and as Rory Noland has written in his very good book, "The Heart of the Artist"), that Christians in the arts are often more prone to temptation since they allow their feelings and passions to not only enter in to their work, but to drive it.

2. It puts out a call for artists to not only do art in the church to glorify God, but especially to do art OUT in the world to carry His message of salvation to those who do not yet know Him. How often do we hear the statement that the "real" work of the Christian is religious in nature, or takes place in and around the church? But, as Turner writes, "Jesus is Lord" over the WHOLE of our lives, even and especially those parts that are very 'unreligious' in nature. We are called to live for Christ minute by minute.

3. It is also honest in its assessment that the church often does not know what to do with the artists in our midst, let alone present an atmosphere in which they can flourish in their gifts and talents. It is my sincere hope that books like this one and the aforementioned Noland book can serve as a wake up call, letting the modern day church know that there is a powerful group of servants here, and that we need to both minister to them and more importantly allow them to minister to us and to God with their creative talents.

4. Rather than a simplistic "Christian vs. secular" explanation of art in the world, Turner submits a very well-conceived philosophy of five concentric circles of varying degrees of the mix of faith and art. I found this very helpful both in better understanding the art I see in and out of churches around me, and developing my own philosophy of art and faith.

I am the Worship Arts Pastor for a medium-large (approx. 2000 members) Bible church near Dallas, Texas. This book makes statement after statement that my own heart (after nearly 5 years of leading artists, and creating worship services at our church) really resonated with. I found myself underlining sentence after sentence, and often entire paragraphs or pages! This stuff is really that profound.

I hope and pray that the book will help both church staffers and artists find their way to utlizing ALL that they are in the pursuit of God through their gifts. May the church once again become the incredible storehouse and "town square" for the arts that it has been in centuries past; and may more and more Christian artists embrace their gifts and calling, rather than feeling confused and dazed at the apparent lack of understanding by the world in general and the church in particular as to just what makes the artist tick.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It has already had a large impact on my thinking, and helped to clarify issues that have been clouded and murky for so long. ... Read more

4. A Zoroastrian Tapestry: Art, Religion & Culture
by Pheroza J. Godrej
list price: $250.00
our price: $157.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890206229
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: Mapin Publishing Pvt, Ltd.
Sales Rank: 645597
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Coffee table book
I have been reading reviews by one Mr Noshir Khambata who rates every book he reviews as 5 stars and this raises the issue. His reviews do not help and it seems that he is out to please everyone and hence his reviews of all books are without any value

I have doubts about this book also and it looks like a coffee table book fit to be kept as a showpiece

5-0 out of 5 stars A Zarathushtrian Labour of Love and Sacrifice.
The Editors of this magnificent and massive volume (762 folio pages) deserves the deepest thanks of the Parsee community of Bombay in particular, and Zarathushtrians in general on a global basis, for compiling for us, what is truly a "labour of love and stupendous sacrifice". The high quality of paper, printing, the selection of the articles, the magnificent coloured illustrations, the comprehensive glossary and chronological tables, truly makes this volume as one of a kind, that every Parsee household would do well to have on their prized book-shelf. The list of article contributors to this volume almost constitute a who's-who in the field of Iranian studies. Many of the reproduced photographs and illustrations are made available to the public for the first time. Every page delights a reader with uncanny information or stunning pictures or a fact of odd rarity. However the list of "Select Bibliography" at the end could undergo a substantial upgrading.

Very easily this work deserves a five star rating and beyond. But it breaks my heart that under the magnificence and glitter of this entire volume lies buried a grievous faux pas. This is not so much a judgement of error on the part of the very industrious Editors, but rather on the number of individuals who collaborated on this project and even contributed scholarly articles to it. The faux pas is the continued usage of the three most unfortunate words, i.e. Zoroaster, Zoroastrians and Zoroastrianism, when the correct designation Zarathushtra, Zarathushtrians and the Zarathushtrian Religion as dictated by the syntax of the English language have long been in existence and used by scholars of the highest intellectual calibre. Little, if any, is achieved in perpetuating an unfortunate error
steeped in ignorance and arrogance.

Congratulations to Mapin Publishers and Grantha Corporation and their massive editorial team for undertaking so massive a work and giving us a magnificent volume to treasure for years and beyond. It would be a great blessing if after some time the full volume can be accessed on the Internet with more stunning photographs and information. ... Read more

5. Buddha & Christ : Images Of Wholeness
list price: $60.00
our price: $60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0834804468
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Weatherhill
Sales Rank: 677042
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars A commendable effort, but not close to the Holy Grail.
I had a chance to thumb through the book on a recent trip to a bookstore. Having devoted a considerable time towards the study of religion, theology, and theosophy, I was pleased to see a worthwhile endeavor by Robert Elinor. In the end I came away with mixed feelings.

Visually the book has an academic appeal, and certainly it betrays the labor that has gone into it. Illustrated books like "Buddha & Christ" have a way of sparking off the latent curiosity in the free thinker as only visual aids can do. Unfortunately, I was not much impressed by the text, not because it was not written clearly, or that it flouts the rules of grammer, but because it misses the organizing principle that could have shed a bright light on such a topic. I am confident that such a work is on the horizon.

Often, mainstraem biblical historians, and scholars of religion are leery to admit that there was a common nursery for Judiasim, Chrisianity, Islam, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and Zorasterianism, to mention a few. In many cases, the leeriness comes from unwillingness to admit that Judaism predates Moses, Chrisianity predates Jesus, and Buddhism predates Gautama Sakayamuni by millennia. This is to say that much as they strive to show us the conspicuous parallels that exist between the various religious traditions or philospophical/theosophical traditions, scholars fall short of describing the elephant in toto. This, in my opinion, is the least forceful aspect of the text. Yet, overall, I believe Mr. Elinor's effort moves the quest forward, however slightly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful prose and vivid images
Bravo! The organization of powerful text together with beautiful images, draws clear, thoughtfully orchestrated parallels between two fascinating religions. ... Read more

6. With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life
by Henri J. M. Nouwen, Duccio
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570755086
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Orbis Books
Sales Rank: 37521
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Walk Down the Road With the Gentlest of Writers
Henri Nouwen explains the Lord's Supper in the context of the two disciples' walk with Jesus down the road to Emmaus at the end of Luke's gospel. He sees five interrelating movements in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, each movement corresponding to an event along the disciples' walk. This is a meditation, not a theological treatise, so the soul and the mind share the road. Nouwen's meditations are challenging and joyous, and this is one of the best I've read. Going on any trip with Henri Nouwen brings joy, whether it's into a painting ("Return of the Prodigal Son"), into the desert ("Way of the Heart"), across a calendar ("Bread for the Journey"), or into his own anguish ("Inner Voice of Love"). I was so taken with Nouwen challenge to a "eucharistic life" in this book that I have celebrated the Lord's Supper by myself several times. ... Read more

7. Signs & Symbols in Christian Art (Galaxy Books)
by George Wells Ferguson
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195014324
Catlog: Book (1989-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 57451
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First published in 1954 and having gone through several editions, this comprehensive book remains the authoritative source in the field. This paperback edition includes all of the three hundred fifty illustrations from the original edition, as well as the complete and unabridged text.Its text and illustrations reveal the symbolism inherent in representations of religious personages, the Earth and Sky, animals, birds, insects, and flowers.In addition to a discussion of objects treated symbolically in Christian art, George Ferguson explores Old Testament characters and events and their symbolic representation in art. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best
Ferguson's book is simply one of the best of its kind. The numerous entries (far more than most) are divided into reasonable sections (animals, plants, saints, etc.). Black and white images in the outer margins assist identification. A thorough explanation of each entry's various meanings within a Christian context is provided (with few oversights). The book is a convenient, portable size and weight. Though I have found books which contain Christian symbols & meanings Ferguson overlooked, I have not yet found a text that is better as a whole, and I collect books of art symbolism.

Every art historian--student, amateur, or professional--should own a copy of this book. Art lovers will find it a substantial aid to appreciation. It's a great book to take on museum and cathedral tours, e.g. if you intend to travel around Europe. Christians may also find it a helpful meditation aid.

The only real drawback is that Ferguson is limited to Western Christian art. For help with Eastern Christian art symbolism, I recommend starting with Linette Martin's "Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's Guide to Icons." It's less like a reference guide and contains few images, but it's a great start.

I look forward to finding more gems like these.

3-0 out of 5 stars Through Artists Eyes
I am an artist. I wanted to include Christian symbols and signs in my pottery. Many of the signs or quite common, but the reasons for the symbols and signs are forgotten by many. This book both gives detailed pictures of each sign and symbol and also explains completely what each symbol means and why the symbol came about. Each symbol was established for a reason, and it all reflects back to the Bible.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Staple Reference for Any Library
If you've ever wondered about the seemingly strange choices of modern writers or film directors (such as the repeated reference to chocolate "mouse" in the film "Rosemary's Baby"), "Signs and Symbols in Christain Art" will deepen your enjoyment of contemporary artforms as well as antique paintings found in museums.

Built around the symbol-system of Roman Catholic Church art, Ferguson's book illustrates the ways in which medieval and rennaissance artists tried to visualize scripture and cannon for their illiterate audiences.

Compact and consise, "Signs and Symbols" serves as a perfect bring-along for your next museum trip - but since the reader can look up various saints and doctrines (such as the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues) as well as visual symbols, this book is more than just an art reference.

First-year art students are typically required to use this book in Survey of Western Art 101, but it deserves a place on the bookshelf of any home which aspires to cultural literacy. ... Read more

8. The Mirror Of The Gods
by Malcolm Bull
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195219236
Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 11281
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Book Description

By the end of the 15th century, the remains of the ancient gods littered the landscape of Western Europe. Christianity had erased the religions of ancient Greece and Rome and most Europeans believed the destruction of classical art was God's judgment on the pagan deities. How, then, did European artists during the next three centuries create such monumental works as Botticelli's The Birth of Venus and Raphael's Parnassus? In The Mirror of the Gods, Malcolm Bull tells the revolutionary story of how the great artists of Western Europe--from Botticelli and Leonardo to Titian and Rubens--revived the gods of ancient Greece and Rome. Each chapter focuses on a different deity and sheds dazzling new light on such familiar figures as Venus, Hercules, and Bacchus. Bull draws on hundreds of illustrations to illuminate the ancient myths through the eyes of Renaissance and Baroque artists, not as they appear in classical literature. When the wealthy and powerful princes of Christian Europe began to identify with the pagan gods, myth became the artist's medium for telling the story of his own time. The Mirror of the Gods is the fascinating and extraordinary story of how Renaissance artists combined mythological imagery and artistic virtuosity to change the course of western art. The Mirror of the Gods profoundly deepens our understanding of some of the greatest and most subversive artwork in European history. This delightfully told, lavishly illustrated, and extraordinary book amply rewards our ongoing fascination with classical myth and Renaissance art. ... Read more

9. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art
by John C. Huntington, Dina Bangdel, Robert A. F. Thurman
list price: $95.00
our price: $95.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932476016
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Serindia Publications
Sales Rank: 178197
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars himalayan art at its best !
This is really one of the few books that everyone seriously interested in himalayan art should not afford to miss. All the different aspects of the himalayan branch of the buddhistic religion / philosophy which have visual representation - from tangkas to statues, to any kind of ritual objects - are illustrated with exceptionally detailed, wonderful pictures, each supplemented by exhaustive descriptions. Entire chapters of the book introduce, and then guide, the reader to and through the meanders of a truly fascinating journey, which develops from peak to peak, from monastery to monastery in that magic world - suspended between land and sky - known as The Himalayas. This is one of those rare books with top class quality built in. Outstanding ! ... Read more

10. The Image of God: The Glory of Man
by Ric Ergenbright, Dana Ergenbright
list price: $24.99
our price: $15.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0842339841
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Sales Rank: 24270
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Book Description

Blending powerful photographic imagery with eternal biblical truth, The Image of God considers man as he is portrayed in the Bible. Combining 160 full-color photographs with 70 Bible display verses, a rich story-driven text, and complete photographic and cultural notes, this exquisite coffee-table book presents a powerful witness to the abundant life that God intends for all mankind. ... Read more

11. Spaces for Spirit: Adorning the Church
by Nancy Chinn, David Philippart
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568542429
Catlog: Book (1998-07-01)
Publisher: Liturgy Training Publications
Sales Rank: 298841
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Accompany printer and textile artist Nancy Chinn in a wide-ranging and vigorous discussion about the use of visual arts in the worship evironment. How have visual arts been used in Christian tradition? What are some of the hesitations and fears that artists and the church have about each other? How might an artist at the dawn of a new century create new art for the church? What does art have to do with social change?

In addition to exploring thses profound questions, Spaces for Spirit will help parish artists find new insight in the basic elements of design: light/dark, transparency/opacity, color, pattern, texture, scale and movement. Numerous case studies of actual parish art projects for study and critique are provided. You also will learn how to organize the work of artists in the church and how to use the exemplary medium of paper lace to create visual art for your worship space.

With dozens of beautiful photographs (over 64 in full color), this book will challenge any community to appreciate the importanct role that visual arts play in the worship environment and encourage all of us to make our offerings of praise and thanksgiving to the Creator in places that have spaces for spirit. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing book
This book will inspire you to really think about liturgical art in terms of spiritual reflection and growth, not just decoration. Ms. Chinn's work is inspiring and awesome. My only complaint was that there aren't many examples of projects in small worship spaces. ... Read more

12. Visions of Mary
by Sandra Dipasqua, Barbara Calamari
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810955814
Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 693831
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Book Description

The Virgin Mary inspires intense religious devotion throughout the Catholic world. In her 350 official incarnations-among them Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, and The Mother of Sorrows-Mary brings a feminine face to worship, and serves as a conduit for the redemption of humanity. This beautiful and timeless book by the authors of the Abrams title Holy Cards explores Mary's many visionary appearances throughout history and their significance, and examines the iconography surrounding the most famous of these visions.

Catholics honor the woman they venerate as the Mother of God through special novena prayers. The Marian prayer cards displayed here, along with other examples of vernacular art illustrating Mary's various appearances, form an exquisite but accessible treasury of the many facets of the Holy Mother. With its radiantly illustrated iconography; its eternal theme; and its rare collection of holy cards, Visions of Mary should inspire believers and all those interested in art and religious iconography. AUTHOR BIO: Barbara Calamari is a freelance writer who has worked in film and television. Sandra DiPasqua is a graphic designer and art director. The two have collaborated on four previous books for a Catholic audience: Novena: The Power of Prayer, Holy Places: Sacred Sites in Catholicism, Our Lady of Guadalupe in a Box, and the Abrams book Holy Cards. They both live in New York City.
... Read more

13. Iznik: The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics
by Walter B. Denny
list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500511926
Catlog: Book (2005-01-31)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 159507
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Book Description

The most up-to-date survey available of one of the best known and best loved forms of Islamic art.

Walter B. Denny, Professor of Art History at the University of Massachusetts, offers new perspectives on one of the most popular Islamic art forms. Covering both Iznik pièces de forme and the famous Iznik tiles that decorate Ottoman imperial monuments, the book integrates the entire spectrum of Iznik production, both titles and wares, with the broader artistic tradition in which it originated.

Professor Denny begins with a discussion of the particular nature of Islamic art under the Ottomans. He then examines the relationship between the court style of Istanbul and the ceramic ateliers in Iznik in nearby Bithynia, and the crucial role of two styles—dubbed by the author the "enchanted forest" and "heavenly garden" (the saz and aux quartre fleurs styles)—and their creators, Shah Kulu and Kara Memi. Finally, he covers Iznik works with human or animal imagery, the patronage of non-Muslim communities within the Ottoman Empire, and the chronicle of destruction and damage of tiled monuments due to war, earthquake, and fire. The book ends with a look at the extraordinary historical legacy of Iznik ceramics, from early imitations in the Ottoman Empire and Europe to the astonishing appearance of ceramics in the Iznik style created by European studio potters in the nineteenth century.

The first study of Iznik ceramics to combine these different thematic elements, the book reflects Professor Denny's ambition, almost thirty-five years after completing his doctoral dissertation on Iznik tiles and after well over a dozen publications on the subject, to create a comprehensive overview of this beautiful and popular art form. 250 illustrations, 230 in color. ... Read more

14. Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography
by Douglas Keister
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158685321X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Gibbs Smith Publishers
Sales Rank: 6877
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Certain symbols abound in modern Western culture that are instantly recognizable: the cross signifies Christianity, the six-pointed Star of David is revered by Jews, the golden arches frequently means it's time for lunch. Other symbols, however, require a bit of decoding-particularly those found in cemeteries.

Cemeteries are virtual encyclopedias of symbolism. Engravings on tombstones, mausoleums and memorials tell us just about everything there is to know about a person- date of birth and death as well as religion, ethnicity, occupation, community interests, and much more. In the fascinating new book Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism by noted author Douglas Keister, the secrets of cemetery symbolism are finally revealed. For instance, did you know that it is quite rare to see a sunflower on a tombstone? Did you know that the human foot symbolizes humility and service since it consistently touches the earth? Or the humble sheaf of wheat-while it is often used to denote someone who has lived a long and fruitful life, do you know other meanings it might carry?

Stories in Stone provides history along with images of a wide variety of common and not-so-common cemetery symbols, and offers an in-depth examination of stone relics and the personal and intimate details they display-flora and fauna, religious icons, society symbols, and final impressions of how the deceased wished to be remembered. Douglas Keister has created a practical field guide that is compact and portable, perfect for those interested in family histories and genealogical research, and is the only book of its kind that unlocks the language of symbols in a comprehensive and easy-to-understand manner.

Douglas Keister has photographed fourteen award-winning, critically acclaimed books (including Red Tile Style: America's Spanish Revival Architecture, The Bungalow: America's Arts & Crafts Home, and Storybook Style: America's Whimsical Homes of the Twenties) earning him the title "America's most noted photographer of historic architecture." He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to other books, calendars, posters, and greeting cards. Doug lives in Chico, California, and travels frequently to photograph and lecture on historic architecture and photography. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Photos
It is beautifully illustrated. You really can confidently buy this for the photos alone.

I like the book a lot. It is pretty comprehensive and the types of symbols are broken down into like flora and fauna which makes it easy to reference, there is a nice listing of orginizations in the back. Nice bits of historical changes in the basic meaning of symbols.

No book of listings of symbols is ever complete, I can think of a few things that could have been added, but buy it anyway. Great photos and you won't be disappointed.

And remember, just because someone had ivy carved on their gravestone does not mean that it symbolizes eternity, they really may have just thought it looked pretty.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish this was a coffee table book...
...but since you're probably meant to bring it with you cemetery-hopping, it makes sense that it's so small. It's packed with information and fantastic photos, and is beautifully bound. I purchased it as a dad's day gift, but wanted to keep it for myself!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Stories in Stone," a cemetery lovers book.
I am a family genealogist and love cemeteries. Recently, I spent a most enjoyable Sunday afternoon curled up in my favorite chair reading "Stories in Stone" cover to cover. I just couldn't put it down.

It is one of the very best books I've read on cemetery symbolism. The amount of research and documentation is impressive. Photographs are used freely throughout to illustrate and compliment each of the symbols discussed. "Stories in Stone" is a must-have, must-read book for all cemetery aficionados.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly, highly recommend!
I work at a large, 141 yr. old cemetery in the midwest and I can't say enough about this book. The photos are amazing and the information is extensive. I appreciate that the author included information on the architectural styles and the history of memorials -all of the way back to antiquity. He also covered the symbols of various religions, and fraternal organizations.

I think this book would be facinating to anyone.
If you even have the slightest interest in cemeteries, monuments, or just history, then you must get this book. ... Read more

15. The Art of Pastoring: Ministry Without All the Answers
by David Hansen
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0830816690
Catlog: Book (1994-05-01)
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Sales Rank: 110302
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book...
I had to read this book for a Ministry Practice and Polity seminary class, and it was probably one of the most enjoyable books that I read in my whole seminary career.

At the most basic level, this is sort of a 'day in the life' kind of book about David Hansen's experience in the role of pastor. The book is refreshingly honest as he discusses his struggles, victories, and overall experience of being a pastor in all the different compacities. I don't plan on being a pastor myself, but I would definitly recommend this book to anyone who is feeling called in that direction, as a 'window into the life of a pastorate.'

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Top Ten Books on Being a Pastor/Pastoral Theology
I could say a lot about this book. A whole
lot in fact. But I am just going to say this:
if you are a pastor or a family member of a
pastor get this book! It is rich, deep,
honest, Christian, Christlike, and so much
more. I am glad it came across my path
and am thankful the author shared his life
with us.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to BE a pastor, not just do pastoral things.
EUGENE PETERSON said: "This is the freshest and most honest book on pastoral work you're ever likely to come upon." I agree. Hansen helps us pastors consider what is essential for us to be pastors. Prayer, presence, scripture are central. Stories drawn from Hansen's contemplative fishing experiences help the reader appreciate the value of paying careful, quiet, patient attention in ministry. Not a "how to do it in X steps" book, but a book about being. This is a simple but deep book; it's hopeful and encouraging for a too busy pastor. ... Read more

16. Luther Bible of 1534-FL
by Stephan Fuessel
list price: $125.00
our price: $78.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3822824704
Catlog: Book (2003-01)
Publisher: TASCHEN America Llc
Sales Rank: 93754
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Overall Excellent and Accessible - Misprints are a problem
Approachable, stunningly beautiful and accessible (eso. for the price!) ... However - there are some publication problems with omissions/repeat of pages in Isaiah and Luke -- prob. wouldn't notice if you don't read German -- but bothersome (reason for 3 stars vs. 5 stars). Still, excellent quality (paper and color images), cover, and accompanying commentary. Esp. for the price (vs. more expensive Wycliffe facsimile) -- can't beat for ammature German history buffs. ... Read more

17. Meditations on Mary
by Kathleen Norris
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670888206
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Viking Penguin Inc
Sales Rank: 229368
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Meditations on Mary is a beautiful, simple, incandescent book. Essays about the Virgin by Kathleen Norris (excerpts from Amazing Grace and The Cloister Walk), text from the King James Bible (from the Annunciation to the Cross), and fine reproductions of paintings (by artists including Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo) combine to form a mosaic portrait of the mother of Jesus. It's rare to find a gift book appropriate for so many age groups; teenage girls can appreciate this, and grandmothers will love it too. Norris's essays are an especially good choice for this book. Raised Protestant, she now worships with Catholics and therefore writes with a reverence that has overtaken her, to her great surprise. And the surprise appearance of God's presence in life, appropriately enough, happens to be exactly the condition in which Mary found herself when the angel Gabriel first came to give her good news. --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Probably not in stock
The book is an excellent purchase, but don't even think of purchasing it here because it probably won't be in stock. At least this is my experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mediations on Mary
This gently written, beautifully profound book really touches one's heart. The Blessed Mother is made readily accessible in the minds, hearts and souls of all persons who read this treasure. It is a very enlightening and interesting book and I sincerely hope it makes a positive difference in the lives of all who read it. I really loved it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful way of discovering Mary
My husband gave me this book for Christmas and it has become very special to me. As someone who also grew up in the Presbyterian tradition, I had always felt the absence of Mary in the church. When, as an adult, I turned to a more "catholic" religion, I was finally able to embrace Mary. This book, with it's beautiful illustrations and wonderful essays is a spiritually rewarding path to Mary.

5-0 out of 5 stars Meditations On Mary
A stunningly beautiful book! An appropriate collection of images fills this excellently designed book with lavishly colored reproductions of the life of Mary. A tribute to two of my favorite women, both who serve us as a reminder of the exceptional nature of the feminine spirit. ... Read more

18. The Altarpiece in Renaissance Venice
by Peter Humfrey
list price: $85.00
our price: $73.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300053584
Catlog: Book (1993-07-28)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 606333
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19. Surrealism and the Sacred: Power, Eros, and the Occult in Modern Art
by Celia Rabinovitch
list price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813365570
Catlog: Book (2002-05)
Publisher: Westview Press
Sales Rank: 569044
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A vital new interpretation of the personalities, historical forces and intellectual paradigms that created Surrealist art.

From archaic fetishism, found objects, dream images and free association, Surrealist artists and writers - such as Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Meret Oppenheim and Wolfgang Paalen - transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary by deliberately evoking the ambivalence of sacred power. Surrealism and the Sacred traces the conflict between the secular and sacred forces from prehistory and paganism through the Renaissance and the occult revival of the 19th century to the Surrealist movement of the 20th century. Against the tyranny of reason and the European bourgeoisie, Surrealists drew from occultism, Asian religions and mysticism, and psychoanalysis to create an uncanny and creative state of mind that continues to have a profound effect on the modern imagination. This remarkable book challenges conventional assumptions about modern art and its larger meanings in the history of knowledge. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars extraordinary
This book reignited my passion for sacred mythology.Many questions I've been pondering for years were answered. I highly recommend this provoking book for all those with a deep interest in modern art and culture. Bravo!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Work
Dr.Rabinovitch has created an exceptional work. She has combined art, religion, psychology, and the occult in a fascinating, hard to put down work. The text reads like a who's-who of the early 20th century. Her expertise and interest are apparent and are combined with a readable style. ... Read more

20. Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's Guide to Icons
by Linette Martin
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557253072
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Paraclete Press (MA)
Sales Rank: 39309
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Linette Martin, a student at Oxford University, asked her art history tutor if there wereany good books on icons for the ordinary reader, he replied that there were books by Orthodox theologians froman theological perspective and books by art history professors from an art history perspective, but nothingfor the ordinary reader. Martin, herself an Anglican, set out to fill the gap by writing Sacred Doorways:A Beginner's Guide to Icons.

Martin explains that she was initially captivated by the beauty and mystery of icons, but did not understandtheir "language." Her goal for Sacred Doorways was to write their alphabet, thereby helping others tounderstand this ancient Byzantine art form. Icons, Martin explains, are meant to convey Christian truths in avisual form, as a complement to the written Bible.

Sacred Doorways is an ideal book for the Orthodox to pass along to their non-Orthodox friends. For Catholicsand Protestants, it will serve as a non-technical, yet comprehensive introduction to help to increaseunderstanding and appreciation of Orthodox spirituality. For the general reader, Sacred Doorways provides anessential guidebook to one of the most ancient religious art forms in the world. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Book delivers on a practical level
To fully understand the Icon it is best if one is living in the same Tradition which created the Icon, that is Orthodoxy. Out side of Orthodoxy the Icon loses some of its deep roots, some of the mystical, which sets the icon in an "art" arena of it's own. For an icon is not meant to be viewed as "art," but as a window to heaven. Therefore the only proper place for the icon is in the Church.
The above said, the book "Sacred Doorways" is a very practical intro into the what, and why of Icons. It examines the practical physical side of the Icon...why is Christ holding his hand like that, what materials are Icons made with, and the like. Which is, indeed, needed to know so that one can begin to read the message and meaning of the Icon.
So the book is as it says "a beginner's guide to Icons," and is a nice launching pad for those looking for practical basic information on Icons. In this way the book does just what it says it will do, and that makes it a good book. Yet, it would be a shame for one to stop with this book, because the book does not delve the depth of the Icon in it's rich Orthodox spirituality. Then again it never promises to do so. The book is a good starting point, but it would be a shame to make it the start and end. It is none the less well written and easy to understand, a very pleasant read. The author is clearly very educated in the practical sense of Icons. For someone studying icons it is a good book for the library.

4-0 out of 5 stars Making Icons More Than Just Pretty Pictures
I've always liked icons but I never "got" them. They were pretty, but sacred? I didn't understand why anyone would think of them that way. Then in France I was privileged to hear a lecture by a real expert about the Bayeux Tapestry which, I know, is not an icon but stay with me please. As she went along explaining the tapestry she began to read the various scenes and say things like "Because he is holding his hands this way and facing here, you can tell he is lying." I quickly realized the the Bayeux Tapestry wasn't just a comic book-like depiction of the Invasion of 1066 it was a novel!! "Well now," I thought to myself, "what's in those icons I could never understand before?" I started looking for a book. Then, my misery at not understanding was made even worse when on the trip to the Soviet Union, I met a man who trusted me enough to show me the icons he had hidden from the Soviet authorities. I looked harder for a book. Over the years, I found lots of books with collections of icons. Scholarly works on a particular schools of work were also easy to find. But I could never find a book that could help someone like me who was raised a protestant and was hooked on the printed word for information, get beyond the surface of an icon. That is until I stumbled across THIS book.

This book is a first-rate introduction to all aspects of icons from their history, to their construction, to their spiritual significance. All of this context has helped add for me, the texture and meaning I always knew was there but I didn't know how to get to. I am still a novice and I may never break free of my addiction to getting information via the printed word, but I am starting to hear the voices of the artists who made (and continue to make) these sacred images. ... Read more

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