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Walking on Water : Reflections on faith and…

Walking on Water : Reflections on faith and art

by Madeleine L'Engle

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Madeline L'Engle believes each work of art comes to the artist and says; "Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me." In this book she shares her reflections on art with honesty and humility.
  PendleHillLibrary | Feb 15, 2016 |
I loved this book! The author - best-known for her children's novel 'A Wrinkle in Time' - reflects on art, and her beliefs, and the writing process. It's just short snippets, gathered together in chapters, but I found some of them very thought-provoking.

Highly recommended for anyone who ever wondered what 'Christian art' might be - or even whether such a concept exists - or who is involved in any way in creative work such as music, art or writing.

When I'd finished it, I went back and re-read the first chapter. I'm sure I shall be dipping into this regularly in future. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
My expectations were not meet in this book. I friend recommended it, and usually those recommendations are spot on. The randomness of the book couldn't keep my attention. I guess that happens when you walk on water. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
My expectations were not meet in this book. I friend recommended it, and usually those recommendations are spot on. The randomness of the book couldn't keep my attention. I guess that happens when you walk on water. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
So this book wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I ended up enjoying it nonetheless.

Though I haven't reread them in a while (something I plan to remedy soon), L'Engle's Wrinkle Quartet is without question one of my favorite series of children's books. And, as someone who loves Jesus and also really loves reading and writing, and wrestles with the question of how to read and write in a way that glorifies God, I naturally felt drawn toward the premise of this book.

L'Engle, though, by self-admission, has struggled more with her identity as a Christian than her identity as a writer or reader, whereas I feel both but would probably say the opposite is truer. That is, I know I want to love Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, but I don't know if giving myself to reading and writing is the best way to do this. Thus, she starts more or less with the assumption that becoming absorbed in writing and reading is good. She also gets quite philosophical, which is not necessarily problematic, but also not what I was looking for. Still, she does explain her thoughts, or at least invite us into her own observations and questions, which I appreciated.

My favorite chapter by far was Chapter 10: The Journey Homeward, though there were things I disagreed with or needed to question throughout, that chapter included. It made me see what it might mean to love Jesus in my writing, and want to really position myself, with both discipline and letting go, to do so.

Ultimately, though this book wasn't what I was expecting, the fruit was positive: it drew me to Jesus and caused me to ask questions, and desire to write well.

I really appreciate L'Engle and hope I will be able to pick up where she left off. Which may sound arrogant, but I don't intend it to be--just that I think she really was onto something worth grasping. After reading this, I definitely want to read more of L'Engle's other books, as well. ( )
  elephantine | Nov 27, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 087788918X, Hardcover)

Walking on Water collects 12 brief meditations by Madeleine L'Engle on the nature of art and its relation to faith. L'Engle, the beloved author of A Wrinkle In Time among others, has written and spoken widely and wisely about the connection between religion and art. The gist of her understanding is as follows:
To try to talk about art and about Christianity is for me one and the same thing, and it means attempting to share the meaning of my life, what gives it, for me, its tragedy and its glory. It is what makes me respond to the death of an apple tree, the birth of a puppy, northern lights shaking the sky, by writing stories.
She believes that "[b]asically there can be no categories such as 'religious' art and 'secular' art because all true art is incarnational, and therefore 'religious.'" And "incarnation," in L'Engle's view, means "God's revelation of himself through particularity." In this book there is some slippage between L'Engle's autobiographical and critical voices. As a result, she often claims Christian significance for works whose meaning is not intentionally Christian. She admits this freely:
[B]ecause I am a struggling Christian, it's inevitable that I superimpose my awareness of all that happened in the life of Jesus upon what I'm reading, upon Buber, upon Plato, upon the Book of Daniel. But I'm not sure that's a bad thing. To be truly Christian means to see Christ everywhere, to know him as all in all.
-- Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In this classic book, Madeleine L'Engle addresses the questions, What makes art Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L'Engle's beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one's own art.… (more)

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