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Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry…

Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry

by Owen Barfield

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This book is like really, really rich chocolate cake - it will require a long time to digest - and a couple more future readings. This is one of those instances - and it might just be my lack of comprehension and a density to all things philosophical - but there were many paragraphs I had to read over and over and only then did I have even the faintest idea of what Barfield might have been getting at.

My briefest explanation - and this does not do it justice - would be that it is firstly a treatise on the evolution of human consciousness and secondly could be considered - in part - a study in the history of ideas, religion, language, philosophy, anthropology, theology, imagination, iconoclasm and so much more all rolled into one.

That being said it is not entirely backward looking but also future looking. It could be seen as a kind of prophetic word to humankind in general and the church - the nursing mother as Barfield puts it - in particular. Over all it definitely cultivates some serious beta-thinking on behalf of your entire mass of grey cells. ( )
2 vote adamtarn | May 2, 2009 |
A hoary classic, decades younger than Empson's "Seven Types of Ambiguity" but well worth reading. Perhaps the first serious examination of what's now called a paradigm shift.
2 vote kencf0618 | Oct 2, 2005 |
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There may be times when what is most needed is, not so much a new discovery or a new idea as a different 'slant'; I mean a comparatively slight readjustment in our way of looking at the things and ideas on which attention is already fixed.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081956205X, Paperback)

Saving the Appearances is about the world as we see it and the world as it is; it is about God, human nature, and consciousness. The best known of numerous books by the British sage whom C.S. Lewis called the "wisest and best of my unofficial teachers," it draws on sources from mythology, philosophy, history, literature, theology, and science to chronicle the evolution of human thought from Moses and Aristotle to Galileo and Keats. Barfield urges his readers to do away with the assumption that the relationship between people and their environment is static. He dares us to end our exploitation of the natural world and to acknowledge, even revel in, our participation in the diurnal creative process.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:22 -0400)

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