Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Share your favorite Quaker books, start book reading groups and find Friends who share your love of reading. Tag: books
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I just finished "The Last Runaway," a light novel about a British Quaker moving to Ohio just before the Civil War. It is interesting in its depiction of the dysfunction of an isolated Quaker group and in the appeal of the ideal principle vs. the pragmatic violation of it. Fun characters but not a "literary" book which would explore them in depth.
I just finished reading Douglas Gywn's latest book Conversation with Christ: Quaker Meditations on the Gospel of John.
In my experience, most people either skate along on the surface of this gospel or get lost in it's "gnostic tendencies". Gywn does neither. His approach is both intellectual AND experiential. Writings from early Quakers are used extensively. Each chapter ends with a guided conversation to draw the reader into their own conversation with Christ.
If I recall correctly from my one art history course, early Christian images often dealt with themes of Christ as shepherd, or as the Lamb of God. Medieval art also divorced images from reality, painting figures floating in the air rather than in proper perspective and governed by gravity, indicating that the Christian was not to focus on the world. Because eyes are considered the mirror of the soul, the eyes were also painted extra large. In other words, art captured the condition of the soul rather than what people looked like on the outside.
I also remember there were loads of paintings and Byzantine mosaics featuring the infant Jesus on his mother's lap, with both blessing the viewer.
I look forward to checking out this book. ~Yours in the Light, Paula
I just finished "Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of this World for Crucifixion and Empire". It's a fairly daunting 400+ pages. Since the writers manged to write an academic that does employ astounding long, convoluted sentences, it's doable.
The writers started with the observation that early Christian art did not show images of Christ crucified. The earliest art celebrated resurrection and images of earthly paradise. From that they tell a part of church history that was very new to me and shows a different way of living in this world.
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