Saturday, September 2, 2017

Writers of Faith


First there is this Patheos article.

And then there is this list at Goodreads (which includes the titles and authors included in Image Journal's original list of 100 Writers of Faith, and even though the Goodreads link to that original list is "broken," you can find -- and you really should take a look at -- the original list reprinted at this link at the Catholic Education Resource Center).

Now, you may wonder why I am including these various links. Well, let me explain.

Ever since the original list first appeared at Image Journal, I have been very interested in the authors and titles on the list; moreover, the overall concept -- writers of faith -- has long been and continues to be my obsession. Yes, that is the correct word: obsession.

My obsessive interest in writers of faith began early in my life, but it became most particularly fixed in my mind and soul when I took a graduate course on southern women writers -- leading me to Flannery O'Connor for the first time -- and then I focused upon O'Connor's Wise Blood for my master's thesis.

Throughout my life, and more particularly since my belated encounter with O'Connor in the late 90s, I have understood myself to be a Christian malgre lui, and I am a reader who cannot resist reading works by writers of faith.

Now here is the bottom-line reason for this posting:

I need your help.
Yes, you can help me by telling me about your recommended writers of faith. 


Now, let's talk about the linked articles, the linked list, and your recommendations.




10 comments:

  1. There is a scene in François Mauriac’s novel Thérèse Desqueyroux that I think is emblematic of how faith can work authentically in fiction. There is nothing specifically religious about the scene. Thérèse is in her bedroom sitting in front of a mirror doing her hair. The young man she is having an affair with has just entered the room (if memory serves). Thérèse knows that another, younger woman is in love with that young man. Thérèse looks younger than her years, but she knows that if her young lover looked at her more critically, he would realize, as she does, that she and he really have no future together, and that if he did realize that he would respond to the younger woman’s love. Thérèse loves the young man enough to know that the loving thing on her part would be to release him. She does this by brushing her hair back in such a way that the light in her boudoir makes evident to him how much older she in fact is. It is an act of sacrifice on Thérèse’s part. And that is what faith is about. Mauriac, without any preaching, shows how that sort of thing can manifest itself in unexpected places and in unusual ways.
    Authentic works of faith demonstrate that it is not we who seek God, but God who seeks us. And God is everywhere.

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    1. Thanks, Frank, that's an important observation. Chesterton spoke of the "mystical minimum," discovering goodness of a God's presence in smaller rather than larger moments, objects, and actions. Indeed, subtle trumps obvious.

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  2. Jack Kornfield on mindfulness is excellent; Lao Tzu is the recognized source for the Tao; Suzuki on Zen... they're all good...

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  3. R.T.--I haven't read either Kornfield or Suzuki yet, so I can't comment. However, I definitely agree with Mudpuddle about Lao Tzu and Taoism.

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  4. Mudpuddle and Fred, do such philosophies, if that is the right label, involve faith? Of course, "faith" is a tough word to define. My definition is so parochial: Judeo-Christian. Too limited? Hmmm.

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    1. could be... there's a lot of religions out there...

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  5. R.T.--I think Buddhism could be called a faith, whereas there is disagreement about Taoism. Some call it an ethical or moral (non-religious variety) philosophy. I would find it very hard to classify Taoism as a faith or religion of the Judaeo-Christian or Islamic type.

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  6. Fred, Mudpuddle, Frank, et al .... you all have me pondering the definitions of religion, belief, and faith, especially in eastern v. western cultural traditions. Of course, underlying all definitions -- to my mind -- is the proposition that God exists. Different cultures may embrace different names and definitions, but that underlying reality cannot be reasonably refuted. Well, that's my opinion.

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  7. Buechner, Godric
    Wilbur, Collected Poems
    Cairns, Philokalia

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    1. Thanks, Marly. I hope all is well for you and the Yeomans clan in Cooper's backyard. I'm currently busy reading a group of works by writers of faith: the New Testament. Yes, this Christian malgre lui persists in the pilgrimage.

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