"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Icons in the Modern World

The publisher just sent me a handsome and lovely new book that all fans of iconography will want to add to their collections: Aidan Hart, Icons in the Modern World: Sprint, Matter and Beauty (Gracewing, 2014), 288 pages + 32 colour plates.

I interviewed Aidan a few years ago about his other book on icons. About this current book the publisher tells us: 
Sacred Icons, images of God made man and man made God, have never ceased to be an integral part of Orthodox Christian cultures, but it is only now, after centuries of absence, that they are becoming understood again in the west.  The attraction of their strange beauty and mystery is ultimately rooted in the fact that icons resonate with our innermost being as creatures of both spirit and matter. As there are numerous excellent books about the theology and the liturgical use of icons, this volume concentrates on the broader implications of the icon’s theology for our lives in the twenty-first century; exploring the insight that icons give to such contemporary issues as ecology, the relationship between sacred art and culture or that between scientific knowledge and spiritual knowledge, the role of our bodies in the spiritual life and the nature of beauty.
‘In this astonishing book Aidan Hart takes us through the icon to the very heart and mind of God and thus ourselves.  Read this and the world will never appear the same again - thank God!’ (Martin Palmer, Secretary General of Alliance of Religion and Conservation).
Others who have written blurbs in praise of this book include the Orthodox theologian and priest Andrew Louth, the Catholic writer Stratford Caldecott, and the Dominican priest Timothy Radcliffe. 

If you go click the Amazon link above, it claims the book is out of print, but that is just a communications glitch between the publisher in Britain and Amazon here in the US. The book has just emerged so it's not yet in stock over here.

In the coming weeks I'm hoping to arrange a second interview with the author. Stay tuned!

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