For two decades now, Gregory Wolfe and the company of those he thanks in the introduction have believed that the Good, the True, and the Beautiful are the glory of God, filling the world, a world he found so dear that he joined himself to it, bled and died for it. Wolfe and co. have in varying degrees laid their reputations and fortunes on the line for the conviction that Gnostics, whether ancient or modern, are wrong, and that the matter of this world-including the modern world and its arts-are inescapably impregnated with the glory of God. This anthology bears witness to these root convictions in multiple genres: visual art, poetry, memoir, fiction, and essay. The ninety contributors include some of the best-known writers and artists of faith today-Scott Cairns, Robert Cording, Annie Dillard, Ron Hansen, Paul Mariani, Kathleen Norris, Luci Shaw, Larry Woiwode, Franz Wright among them-but most are not so well-known, and the presence of some may surprise you. Greg Wolfe and Image
have always been large-hearted in this regard, providing a venue for many whose work was too religious or not explicitly religious enough for most secular or religious publications. Image's
only requirement has been excellence, and has trusted all along that that would inevitably show forth God. 428 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Since its founding in 1989, Image journal has not only emerged as one of North Americas leading quarterlies but also carved out a unique identity as the source for contemporary art and literature that grapple with the perennial questions of religious faith. / Bearing the Mystery brings together in one handsome volume the best of Image journals first twenty years the work of nearly seventy writers and over twenty visual artists (some represented on sixteen color plates). / Here you will find short stories that range from unnerving encounters with the miraculous to gritty realism; lyric poems that reinterpret the Psalms and plumb the depths of doubt and faith; searingly honest memoirs that search out glimpses of grace among the difficulties and joys of everyday life. / Among the all-star cast of writers whose work appears here: Scott Cairns, Annie Dillard, Clyde Edgerton, Patricia Hampl, Ron Hansen, Edward Hirsch, Linda Hogan, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, Marilyn Nelson, Kathleen Norris, Gregory Orr, Ann Patchett, David Plante, Richard Rodrieguez, Wim Wenders, Christian Wiman, and Franz Wright. / With a special introduction by founder and editor Gregory Wolfe that reflects on the journals mission, Bearing the Mystery is indeed a treasure trove. Provocative, haunting, and bracing, the work gathered here demonstrates that even in a postmodern era the ancient practice of making art to record humanitys encounter with the divine is alive and well.