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The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary
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The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints Hardcover - 2022

by Jessica Hooten Wilson; Foreword by Lauren Winner


From the publisher

Christianity Today 2023 Award of Merit (Culture & the Arts)

How do we become better people? Initiatives such as New Year's resolutions, vision boards, thirty-day plans, and self-help books often fail to compel us to live differently. We settle for small goals--frugal spending, less yelling at the kids, more time at the gym--but we are called to something far greater. We are created to be holy.

Award-winning author Jessica Hooten Wilson explains that learning to hear the call of holiness requires cultivating a new imagination--one rooted in the act of reading. Learning to read with eyes attuned to the saints who populate great works of literature moves us toward holiness, where God opens up a way of living that extends far beyond what we can conjure for ourselves. Literature has the power to show us what a holy life looks like, and these depictions often scandalize even as they shape our imagination. As such, careful reading becomes a sort of countercultural spiritual discipline.

The book includes devotionals, prayers, wisdom from the saints, and more to help individuals and groups cultivate a saintly imagination. Foreword by Lauren F. Winner.

From the rear cover

Reading Great Literature as a Spiritual Discipline

How do we become better people? We often settle for small goals--frugal spending, less yelling at the kids, more time at the gym--but we are called to something far greater. We are created to be holy.

In The Scandal of Holiness, award-winning author Jessica Hooten Wilson shows that learning to hear the call of holiness requires developing a new imagination--one rooted in the act of reading. Reading great works of literature can help us cultivate an imagination that moves us toward holiness, where God opens up a way of living that extends far beyond what we can conjure for ourselves.

"This book will spur you to read more and will show you how to do it. Wilson knows the difference between being well-read and being holy as she calls us to strive for holiness even in our reading. This book illustrates how good literature can stir the imagination and how the imagination can stir us toward holiness. The voice of this book is not of an English teacher asking if you have done your reading but instead that of a smart and humble friend who says to you: 'Let me introduce you to some friends who know exactly what you're going through right now.'"
--Russell Moore, Christianity Today

"Our imaginations will be formed by the stories we see ourselves in, and we see ourselves according to the stories we are most surrounded by. In these pages, Wilson serves as a good guide to good stories that can form our imaginations toward greater holiness and humanity."
--Karen Swallow Prior, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books

"I'll be conversing with, riffing on, and returning to The Scandal of Holiness for months and years to come, because, although it is not fiction, like the best fiction, The Scandal of Holiness prods the imagination. It opens out. It exceeds itself."
--Lauren F. Winner (from the foreword)

Details

  • Title The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints
  • Author Jessica Hooten Wilson; Foreword by Lauren Winner
  • Binding Hardcover
  • Pages 240
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Brazos Press
  • Date 2022-03-29
  • Illustrated Yes
  • ISBN 9781587435249 / 1587435241
  • Weight 1 lbs (0.45 kg)
  • Dimensions 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 in (21.84 x 14.73 x 2.79 cm)
  • Themes
    • Religious Orientation: Christian
  • Library of Congress subjects Holiness, Imagination - Religious aspects -
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2021041826
  • Dewey Decimal Code 234.8

Media reviews

Citations

  • Publishers Weekly, 01/24/2022, Page 0

About the author

Jessica Hooten Wilson (PhD, Baylor University) is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. She has written for The Gospel Coalition, National Review, the Christian Century, Comment magazine, and Englewood Review of Books and is the author of several books, including the Christianity Today Book Award Winner Giving the Devil His Due: Demonic Authority in the Fiction of Flannery O'Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Wilson speaks regularly around the country and has connections with a broad array of reading communities and classical education forums.
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The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints
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