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The Poetic Imagination: An Anglican Tradition (Traditions of Christian Spirituality) [Paperback]

By L. William Countryman (Author)
Our Price $ 15.30  
Retail Value $ 18.00  
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Item Number 118928  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   214
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.77" Width: 4.99" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 3, 2005
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  1570753075  
EAN  9781570753077  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
(PUBOrbis)The Anglican heritage, steeped in the rhythmic cadences of the KJV and The Book of Common Prayer, has produced some of the finest Christian poets in the English language: Donne, Herbert, Vaughan, Eliot, Auden, etc. Countryman finds significant common threads amid the imaginative fireworks. 214 pages, softcover.

Publishers Description
Anglicanism, as Countryman argues, is unusual among forms of Western Christianity in being defined primarily in terms of community rather than by authoritative theological principles. In the end, Anglicanism may be characterized by a poetic imagination well reflected in the work of many of the great lyric poets of the English language. Poets ranging from Herbert, Donne, and Vaughn, to Blake, Wordsworth, Owen, Eliot, and Auden, for all their differences, show a common reverence for scriptural and liturgical language, an appreciation for the created world, a sense of the presence/absence of God, and the power of grace.

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More About L. William Countryman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! L. William Countryman is Sherman E. Johnson Professor in Biblical Studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He is a popular speaker, and the author of many books including Gifted by Otherness, Living on the Border of the Holy, Forgiven and Forgiving, and Love Human and Divine, all available from Morehouse Publishing.

Louis William Countryman was born in 1941.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Tradition Too Broad?  Jun 1, 2007
As an Anglican priest with a deep interest in poetry, I looked forward immensely to reading this book, and in large part it did not disappoint. The first chapter, in particular, in which the author discusses the whole concept of 'A Poetic Spirituality'is brilliant, and well worth the price of the book by itself! Almost as good is chapter 2, 'Resources of Image and Language', in which the author discusses in a helpful way Anglican attitudes to Scripture, Liturgy, and Creation.

Where the book does disappoint is the rather narrow choice of poets discussed, and the failure to consider how their individual work can be understood as part of an identifiable tradition, called in the subtitle 'An Anglican Spiritual Tradition'. Countryman admits that his choice was shaped by those books he happened to have on his own shelves, and by and large they are 'standard' religious classics, such as Vaughan, Traherne, Herbert, etc. Here his exposition is sound, if not exactly original or challenging.

It is when he turns to the more modern writers, such as Auden, R.S. Thomas, and the Australian Judith Wright that more doubts set in. He appears not to notice how different they are from their predecessors, such that we might question whether they belong to the same tradition at all. Countryman's basic thesis that the Anglican poetic tradition is essentially devotional rather than didactic is questionable in Auden's case and, I would argue, plain wrong in Thomas'. [I am not familiar enough with Wright's work to comment on her case.]

But overall, I do commend this book, with a final niggle addressed to the publishers. This is said to be a volume in the 'Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series', and there is a preface about the series by Philip Sheldrake, Series Editor. Alas, nowhere is there a list of titles, published or to be published, in the series. Black mark for DLT!
Anglican Spirituality  Feb 21, 2001
I have not read this book but I did attend a workshop with Dr. Countryman where he read from a manuscript of this book. The manuscript material was very good, especially his discussion of the sprituality of John Donne and George Herbert. After hearing Dr. Countryman I have developed a new facet of my own spirituality which is the use of poetry. I am sure that you will not be disappointed with this book.

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