The Arts and the Christian Imagination: Essays on Art, Literature, and Aesthetics

The Arts and the Christian Imagination: Essays on Art, Literature, and Aesthetics


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Dr. Clyde Kilby was known to many as an early, long and effective champion of C. S. Lewis, and the founder of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, IL, for the study of the works of Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and other members of the Inklings. Less known is that Dr. Kilby was also an apologist in his time for arts, aesthetics and beauty, particularly among Evangelicals.

This collection offers a sampler of the work of Dr. Clyde Kilby on these themes. He writes reflections under four headings: “Christianity, Art, and Aesthetics”; “The Vocation of the Artist”; “Faith and the Role of the Imagination”; and “Poetry, Literature and the Imagination.”

With a unique voice, Kilby writes from a specific literary and philosophical context that relates art and aesthetics with beauty, and all that is embodied in the classics. His work is particularly relevant today as these topics are being embraced by Protestants, Evangelicals, and indeed people of faith from many different traditions.  A deeply engaging book for readers who want to look more closely at themes of art, aesthetics, beauty and literature in the context of faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612618616
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication date: 01/01/2017
Series: Mount Tabor Books , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,210,445
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Clyde Samuel Kilby was an American author and English professor, best known for his scholarship on the Inklings, especially J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. A professor at Wheaton College, IL for most of his life, Dr. Kilby founded the Marion E. Wade Center there, making it a center for the study of the Inklings and their literary companions.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Remembering Clyde S. Kilby William Dyrness vii

Eleven Resolutions to Guide Life Clyde S. Kilby xv

Section 1 Christianity, The Arts, and Aesthetics Introduction William Dyrness 3

Chapter 1 The Christian and the Arts 11

Chapter 2 Christianity and Aesthetics 106

Chapter 3 Modern Art's Pursuit of Form 134

Section 2 The Vocation of the Artist Introduction William Dyrness 143

Chapter 4 The Christian and Culture 149

Chapter 5 In Defense of Beauty 159

Chapter 6 Vision, Belief, and Individuality 172

Chapter 7 Evangelicalism and Human Freedom 188

Section 3 Faith and the Role of the Imagination Introduction William Dyrness 203

Chapter 8 A Dialogue on Belief 209

Chapter 9 Knowledge vs. Wisdom 221

Chapter 10 The Decline and Fall of the Christian Imagination 229

Chapter 11 Evangelicals and the Call of the Imagination 238

Chapter 12 A Perfect State of and the Society 252

Section 4 Poetry, Literature, Imagination Introduction William Dyrness 267

Chapter 13 In Defease of Poetry 271

Chapter 14 The World of Poetry 274

Chapter 15 The Uses of Fiction 295

Acknowledgments William Dyrness 305

List of Sources 307

Index to Persons 309

Index to Subjects 311

Index to Scriptures 315

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Samuel Johnson said people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed. Dr. Kilby reminds us of what it means to be made in the image of God and how art, in our creation and reception of it, illuminates, articulates and glorifies that original great mimesis. With wisdom and relevance, this collection provides a touchstone for the spiritual thinker in its reconciliation of art’s true and beautiful purpose with the unspeakable, inimitable mystery of God.” —Dr. Carolyn Weber, author of Surprised by Oxford and Holy is the Day

The Arts and the Christian Imagination is a landmark book. Its scope is breathtaking, bringing together in one place well-known ‘signature’ essays by Clyde Kilby and unknown but equally excellent ones. The essays in this book, masterfully edited, sum up what a whole era wanted to say about literature and art in themselves and in relation to the Christian faith.” —Leland Ryken, President, Wheaton College, author of The Christian Imagination

“Thousands owe to this giant of Wheaton their ability to hear literary voices with Gospel-tuned ears. This sampler of his hugely influential writing will make the reader profoundly grateful for a man whose legacy is beyond measure.” —Jeremy Begbie, Duke Divinity School

“It was my great privilege to take several classes with Clyde Kilby when I was a student at Wheaton. Now a new generation has the chance to experience the sparkle, wit, aesthetic insight, and deep Christian commitment that made Kilby such an unusually captivating teacher. Even without his hobbit-like presence, his words remain a true inspiration.” —Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

"What a great gift to read the collected writings of this gentle, brilliant visionary, teacher and friend! I can say, like so many others, it was Clyde Kilby who set my course in life. Like the dandelions he tended all winter, we flourished under his wisdom and care. Now his remarkable words on the page act as a kind of resurrection. We can hear his voice again and bless his memory.” —Luci Shaw, poet, Writer in Residence, Regent College 

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