From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics

From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics

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by Louis Markos
     
 

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In From Achilles to Christ, Louis Markos introduces readers to the great narratives of classical mythology from a Christian perspective. From the battles of Achilles and the adventures of Odysseus to the feats of Hercules and the trials of Aeneas, Markos demonstrates how the characters, themes and symbols within these myths both foreshadow and find their fulfillment…  See more details below

Overview

In From Achilles to Christ, Louis Markos introduces readers to the great narratives of classical mythology from a Christian perspective. From the battles of Achilles and the adventures of Odysseus to the feats of Hercules and the trials of Aeneas, Markos demonstrates how the characters, themes and symbols within these myths both foreshadow and find their fulfillment in the story of Jesus Christ-the "myth made fact." Along the way, he dispels misplaced fears about the dangers of reading classical literature and offers a Christian approach to the appropriation and interpretation of these great literary works. This engaging and eminently readable book is an excellent resource for Christian students, teachers and readers of classical literature.

About the Author:
Louis Markos (Ph.D.) is professor of English at Houston Baptist University

Editorial Reviews

Roger Lundin
"At a time when our cultural memory seems to have faded away into obscurity--when to say that something 'is history' is anything but a compliment--Louis Markos wisely reminds us of our continuing debt to the great poets and dramatists of the ancient world. Through cogent readings of Homer, Sophocles, Virgil and others, he searches the classics of antiquity for 'traces, remnants and intimations of that wisdom which made us.' Written in a clear and compelling manner, this timely study deserves a wide audience."
Peter J. Leithart
"From the earliest centuries of the church and throughout the Middle Ages, Christian thinkers pored over not only the Old Testament but Greek and Roman literature in search of foreshadowings of Christ. Christian readings of the classics fell out of favor in the modern world, but with From Achilles to Christ Louis Markos revives this venerable tradition. Professor Markos knows the difference between the Greeks and the gospel, but his illuminating interpretations of selected classics show that God did not leave the Athenians without a witness and capture the thrilling breadth of the evangelical proclamation that Jesus came 'in the fullness of the times.'"
Joseph Pearce
"In The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis, Father History explains how God sent the pagans pictures to reveal himself to them because, unlike the Jews, they had forgotten how to read. This is Lewis's way of echoing his friend Tolkien who insisted that the pagan myths contained 'splintered fragments' of the one true light that comes from God. Since we also live in an age that has forgotten how to read, we are in need of the pictures, presented by pagan mythology, as a means of seeing the prefiguration of Christ. Through this mythological prefiguration we can better understand the transfiguration of Christ in the Gospels. Christ reveals himself to us in these pagan pictures, and Louis Markos is an excellent guide to the allegorical icons to be found in them. I would go further: Louis Markos is one of the most exciting writers around today and there are few more able to lead us on a tour through God's gallery of myth than he is."
Louise Cowan
"Louis Markos's From Achilles to Christ is a remarkable work of scholarship and insight, making clear the congruence of ancient Greek myth with Christian revelation. It is a particularly valuable study in a time of widespread amnesia concerning the classical past and its role in shaping Western culture. Markos knows his texts and approaches them with equal poetic and theological skills. From Achilles to Christ is a telling argument for the value of the classics in extending and deepening the Christian imagination."
Patrick Henry Reardon
"This is a much-needed Christian introduction to the classical pagan sources that largely framed the Mediterranean culture in which Paul and other apostles proclaimed the gospel of redemption. The argument of this book would have been obvious to the church fathers, nearly all of whom were thoroughly familiar with the ancient literature that the author recommends to our study."
Larry Long
. . .through a well-written and scholarly book, Markos has enriched our engagement with the ancient texts and challenged our thinking as Christian readers.
Lee Sparks in Rev! Magazine
. . .a great "crash course" on the ancient Greek and Roman myths that every preacher should know.
Ethan Cordray in Touchstone
. . .an accessible and interesting treatment of the great classical works.
Lee Sparks for Rev!
. . . a great "crash course" on the anceint Greek and Roman myths. . .

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781458726797
Publisher:
ReadHowYouWant, LLC
Publication date:
10/05/2009
Pages:
478
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.96(d)

What People are saying about this

Patrick Henry Reardon
"This is a much-needed Christian introduction to the classical pagan sources that largely framed the Mediterranean culture in which Paul and other apostles proclaimed the gospel of redemption. The argument of this book would have been obvious to the church fathers, nearly all of whom were thoroughly familiar with the ancient literature that the author recommends to our study."
Patrick Henry Reardon, senior editor, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and author of The Trial of Job
Roger Lundin
"At a time when our cultural memory seems to have faded away into obscurity--when to say that something 'is history' is anything but a compliment--Louis Markos wisely reminds us of our continuing debt to the great poets and dramatists of the ancient world. Through cogent readings of Homer, Sophocles, Virgil and others, he searches the classics of antiquity for 'traces, remnants and intimations of that wisdom which made us.' Written in a clear and compelling manner, this timely study deserves a wide audience."
Roger Lundin, Blanchard Professor of English, Wheaton College
Joseph Pearce
"In The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis, Father History explains how God sent the pagans pictures to reveal himself to them because, unlike the Jews, they had forgotten how to read. This is Lewis's way of echoing his friend Tolkien who insisted that the pagan myths contained 'splintered fragments' of the one true light that comes from God. Since we also live in an age that has forgotten how to read, we are in need of the pictures, presented by pagan mythology, as a means of seeing the prefiguration of Christ. Through this mythological prefiguration we can better understand the transfiguration of Christ in the Gospels. Christ reveals himself to us in these pagan pictures, and Louis Markos is an excellent guide to the allegorical icons to be found in them. I would go further: Louis Markos is one of the most exciting writers around today and there are few more able to lead us on a tour through God's gallery of myth than he is."
Joseph Pearce, Writer-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Literature, Ave Maria University
Louise Cowan
"Louis Markos's From Achilles to Christ is a remarkable work of scholarship and insight, making clear the congruence of ancient Greek myth with Christian revelation. It is a particularly valuable study in a time of widespread amnesia concerning the classical past and its role in shaping Western culture. Markos knows his texts and approaches them with equal poetic and theological skills. From Achilles to Christ is a telling argument for the value of the classics in extending and deepening the Christian imagination."
Louise Cowan, University Professor, University of Dallas
Peter J. Leithart
"From the earliest centuries of the church and throughout the Middle Ages, Christian thinkers pored over not only the Old Testament but Greek and Roman literature in search of foreshadowings of Christ. Christian readings of the classics fell out of favor in the modern world, but with From Achilles to Christ Louis Markos revives this venerable tradition. Professor Markos knows the difference between the Greeks and the gospel, but his illuminating interpretations of selected classics show that God did not leave the Athenians without a witness and capture the thrilling breadth of the evangelical proclamation that Jesus came 'in the fullness of the times.'"
Peter J. Leithart, Senior Fellow, New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho, author of 'Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, and Hope in Western Literature'

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Meet the Author

Louis Markos holds a BA in English and History from Colgate University and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Michigan. He is a Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, where he teaches courses on British Romantic and Victorian Poetry and Prose, the Classics, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and Film.

Dr. Markos holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities and teaches classes on Ancient Greece and Rome for HBU's Honors College. He is the author of 9 books:From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics, Pressing Forward: Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the Victorian Age, The Eye of the Beholder: How to See the World like a Romantic Poet, Lewis Agonistes: How C. S. Lewis can Train us to Wrestle with the Modern and Postmodern World, Apologetics for the 21st Century, Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C. S. Lewis, Literature: A Student's Guide, On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue in Tolkien and Lewis, and Heaven and Hell: Visions of the Afterlife in the Western Poetic Tradition.

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From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I teach at a Christian private school that touts a classical education, and though I really needed no justification to teach the classics in a Christian context, this book provides an excellent argument for doing so. Markos believes, as I do, that even pagan authors were children of God, and were inspired (perhaps to a lesser degree) by Him who is the author of all. This should be fascinating even for non-believers, since Markos is such an engaging writer.
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