Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

Overview

In this classic book, Madeleine L'Engle addresses the questions, What makes art Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L'Engle's beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one's own art.

The bestselling author of such classics as A Wrinkle in Time, A ...

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Overview

In this classic book, Madeleine L'Engle addresses the questions, What makes art Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L'Engle's beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one's own art.

The bestselling author of such classics as A Wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Certain Women reflects on art and faith with the fierce intelligence and imaginative daring that have made her one of our most cherished authors. The task of the artist, as she sees it, involves listening, keeping oneself fully aware, and then responding to creation with one's own art.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“When I discovered Walking on Water years ago, my creative self underwent a sort of liberation. I had always sensed that there was a wonderful connection between spirituality and creativity, but Madeleine’s insights about both of those worlds helped me claim with more confidence my own creative gifts. This is a wise and inspiring book that should be in every artist’s library.”
–Vinita Hampton Wright, author of Grace at Bender Springs and Velma Still Cooks in Leeway

“Once again, L’Engle touches the deepest parts of our psyche and heart with her artist’s wand. She writes with an earthy rhythm that not only reveals the mysteries of our artistic natures, but also qualifies all along the way her inimitable wise-woman philosophies. L’Engle’ s writing is God’s gift to a generation who needs to sit on a stump and lend an ear to what the right brain is saying to the left and to what the soul is saying to the heart. Walking on Water guides the wandering artist back to the Savior and says ‘There, you’ve come home again where you belong!’”
–Patricia Hickman, award-winning author of Katrina’s Wings

“There are those who write about art-making as if they’ re detailing the techniques of a heart surgeon. Then there are those, like Madeleine L’Engle, who simply show you their heart. Like the words of Jesus to the fisherman brothers, the words of Madeleine are ‘follow me’ words. Through the pages of Walking on Water hungry, thirsty folks have been following for two decades–quickly recognizing that the reason Madeleine is worth following is that she follows Jesus.”
–Charlie Peacock-Ashworth, record producer and author of At the Crossroads: An Insider's Look at Contemporary Christian Music

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877889182
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/17/2001
  • Series: Wheaton Literary Series
  • Edition number: 19
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 234,952
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Madeleine L'Engle
Madeleine L'Engle was the author of more than forty-five books for all ages, among them the beloved A Wrinkle in Time, awarded the Newbery Medal; A Ring of Endless Light, a Newbery Honor Book; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, winner of the American Book Award; and the Austin family series of which Troubling a Star is the fifth book. L'Engle was named the 1998 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards award, honoring her lifetime contribution in writing for teens.

Ms. L'Engle was born in 1918 in New York City. She wrote her first book, The Small Rain, while touring with Eva Le Gallienne in Uncle Harry. She met Hugh Franklin, to whom she was married until his death in 1986, while they were rehearsing The Cherry Orchard, and they were married on tour during a run of The Joyous Season, starring Ethel Barrymore.

Ms. L'Engle retired from the stage after her marriage, and the Franklins moved to northwest Connecticut and opened a general store. After a decade in Connecticut, the family returned to New York.

After splitting her time between New York City and Connecticut and acting as the librarian and writer-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Madeleine L’Engle died on September 7, 2007 at the age of 88.

Biography

Madeleine L'Engle Camp was born in New York City and educated in boarding schools in Switzerland and across the United States. A shy, withdrawn child with few friends, she retreated into writing at an early age. She attended Smith College, graduating summa cum laude in 1941. After college, she worked in the New York theatre, where she met her future husband, Hugh Franklin. (Later she would say that they "met in The Cherry Orchard and married during The Joyous Season.") Her first book, The Small Rain (1945), was completed while she was still working as an actress.

After the birth of their first child, Madeleine and her husband moved to rural Connecticut to run a small general store; but in 1959, they returned to New York City with their three children so Hugh Franklin could resume his acting career (For many years, he played Dr. Charles Tyler on the popular television soap opera All My Children.) Although Madeleine wrote steadily during this period, few of her books were published. Then, in 1960, she released her first children's story, Meet the Austins. An affectionate portrait of a close-knit family, the book was named an ALA Notable Children's Book of the year and spawned several bestselling sequels.

Completed in 1960, L'Engle's science fiction YA classic A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by more than two dozen publishers before Farrar, Straus and Giroux finally released it in 1962. Elegant, imaginative, and filled with complex moral themes, the acclaimed Newbery Medal winner tells the story of Meg Murry, a young girl who travels through time with her psychically gifted younger brother to rescue their scientist father from a planet controlled by an evil entity known as the Dark Thing. Throughout her career, L'Engle would return to the Murry family three more times, in A Wind in the Door (1973), A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978), and Many Waters (1986). The Time Quartet, as these four books have come to be called, weaves together elements of theology and quantum physics often assumed to be far too esoteric for children to understand. Yet, it became a true classic of juvenalia. L'Engle explained once, "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."

In addition to her YA novels, the prolific writer also penned adult fiction, poems, plays, memoirs, and religious meditations. She served as the longtime librarian and writer-in-residence for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Madeleine L'Engle passed away at a nursing home in Connecticut in 2007.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      1918112
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Death:
      September 6, 2007
    2. Place of Death:
      Litchfield, CT
    1. Education:
      Smith College, 1941

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2004

    Inspirational and thought provoking

    I discovered this book at a time in my life when I was struggling with both my creativity and my faith. The author offers fresh and unusual perspectives on both issues - combined and seperately. After reading this book, I believe that creativity is an expression of the spirit within us and that the act of creating is an act of faith. Not only did this book change my approach to and my view of any creative work, it also renewed my faith in miracles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    Insight and perspective on being an artist of any kind

    This book entered my life at a time when I needed to decide if I should be a writer or quit talking about it. I met here a woman who understands what art really is and what it takes to be an artist. Madeleine L'Engle is a Christian, and she has written books children love, but she refuses to classify herself as a Christian writer of children's books, for the same reason that she would not classify Picasso as an atheist painter of adult images. Madeleine L'Engle believes that all the wonderful art we encounter, be it visual, aural or any other form, is inspired by God, and that God can speak to us all through great art, no matter what the artist may have believed about God when creating the work. For me, her statement that 'the story is truth' was particularly important. But after reading the book, I think she would equally say 'the music is truth' or 'the picture is truth' when it has emerged from the soul of the artist. This is not a theological book, but it has certainly enlightened my personal theology, as well as the way I experience art of all kinds. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what art is, and even more, I recommend it to any artist who is struggling through an unproductive dark night of self-doubt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Inspiring

    Walking on Water is a great book for those who are creative and who may be struggling with be productive. The author reminds us of our creative talents and how we have been gifted with the ability to write, draw, or paint. It awakens the reason many of us put pen to paper or paint to canvas.

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    Posted November 10, 2009

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    Posted September 26, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2009

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