Sunday, January 02, 2005

Walking on Water

At the recommendation of a young writer friend, I am reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. I think my friend doesn’t know me very well, because there is little about the emphasis L’Engle places on the relationship between Christianity and Creativity that rings true for me. At the same time that she pleads with Christians to be open in their acceptance of who is a Christian (she makes a welcome case for cross-denominational tolerance, for example), she doesn’t think much of those of us who can’t operate solely on the basis of faith (particularly in the faith that Jesus was God on Earth), nor does she express much willingness to see creativity in other religions, or in non-religions. Instead, she ascribes Christian creativity to all works of beauty, whether created by the atheist or the Jew or the Muslim. This strikes me as a bit too much like the L.D.S. practice of posthumous baptism to take very seriously. Still, I am glad to have been exposed to this book. Not only because I like to think about where creativity comes from, but also because I am struggling to understand faith, particularly the narrow, intolerant brand of Christianity that is so vocal these days.

2 comments:

Carol Peters said...

a logical follow-on to L'Engle's book is Marilynne Robinson's Gilead.

Clifford Garstang said...

Cool. My Blog's first comment. I've enjoyed reading about Robinson's book on your blog, Carol. I recently acquired Housekeeping and am looking forward to reading both.