STORIES FOR THE CHRISTIAN YEAR by Chrysostom Society

STORIES FOR THE CHRISTIAN YEAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In a secular age, here's an attempt to respiritualize the calendar with a year's worth of essays--some reprinted from Christianity Today and Modern Liturgy--covering every major Christian feast. The Chrysostom Society, whose members authored this collection, is a loose affiliation of Christian writers who assemble once a year to discuss their work. A few big names jump out--Madeleine L'Engle, Walter Wangerin, Jr., Gregory Wolfe, Larry Woiwode--but the rest are lesser lights. The title notwithstanding, only a handful of the pieces here are fiction--most notably L'Engle's quirky tale (``Transfiguration'') of a man, a thief, and a merry Christmas--with the bulk being memoirs of happy childhood or struggling adulthood. Five authors chip in twice: Wangerin, who longs to be pregnant like Mary (``Annunciation'') and recalls his boyhood desire to see Jesus (``Maundy Thursday''); Emilie Griffin, who exposes the religious roots of Mardi Gras in ``Shrove Tuesday'' and pays homage to the ``Solemnity of Mary''; William Griffin, who lauds ``All Saints'' and compares Herod's slaughter of first-born males (``Holy Innocents'') to modern-day abortion; Robert Siegel, with poems marking ``Ash Wednesday'' and ``Palm Sunday''; and Virginia Stem Owens, who commemorates Christ's Passion in ``Passion Sunday'' and ``Good Friday'' (``the day you can do nothing''). Among the best of the rest, Alice Slaiku Lawhead struggles to remember God in the midst of ``Advent''; editor Peterson (Spiritual Theology/Regents College) recalls the ``Christmas'' that his parents skipped the tree, a lesson in humility; ``Trinity Sunday'' triggers memories of early loves for Karen Burton Mains; Philip Yancey learns the meaning of ``irreversible'' on ``Easter Sunday.'' Harold Fickett, Luci Shaw, John Leax, Gregory Wolfe, Calvin Miller, Shirley Nelson, and Stephen R. Lawhead round out the contributors, who invariably catch the essence of the holidays in well-mannered prose shimmering with images of candles, angels, a loving God. A clever conceit, carefully crafted--and just in time for Christmas.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-02-525430-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1992




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