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Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age Hardcover – June 15, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“An excellent book . . . A lengthy meditation on, and defense of, beauty as a necessary—and perhaps preeminent—transcendent for today”s culture . . . At once autobiography, cultural criticism, and a call to quietly but confidently man the easels in a world that would rather pick up a megaphone and head to the streets.” Comment magazine

About the Author

Gregory Wolfe is the founder and editor of Image, one of America’s leading journals of literature and the arts. His books include Intruding upon the Timeless, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Sacred Passion. In 2005 he served as a judge in nonfiction for the National Book Awards. Wolfe serves as writer in residence at Seattle Pacific University, where he directs the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. He and his family live in Seattle.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st Edition edition (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933859881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933859880
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Writer, teacher, publisher, and editor, Gregory Wolfe has been called "one of the most incisive and persuasive voices of our generation" (Ron Hansen). Both as a thinker and institution-builder, Wolfe has been a pioneer in the resurgence of interest in the relationship between art and religion--a resurgence that has had widespread impact both on religious communities and the public square. As an advocate for and exemplar of the tradition of Christian Humanism, Wolfe has established a reputation as an independent, non-ideological thinker--part gadfly, part peacemaker.

In 1989, Wolfe founded Image, which Annie Dillard has called "one of the best journals on the planet." Now one of America's top literary quarterlies, Image is a unique forum for the best writing and artwork that is informed by--or grapples with--religious faith. Material first published in Image has appeared in Harper's, Utne Reader, and the Wilson Quarterly as well as the Pushcart Prize anthology, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Best American Spiritual Writing, O. Henry Prize Stories, The Art of the Essay, New Stories from the South, and Best American Movie Writing. Image has also been nominated by Utne Reader for an Alternative Press Award for Spiritual Coverage. Recent, Image's Glen Workshop was featured on the public television program Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

Since 2000, Wolfe has served as Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University, where he teaches English literature and creative writing. He is also the founder and director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at SPU, the first program of its kind to integrate a studio writing degree with intensive reflection upon the literary and aesthetic riches of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Wolfe has published over 200 essays, reviews, and articles in numerous journals, including Commonweal and First Things. His essays have been anthologized in collections such as The Best Christian Writing and The Best Catholic Writing.

Among his books are Intruding Upon the Timeless: Meditations on Art, Faith, and Mystery (Square Halo, 2003), Malcolm Muggeridge: A Biography (Eerdmans, 1997) and Sacred Passion: The Art of William Schickel (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998). Wolfe is also the editor of Bearing the Mystery: Twenty Years of IMAGE (Eerdmans, 2009), The New Religious Humanists: A Reader (Free Press, 1997) and the co-author of Books That Build Character (Touchstone, 1994), Climb High, Climb Far (Fireside, 1996), The Family New Media Guide (Touchstone, 1997), Circle of Grace: Praying with--and for--Your Children (Ballantine, 2000), and Bless This House: Prayer for Families and Children (Jossey-Bass, 2004). A collection of Wolfe's essays, tentatively titled Beauty Will Save the World, will be published by ISI Books in 2008. Wolfe is currently researching a book about the Renaissance Christian Humanists who gathered around the great scholar and writer, Desiderius Erasmus.

The working title of that book is The Company of Good Letters: How Erasmus and His Circle of Renaissance Christian Humanists Shaped the Modern World. Wolfe was born in 1959 and grew up in New York City, Long Island, and the south shore of Boston. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Hillsdale College in Michigan and his M.A. in English literature from Oxford University.

A convert to the Roman Catholic Church, Wolfe is a member of the international lay movement Communion and Liberation. He and his family attend St. James Cathedral in Seattle.

His wife, Suzanne, also teaches English literature at Seattle Pacific University. In 2004 her first novel, Unveiling was published to great acclaim by Paraclete Press. The Wolfes have four children--Magdalen, Helena, Charles, and Benedict--and live in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Allen Roth on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gregory Wolfe is a Christian Humanist on a mission. He is not interested in engaging in political debates but in injecting values into the worlds of literature, music, and art. Mr. Wolfe is a book and magazine publisher who is bent on influencing the cultural world. The essays in this book introduce us to the thoughts and contributions of great writers and poets. Some you will be familiar with and others you won't but I am certain you will benefit from Mr. Wolfe's insights into the contributions of people like Erasmus, T.S. Eliot, Malcolm Muggeridge, Robert Bolt, Flannery O'Connor, etc. I learned a great deal from this book and look forward to engaging some these writers on my own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Stone on November 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
His premise is solid. Makes one want to be part of the effort to transform today's garish culture into a tomorrow of more pleasing aesthetics. Perhaps a longing for beauty and a repulsion at the ugliness of our culture will turn people back to faith, the source of all beauty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ross Gale on September 11, 2013
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Wolfe is a life saver to the Christian tradition of art and literature. Sharp and insightful. He opened the world to me and I'm forever grateful. His work and dedication is saving the world.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Byrnes on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do believe that beauty will save the world. Not politics nor power. Gregory Wolfe writes beautifully and convincingly. He is talkig about beauty that is created by human beings, but he also helps me to think of Divine Beauty shining out in our world as well as in works of art. He is a fine critic. He mentions a lot of titles that are now on my must-read list.
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