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Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life Paperback – December 23, 2010

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Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life + Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination (Ashgate Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (December 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080286578X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802865786
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“William Dyrness’s bold invitation to a poetic theology shaped by Scripture, tradition, and imagination — one luring us toward a fuller participation in beauty than argument or concept alone allow — reminds us that truth itself is beautiful to behold and poetic to the core. . . . If poetry is in its deepest reflex an intensification of life, then Dyrness’s call for a poetic theology is one we ignore at our peril, reminding us that faithful living is not only about proper thinking but also — and, perhaps, more properly — about the texture of our living and the quality of our loving.”
— Mark S. Burrows
Andover Newton Theological School

“Makes a strong case for aesthetics as one of the avenues used by God to draw human beings near to him and his glory. . . . A wonderful journey through Reformed spirituality and a wake-up call for Reformed theology.”
— Cornelius van der Kooi
Free University, Amsterdam

About the Author

William A. Dyrness is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. His other books include Reformed Theology and Visual Culture and A Primer on Christian Worship: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, Where We Can Go.

More About the Author

William Dyrness, after doctoral studies in Europe, has lived and taught in the Philippines and Berkeley, and most recently has been Dean of the School of Theology (1990-2000) and Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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I have long-admired William Dyrness's work; his The Earth is God's, for instance, is one of the finest works on theology and culture. I was therefore excited to learn of his recent book Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life, a work that "seeks to connect poetry and theology." This is an extraordinarily important book, and I must confess that I have not yet given it all the attention that it deserves. Allow me here to give just the tiniest taste of why this is such a crucial book.

First, Dyrness - following in a similar path as Jamie Smith's superb work Desiring the Kingdom - has a deep sense of the liturgies that shape our everyday desires. He says:

What I have discovered is that works of art - painting, poetry, architecture - do not function independently of the context in which they are experienced. And for most people most of the time, this context reflects the complex arrangements of modern life. The poetry that matters to most people, then, is what we might call the poetics of everyday life. So in this book I have broadened my focus to include many kinds of symbolic objects and practices - those projects that embody the desires and dreams around which people orient their lives. For some these center on specifically religious practices, but for many others these include commitments to various aesthetic, recreational, and even political causes that engender their own special devotional practices (x).
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By Mark W. McIntire on September 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
william Dyrness communicates the concepts of poetic theology and the history of the field clearly and honestly. I recommend this work for any theologian/ artist.
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