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Who Needs an Oscar?

Wow! For an author, it doesn’t get much better than to wake up to a review like this one. Kevin Edgecomb of Biblicalia has taken a close look at my new book, Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols. A few snippets.

First off, this is a beautifully printed little book… these illustrations are absolutely beautifully done … and all represent the ancient art accurately … making the images much more accessible … The selected illustrations are excellent accompaniment to the text, and another pleasure is that there are so many of them, on average more than one every other page.

Mike has managed to write a short beginner’s introduction to the visual imagery of the first four centuries of the Church … Mike explains clearly and simply the symbology (that is, the system of visual typology) used by the ancient artists which is so very similar to the textual typology employed in Patristic commentary of Scripture. The book is, in fact, peppered with Patristic citations, cementing the two. The book is not directed at an academic audience. As Mike says, “This is not a work of scholarship, but an act of devotion—an act of piety toward our ancestors, so that we might learn to see the world once again with their eyes, and to pray and live as they once prayed and lived” (p. 9). But I would take issue with the statement that this book “is not a work of scholarship.” It most certainly is. I’ve seen no errors in any of the references to subject matter that I’m at all familiar with … It is not intimidating scholarship, not overpowering and jargon-laden, and is thus perfect for those who know nothing about the subject of early Christian art and the symbols employed therein. Those who will appreciate learning what their ancestors in the Faith were up to with all these anchors, ankhs, and alphas will be well repaid for their time spent within the pages of this truly lovely little book. For great are the signs and mysteries contained in them.

Oh, do read the rest!

5 thoughts on “Who Needs an Oscar?

  1. An excellent expenditure.

    Plus, for the less literarily inclined, pictures abound.

    GET IT.

  2. I thought you’d like that! It’s all well-deserved, you know. Keep up the good work!

  3. I just got it. Very nice. I do note that the text is hard for me to read since I do have some vision problems. The next edition, and I bet there will be one, might consider going back to black text. It will be an excellent resource for preaching and teaching in my parish. Good job!

  4. Fr J, I found it to be easier reading with the light coming from over my shoulder. You might try that.

  5. And here’s a post from Julie, who did the book design for Mike’s book.

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