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primary source quotations fluctuate between breezy and ponderous (as in the extended examination of the writings of Archbishop Wulfstan, pp. 172–200), suggesting that some of the densest (and most original) sections might have benefited from publication as stand-alone essays. Chapter 5 arrives at the conclusion that ‘‘the body’s fate’’ at the Last Judgment ‘‘was determined by the soul and not by the body itself’’ (328), although the author has omitted from consideration a substantial group of well-known Old English homilies and poems that depict the soul ascribing to the body all responsibility for good and bad deeds undertaken during life. And while Foxhall Forbes is right to observe that Augustine of Hippo’s opinions on the condition of the soul in the afterlife were neither uncontested nor universally available in Anglo-Saxon England, I believe she overestimates the availability and influence of his De civitate Dei when she concludes that it ‘‘was very widely known, copied and cited’’ (268). These are all minor criticisms, however, and the only feature of Heaven and Earth that actually disappoints me is its poor copy-editing, which has left the pages peppered with errors in spelling, concord, and formatting, as well as a handful of more substantial errors in quotations and citations. Nonetheless, these small shortcomings pale in comparison with what Foxhall Forbes has achieved in this study. Heaven and Earth is clearly written and thoroughly documented, making it accessible and useful to medievalists across the disciplines. At the same time, specialists will find it to be an enjoyable and stimulating read: it is refreshing to encounter a book that takes medieval piety seriously and bravely embraces its complexity and internal contradictions. Leslie Lockett The Ohio State University Jerram Barrs. Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature and the Arts. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013. Pp. 208. $17.99. ISBN 978-1-43353597 -0. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that a student of Francis Schaeffer has published a book of reflections on Christianity, literature, and the arts. Jerram Barrs worked at L’Abri Fellowship in England for almost two decades and has taught at Covenant Theological Seminary for more than two decades, and his recent book Echoes of Eden draws from a lifetime of thinking about the relationship between Christianity and culture. And when, in a three-page catalogue of praises by eleven notable thinkers in this field, Tim Keller describes this book as ‘‘the most accessible, readable , and yet theologically robust work on Christianity and the arts that you will be able to find’’ (1), expectations are high. Barrs is interested in seeing God and humans as creative artists, so he begins his book by examining the doctrine of creation, which affirms the goodness of the created world. Barrs looks at four Book Reviews 211 aspects of God’s creative genius—perfection, diversity, profusion, and inventiveness —and argues that anything less than ‘‘the glad reception and enjoyment of the gifts of God’s creativity’’ is ascetic heresy (16–17). Having been given the gift of creativity, human artists ought to exhibit a humility in their work, because imitation is at the heart of human creativity. Art is not merely an expression of the self, but is rather a privileged participation in the divine act of making. Whether or not this fact is understood by all artists is moot, in the sense that Christians can enjoy the work of non-Christians, and Barrs employs several lengthy quotations from C. S. Lewis’s Experiment in Criticism and John Calvin’s Institutes to support his claim. This section includes a fascinating, though brief, history of the terms arts and crafts, and it concludes with a helpful bulleted list of responses to the charges that art is unnecessary, unspiritual, and worldly. Barrs denies that there is even such a thing as ‘‘Christian art,’’ and in doing so he rejects the practice of embracing only the kind of art that is ‘‘designed for use in worship or devotion’’ (39), that ‘‘contain[s] depictions of biblical scenes or scenes from church history’’ (40), that is ‘‘didactic, teaching us spiritual or evangelistic lessons’’ (41), and that is ‘‘produced by Christians’’ (41...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 211-214
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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