I have recently written three brief reviews for other websites…
(Read the reviews below, in my order of preference for the books)
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1933495545″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518QbWX1M5L._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″ alt=”brief reviews” ][easyazon-link asin=”1933495545″ locale=”us”]Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice[/easyazon-link]
Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2013.
Reviewed for the Slow Church blog…
One of the key facets of what John and I are calling Slow Church is the idea that creation operates as a gift economy: i.e., that all life is created and sustained by God. Our call as humans is to live gratefully within the broader economy of creation. Part of a life of gratitude is the living of a receptive life, in which we are wondrously attentive to the abundant gifts of God that surround us at any given moment.
The challenge to living such a life, however, is that we all too often are formed into the pattern of industrial Western culture that is moving ever faster, and in which attentiveness is rapidly becoming a lost art, as Maggie Jackson has chronicled in her recent and superb book Distracted. However, humanity is not lost, we are still capable of reversing this trend and re-training our attention. There are many arts, crafts and even hobbies (e.g., birdwatching, as Phil Kenneson has pointedly argued in a recent talk on Slow Church) that can train us to be more attentive. It is in this context, that I found Christine Valters Paintner’s new book, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice. I was familiar with Paintner’s work, and had even reviewed her recent book on Lectio Divina.
I was therefore not surprised that Eyes of the Heart is a profoundly helpful resource in helping us to recover the lost art of attention, and will certainly be of interest to readers who are interested in photography (or those who might eventually become so; although with the smartphone explosion over the last few years, practically everyone has easy access to a decent camera, and is a photographer at some level).