Archives For Icons


“There’s No Such Thing as an Imageless World…
And It’s a Good Thing, too

A review of
On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods

by Bruno Latour

Review by Chris Smith.

Bruno Latour - The Factish GodsOn the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods
Bruno Latour
Paperback: Duke Univ. Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

As a graduate student in philosophy of science over a decade ago, I was deeply moved by the work of Bruno Latour, and particular his work (co-written with Steve Woolgar) Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, which is a bold critique that drives at the heart of what science is.  Although Latour has, in recent years, grown increasingly skeptical of social criticism, he remains one of the clearest and most sensible social philosophers of our age.  Thus, I was intrigued by his newest work, a slim volume of three essays entitled On The Modern Cult of the Factish Gods.

Continue Reading…


Thanks to Doulos Christou Books, we are giving away two (gently) used books by Henri Nouwen.  Both are in great shape and have clean pages!

  • The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry (A perfect complement to the Christopher Hall book reviewed above).
  • Behold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying with Icons.
    (Includes fold out flaps with color reproductions of 4 famous icons)

We will chose two lucky winners, the first will get his/her pick of these books.

How to enter to win this book:

  1. Announce the contest on Twitter, Facebook or your blog: I just entered to win 1 of 2 Henri Nouwen books from The Englewood Review (@ERBks ).  You can enter too:
  2. Post a comment to this announcement with your name and a link to your post for #1.
  3. You may enter one time per day for the duration of the contest.
  4. We will pick two winners at random from the eligible contestants and notify them this weekend.

The contest will end at 4PM ET on this Friday March 5.


The bread-n-butter of our bookstore business is the sale of used books, and we do a fair amount of scouting around for used books each week. In this section we feature some of the interesting books that we have found in the past week. Generally, we will only have a single copy of these books, so if you want one (or more) of them, you’ll need to respond quickly.


Unmasking The Powers (Vol. 2 in the Powers series)
Walter Wink. Paperback. Fortress. 1986.
Good Condition. Mostly clean pages, moderate wear.
Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $7]


The Tax Dilemma:
Praying for Peace, Paying for War
Donald Kaufman.

Paperback Herald Press. 1978.
Very Good Condition. Clean pages, minimal wear.
Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $5 ]


Behold the Beauty of the Lord:
Praying with Icons
Henri Nouwen.
Paperback. Ave Maria Press. 1996 printing.
Very Good Condition. Clean pages, minimal wear.

Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $5 ]


A Brief Review of Jim Forest’s
Praying with Icons
by Brent Aldrich

Orbis Books has just released a new, expanded edition of Jim Forest’s book Praying With Icons, in which Forest describes icons as “bridges to Christ, as links with the saints, as reminders of pivotal events in the history of salvation.” Forest is a convert to the Russian Orthodox Church, and presents here the history, technique and stories of icons.

Much of the text in the book’s first part “In the Image of God” describes the history of icon painting and the necessary spiritual and technical disciplines involved in that work. This information is of the sort contained in almost any book collection of icon reproductions, from both faith-based and secular historians, and this part of the book will be familiar to anyone who has read about (or prayed with) icons before.

The second section, “Prayer,” involves much that relates specifically to the Orthodox liturgy and sacraments, although most of the content here is universal for any church tradtion. What I found interesting, coming from a tradition that is not at all Orthodox, is the incorporation of the body in prayer, to affirm the “physical reality of Jesus Christ.” Included in the back of the book are several traditional prayers for evening, morning, peace and intercession to use in developing a rule of prayer.

What distinguishes Forest’s book from others on icons are the collections of stories about Christ and the saints, and their associated icons in the book’s final three sections. For all the different forms of icons of Christ, for example, all have specific stories, theology, colors and shapes associated with them. The same is true for icons of all the saints. The practice of icon painting has been passed down through the church and has developed structures which are invoked with every new painting, giving to icons both a rich tradition and a sacramental quality. The creation of icons, as well as their veneration, are acts of remembering stories of faithfulness, of retelling the life of Christ and the early church and of recognizing the saints who have gone before.

Icons have preserved history in light of the church since shortly after the era of Christ; these are the stories that Praying With Icons recounts in word and excellent color reproductions, and these stories are ones we should remember and ones to which we should submit ourselves daily.

Jim Forest.
Praying with Icons. Revised and Expanded Edition.
Paperback. Orbis Books. 2008.
Buy Now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $17 ] [ Amazon ]