Archives For Play

 

A Well-developed Kingdom Imagination

A Feature Review of

The Rest of Life: Rest, Play, Eating, Studying, Sex from a Kingdom Perspective

Ben Witherington

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Ben Simpson

 

The nature of God as Trinity, the meaning of Christ’s atonement, the significance and right understanding of baptism and the Lord’s meal, and other concerns often dominate theological discussion. But those matters, while vitally important, often consume such immense amounts of energy that other matters pertaining to everyday life are left untended. Sensing the gap, Ben Witherington steps in.

 

In The Rest of Life, we find an exploration of rest, play, study, eating, and sex in light of the reign of God. Each of these areas of life is seldom focused upon at length, though it is in these areas our deepest yearnings are found. Who among us does not wish for more peaceful rest? Who has not wondered how to observe Sabbath in light of Jesus, the fulfillment of the Sabbath? If seen as part of life with God, how might our play, study, food choices, and sexual lives be enriched, fostering a more wholistic experience of life in the Kingdom of God?

*** Books by Ben Witherington
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An Illusive Creature

A Review of
The Chameleon Couch: Poems.
Yusef Komunyakaa.
Hardback: FSG, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by  J. Ted Voigt.

Like a chameleon, sometimes words can blend in with their surroundings; only after taking a closer look can one identify the forms and edges that give them meaning.  It is this lexical shape-shifting that is masterfully displayed in Yusef Komunyakaa’s collection of new poems, The Chameleon Couch.

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Forging Communities of Virtue

A review of
The Amish Project.
A Play By Jessica Dickey.


Reviewed by
Chris Smith.

The Amish Project.
A Play By Jessica Dickey.
Paperback: Samuel French, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

[ Watch an interview with the playwright about this play… ]

The Amish Project - Jessica DickeyI was born with a little bit of Amish blood in my ancestry and over the years, I have been fortunate to have had interactions with Amish communities in five different states. Although I have some significant theological differences with the Amish, I deeply respect their communities and think that modern Western culture can learn much from their way of life.  I was intrigued therefore to hear that Jessica Dickey had penned a new play – her debut as a playwright – that reflects on Amish culture and specifically the tragedy of the Nickel Mines shooting.  We typically don’t review plays here in The Englewood Review of Books, as plays are best reviewed in their performance, not simply in the reading of the text, but I did want to draw attention to this new work, The Amish Project.  Dickey’s play, a one-woman show that debuted off-Broadway in New York at the Rattlestick Theatre with Dickey herself in the acting role, offers a poignant exploration of the Nickel Mines shooting – through the eyes and ears of a cast of seven fictional characters.  Dickey’s writing has rich, poetic qualities throughout, spare and exquisite *. Continue Reading…

 

“Art Work/Soul Work”

A Review of
Awakening the Creative Spirit:
Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction
(A Spiritual Directors International Book)

Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman

Reviewed by Margaret D. McGee.


Awakening the Creative Spirit:
Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction
(A Spiritual Directors International Book)
Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman.
Paperback: Morehouse Publishing, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

AWAKENING THE CREATIVE SPIRIT - Paintner / BeckmanWhen fear stops the tongue, or grief envelops the soul, or a period of transition makes the way ahead appear dark and confused, a healthy way to deal with chaotic emotions is to make them into art. By giving painful experiences and scary feelings external shape and form, making art also makes a safe place to integrate those experiences and feelings into the whole of life. Similarly, a time of joy or fulfillment can be embodied in a piece of art, making whole and real what might otherwise be just a fleeting moment, quickly lost.

Trouble is, many of us don’t see ourselves as artists, or as having more than one or two ways to express our creativity. In Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction, Christine Valters Painter and Betsey Beckman offer a variety inviting paths into creative expression as soul work. Ostensibly addressed to spiritual directors working with individuals and groups, Awakening the Creative Spirit will be useful to pastors, retreat leaders, therapists, educators, or anyone who offers spiritual care to others and wants to use expressive arts in their work.

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