Invitation to the Classics   -     Edited By: Louise Cowan, Os Guinness
    By: Edited by Louise Cowan & Os Guinness
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This homeschool product specifically reflects a Christian worldview. Invitation to the Classics

Baker Books / 2006 / Paperback

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Product Description

The classics have always occupied a place in the hall of education, yet some Christians tend to lean either towards a Puritanical dismissal of art as "irreligious", or they twist the arts into altered, pro-Christian mediocrity. Invitation to the Classics expounds upon what it means to have a Christian view of literature, including its benefits, aesthetics and place in culture. Classics from a variety of authors including Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Dante, Shakespeare, Pascal, Swift, Emerson, Dickens, Tolstoy, Lewis and others are all viewed with an in depth literary and biographical assessment. Each author is introduced with literary analysis of their most famous works, impact upon time, posterity and "Issues to Explore" discussion questions. 384 pages, indexed, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 450
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 9 X 6.75 (inches)
ISBN: 080106810X
ISBN-13: 9780801068102
Availability: No longer available.
Email me when this product is available.

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Publisher's Description

Motivation and direction for reading and understanding the great authors and works of Western culture.

Author Bio

Louise Cowan is a professor of literature at the University of Dallas and a cofounder of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. She is the author of two books and of numerous essays on literary and educational topics.

Os Guinness is a senior fellow with the Trinity Forum and the author of many books, including The American Hour, God in the Dark, and Answering the Call.

Library Journal

This work examines 50 of the great classic texts of Western literature from a Christian perspective. Cowan (literature, Univ. of Dallas) and Guinness (The Call, Word Books, 1998) compiled criticisms for each classic--including works by Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Dostoyevsky, and Yeats--from an expert in the field. Each section demonstrates how the work relates to Christian doctrine, and topics for further study are included at the end. Unfortunately, these works lean heavily toward male authors, as in most discussion of the great works in Western literature, and the editors confuse their purpose by touching on too many varied ideas while attempting to explain why these works are important from a Christian perspective. Recommended only for public and academic libraries with strong literature and religion departments.--Kim Woodbridge, "The Scientist," Philadelphia

Publisher's Weekly

For over a decade, university teachers, politicians, literary critics and preachers have argued about the educational role of the literary classics of the Western world. While some have contended that the works themselves are full of immoral teachings and should be banned from libraries and school curricula, others have argued that the stereotypical portrayal of certain characters has a pernicious effect on readers and leads to classism, sexism and racism. Still others, like authors of this lively collection, believe that the classics are indispensable for an understanding of Western society and human nature. Guinness and Cowan gather over 50 brief essays by a number of respected Christian literary scholars that extend invitations to readers to experience anew or for the first time the wonder and the beauty of selected classics. Each essay contains a biographical and historical sketch, a summary of the work being considered, suggestions and bibliographies for further study and questions raised by the text about the interaction of Christian faith and society. The selections range from the Iliad to Machiavelli's The Prince, Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. Genres covered range from Shakespeare's plays and Milton's epic poetry to Martin Luther's theological writings and Alexis de Tocqueville's travel writings. (Sept.)

Product Reviews

5 Stars Out Of 5
5 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
5 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Guide to the Books You've Always Wanted to Read
    April 6, 2015
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    According to the great American novelist Mark Twain a classic is defined as, A book which people praise and don't read. However, Os Guinness an author and senior member of the Trinity Forum along with Louise Cowman, author and a professor of literature at the University of Dallas present a clear and concise articulation refuting Twains famous quote in their book, Invitation to the Classics.

    Invitation to the Classics serves two purposes:

    1. To introduce the Western literary masterworks in a clear and simple style, while reawakening Western people to the vibrant literary heritage and its relationship to the Christian faith.

    2. To inspire Christians to see the worth of the classics and their responsibility to them.

    This literary guide is divided into four components: Introduction: The Purpose of Invitation to the Classics, The Importance of the Classics, and The Classics are not the Canon. From there the authors explore seventy-eight of the best known classics of Western Civilization from Homers Iliad and the Odyssey to Contemporary Writers. Each classic gives you information on the author, information on the historical time period in which the classic was authored, major themes within the classic, issues to explore and resources for further study.

    Invitation to the Classics is an excellent resource for individuals who are beginning their study of the classics for the first time or those who are revisiting them again like a long lost friend.

    As C.S. Lewis once said, We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period, And that means the old booksThe only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only be reading the old books.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 20, 2010
    K Unger
    This is a fabulous reference books for those studying the classics. Great information and all from a Christian worldview.
  3. Dublin, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 5, 2009
    Dublin, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    I have wanted this book for a long time and when it was offered at a sale price I just had to have it. As a homeschool mom I would highly recommend it for a high school literature class in the classics. Well written and informative.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 20, 2009
    Thomas Sutter
    This is not a Cliff Notes of the classics; however, it provides an excellent introduction to authors and one or two of their works. This is an excellent way to quickly learn about a particular author and a very short and quick discussion on that author's work. This book invites to reader not to read but to study the selected works.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 8, 2009
    Dody Morgan
    "Invitation to the Classics" is a must buy for Christians seeking to understand the original theorists and commentators, the giants of human understanding, debate, and wisdom. The "Know Thyself" of Christian Apology is where most of us believers finish with exploring classical writers. "Knowing the enemy" (to simplify those positions contradictory to Scripture) is the important second half of a well-rounded education. "Invitation" brought me a wealthy overview and a starting point to deeper exploration that only strengthens my Christian foundation by being familiar with where the critique originally comes, in its historic context."
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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