In this addition to the critically acclaimed Cultural Exegesis series, a nationally recognized scholar and award-winning author offers a sophisticated theological engagement with the nature of language and literature. Roger Lundin conducts a sustained theological dialogue with imaginative literature and with modern literary and cultural theory, utilizing works of poetry and fiction throughout to prompt the discussion and focus his reflections. The book is marked by a commitment to bring the history of Christian thought, modern theology in particular, into dialogue with literature and modern culture. It is theologically rigorous, widely interdisciplinary in scope, lucidly written, and ecumenical in tone and approach.
Roger Lundin (1949-2015; PhD, University of Connecticut) was professor of English and Arthur F. Holmes Professor of Faith and Learning at Wheaton College. He was an award-winning author of several books, including Believing Again: Doubt and Faith in a Secular Age, Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief, and From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority, and editor of Invisible Conversations: Religion in the Literature of America.
In Beginning with the Word Roger Lundin explores modern literature's endless wrestling with Christian witness and biblical narrative with his customary thoughtfulness, passion, and personal commitment. He opens for us the ways that writers of the past two centuries reckon with an inheritance they cannot quite manage to receive or refuse.
Honors College, Baylor University
I have loved all of Roger Lundin's books and am grateful that there is now another. There are very few critics one thinks of as enlarging one's life, much less making one more fit to live it. Roger Lundin, for this reader, is just such a writer.
poet; Yale University
Lundin writes with extraordinary fluency, grace, and delight. He moves seamlessly between literature and theology, poetry and prose, philosophy and cultural commentary in ways that will renew your confidence in the power of God's wisdom in God's world. Like his other books, Beginning with the Word is a remarkable achievement from a remarkable thinker.
Beginning with the Word is an absorbing and lively Christian engagement with the naturalism of modern intellectual culture. It is a work of wide scope, written con brio, animated equally by seasoned literary intelligence and by a trust that Christian teaching provides a truthful reading of the world.
St. Mary's College, School of Divinity, University of St. Andrews
Roger Lundin, a master interpreter of modern culture, works at the full stretch of his impressive capacities in Beginning with the Word. With no desire to damn or dismiss, he confronts the major thinkers and writers who have challenged the belief that the Word of God has become incarnate in Jesus Christ. Lundin replies not with grim rejoinders and loud laments but with surprising revelations that our modern literary masters, when rightly read, still enflesh words with the weight of hope and even glory.
-Ralph C. Wood,
University Professor of Theology and Literature, Baylor University