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"A work to behold"
—Karen Swallow Prior

We tend to think of the imagination as the realm of fantasy and makebelieve. However, the imagination shapes our vision of reality in that the stories, symbols, and places that capture our hearts become part of who we are.

Becoming by Beholding restores the imagination to its central role in spiritual formation by recovering key works from the Christian tradition, enabling us to experience the formative power of the imagination for ourselves. It also revives "the art of fashioning the soul" as an essential aspect of Christian spiritual formation and character development.

Lanta Davis explains that many of the problems at the heart of the Christian church today--such as nationalism, consumerism, and partisan politics--stem from a crisis of the imagination. She encourages us to reorient our gaze from diseased cultural forms and fix our eyes instead on works from the historic Christian imaginative tradition that better reflect the love, joy, and wonder of the gospel.

Becoming by Beholding will appeal to professors and students in spiritual formation, worldview, and theology and arts courses as well as to all Christian readers interested in the intersection of theology and art. Each chapter introduces a different work of the Christian imagination: icons, sacred architecture, imaginative prayer, bestiaries, and personifications of the virtues and vices. The book also includes a twenty-page insert featuring numerous full-color images.

"A deeply moving case for prayer"
—Ingrid Faro

If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and entirely good, why do we need to ask God to do good things? Won't God act for the best regardless? Do our prayers even make a difference? Why do some go unanswered? This brief, accessible book provides a fresh angle on our questions to help us think differently about why we pray and what happens when we pray.

John Peckham applies the insights from his successful book Theodicy of Love to the perennial problem of petitionary prayer, offering practical implications for how we might pray and live in ways that advance God's kingdom of unselfish love. Since our understanding of petitionary prayer is inseparable from our understanding of God, Peckham sheds significant light on the nature and character of God and the often-mysterious workings of divine providence. He does so by bringing theological and philosophical nuance to readings of key biblical texts on prayer, weaving in other scriptural clues to articulate an understanding of prayer that highlights not only its necessity but also its urgency. This book will appeal to students, pastors, church leaders, and thoughtful laypeople.

Coming in August