Sonnets from the Spirit

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9780692594636: Sonnets from the Spirit
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SONNETS FROM THE SPIRIT is a collection of 52 icons in poetry on major episodes from Sacred Scripture, written according to the ancient practice of midrash, by the award-winning, British theologian and poet Christopher Villiers. The themes of the sonnets are illustrated by great works of sacred art. This book is intended to provide readers with a little feel for God working through, and sometimes despite, very human people whose strengths and weaknesses greatly resembled those of 21st century humankind.

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About the Author:

Christopher Villiers is a British theologian and freelance writer who has written about religious matters for a wide variety of publications, both academic and popular. He holds the Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Theology from Durham University, United Kingdom, with a specialization in the history of Christian doctrine. His postgraduate thesis addressed the Divine impassibility in the theology of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, with reference to modern theological debates on divine impassibility deriving from biblical, historical and philosophical scholarship. Villiers is a practicing Catholic with an interest in ecumenism, particularly in relation to the Eastern Orthodox churches. He writes on a regular basis for the ecumenical theological journal Sobornost. 
Villiers is the winner of the 2008 Jean Cowling Prize in Theology and the first prize-winner of the 2015 Sonnets for Shakespeare Poetry Award. Having started writing poetry again for the first time since his school days, Villiers decided to write various sonnets based on major episodes from Sacred Scripture as a spiritual exercise for Lent. Encouraged by colleagues and friends in relation to the beauty and widespread applicability of his poems, as well as his interest in the intersection of the creative arts and spirituality, Villiers continued writing poetry after Lent, and the book Sonnets from the Spirit is the fruit.

Review:

"The poems of Villiers continue the ancient practice of midrash, the breaking open of Scripture texts, by entering into the voices of its characters and illuminating new facets of the stories. As such they offer worthy meditations to accompany our sacred reading, inviting us to consider our own lived responses" - Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D., online Abbess at Abbey of the Arts, Pantheos contributor, and author of eight books on monastic spirituality and creativity.

"In this series of sonnets, Villiers takes us from the birth of Eve to the Assumption of the Virgin, the Second Eve. The sonnets are like icons in poetry, each poem a meditation seeking to take us through the biblical text into the mystery of God" Archpriest Andrew Louth, FBA, Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University.

"In Sonnets from the Spirit, the talented poet and theologian Christopher Villiers conveys Bible stories in verse. These rhythmic sonnets do not just tell a story. As you read, you become the central character of each poem, entering the viewpoint of Bible people and the events they encountered then, coming away with an 'I' ready to perceive and receive an ongoing relationship with God" - Mary Harwell Sayler, Christian poet and writer.

"A new voice in poetry that helps us to find fresh insights into some of the classic passages of Holy Scripture, stimulating reflection and prayer" - Reverend Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop (ret.) of Newcastle and Reviews Editor of the Church of England Newspaper. 

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