Item description for The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers...
Overview This classic, with a new introduction by Madeleine L'Engle, is by turns an entrancing mediation on language; a piercing commentary on the nature of art and why so much of what we read, hear, and see falls short; and a brilliant examination of the fundamental tenets of Christianity. The Mind of the Maker will be relished by those already in love with Dorothy L. Sayers and those who have not yet met her. A mystery writer, a witty and perceptive theologian, culture critic, and playwright, Dorothy Sayers sheds new, unexpected light on a specific set of statements made in the Christian creeds. She examines anew such ideas as the image of God, the Trinity, free will, and evil, and in these pages a wholly revitalized understanding of them emerges. The author finds the key in the parallels between the creation of God and the human creative process. She continually refers to each in a way that illuminates both.
Publishers Description This classic, with a new introduction by Madeleine L'Engle, is by turns an entrancing mediation on language; a piercing commentary on the nature of art and why so much of what we read, hear, and see falls short; and a brilliant examination of the fundamental tenets of Christianity. The Mind of the Maker will be relished by those already in love with Dorothy L. Sayers and those who have not yet met her.
A mystery writer, a witty and perceptive theologian, culture critic, and playwright, Dorothy Sayers sheds new, unexpected light on a specific set of statements made in the Christian creeds. She examines anew such ideas as the image of God, the Trinity, free will, and evil, and in these pages a wholly revitalized understanding of them emerges. The author finds the key in the parallels between the creation of God and the human creative process. She continually refers to each in a way that illuminates both.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 03/01/2013 page 54
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More About Dorothy L. Sayers
British novelist, essayist, and medieval scholar, Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) ranks with Agatha Christie as a defining author of the classic English detective novel. Sayers was among the first women to receive an Oxford degree, and her translations of Dante remain in wide circulation.
Dorothy L. Sayers was born in 1893 and died in 1957.
Dorothy L. Sayers has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Mind of the Maker?
INSIGHT Mar 20, 2007
She had an amazing insight to what the Christian life is all about. A worth while read.
Thinker's Classic Mar 17, 2007
The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers is a classic for a reason. She is an excellent writer and a wonderfully deep thinker. At times I honestly got lost in the depths but, as I look back, the truths and nuggets of "ah ha"s are worth a few head scratches.
She opens the book explaining that it is not an explanation or a defense of the Christian faith. The book is her attempt to "demonstrate that the statements made in the Creeds about the Mind of the Divine Maker represent, so far as (she is) able to check them by (her) experience, true statements about the mind of a human maker." (preface) There is a universal truth found in the act of someone who creates and the Creator of all things.
She explains how Father, Son, and Spirit can be well understood by the creative mind's "Idea", "Energy", and "Power". She mainly focuses on the illustration of the writer (her occupation and obviously greatest experience). The essential nature of an idea working its way with the energy of a person writing with its connected power that is released is an incredible thought. I've been meditating on it often.
Many times, as a follower of Christ, I focus on "just" one aspect of our God: the Father or Son or Spirit. I too often miss and do a vast injustice to Him as I do not focus on the eternal relationship that they all together forever work. Sayer has given me a new way of remembering and reflecting on my Love and Hope which has affected me.
I believe that being creative can be a spiritual discipline. This book will be my "proof text". We are most like our God when we exhibit his love and work in a finite yet glorious way while we create something. Be it a new song, photograph, painting, story, etc. Hmm, maybe even creating another blog entry... a bit.
I highly recommend The Mind of the Maker even if you can't run through it, it is worth a slow soak. Don't be afraid to put it down and ponder. This book isn't for the "fast food" reader but it is accessible to all.
A glimpse of God, but a full-dress study of Man Dec 5, 2005
Contrary to popular belief, this is not primarily a book about God. Sayers wisely does not try to tell us about God directly, but about what is godlike in ourselves. 'The characteristic common to God and man,' she says, is 'the desire and ability to make things.' She draws a vivid and detailed analogy between the Christian Trinity and our own creative imagination. In working out the details of this analogy, she tells us a great deal about them both; but, inevitably, more about our own minds than God's.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit correspond to what Sayers calls the Idea, Energy, and Power. For a writer, the Idea is the book as he first imagines it; the Energy is the book as actually written; the Power is the impression it makes in the mind of each reader. The analogy applies equally well to all art forms. Sayers makes the Trinity seem as plain and familiar as a conversation. If you ever knew what you wanted to say but couldn't find the words, you felt the difference between the Father and the Son. If someone took your words to mean something you never intended, you felt the distance between the Son and the Spirit. Critics may say the Trinity is not real, but they can never again call it incomprehensible.
The rest of the book concentrates on the purely human maker. The longest chapter, 'Scalene Trinities', discusses the ways that the creative imagination can go wrong, and classifies them as failures of the Idea, the Energy, or the Power. I find this the most useful part of the book. Whatever kind of work we do, we find it all too easy to become obsessed with technical details (the Energy). We almost forget that we are trying to express an Idea, and so our work loses the Power to benefit other people. We need to be fully aware of all three parts of the process.
The Mind of the Maker is a brilliant book. But if you read it just for its theology, you will miss two-thirds of the brilliance. It has still more value as a guide to human creativity. If you are a Christian, or if you do any kind of creative work, this book will do your mind good.
Fascinating Insights Dec 29, 2004
Sayers starts with the orthodox concept of the Trinity and suggest that the mind of man as creator is analogous. By examining the mind of man as creator and the work he creates, we can acquire a better understanding of the Holy Trinity. While this might seem outlandish at first, it works! When you think about theological concepts just as concepts, they can be very hard to grasp. But Sayers uses concrete examples to illustrate theological concepts, and avoids the temptation to overextend her analogy. She concentrates mainly on the writer-creator, since she herself is a writer. Her insights on the creative process of writing are almost as interesting as the light they shed on the nature of God. These insights go well beyond the concept of the Trinity--she offers an interesting perspective on the existence of evil, free will, and much more. I've never read anything like this.
Mind-Blowing Oct 18, 2004
In Dorothy L. Sayers' book, The Mind of the Maker, between a fantastic discussion on creative writing (detective fiction, primarily) the author addresses two of the biggest sociological questions: "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?"
The answer to the first question is simply: a human created in God's image. The answer to the second question is a bit more complex, as Sayers first explores what God's image is, particularly the triune nature of the Christian deity. By comparing The Creator to an artist (primarily a creative writer, Sayers' forte), Sayers shows the purpose of life to be that of a creator as well.
While Sayers' analogy works best for those with an already artistic temperament, in her final chapters she addresses the question of what happens if you work on a toilet assembly line or some equally unglamorous profession. In the case of the toilet assembler, Sayers suggests that while he or she may simply be turning a screw, what's really being created is a more sanitary and hygienic world. She observes that individuals need to separate the value of money from the value of the work (why both capitalism and communism are, she says, ultimately dehumanizing) and find a higher purpose in one's occupation instead.
While rethinking one's purpose may be the over-all goal of the book, it certainly isn't the only subject addressed. The origin of evil, the difference between human and universal laws, free will, and some of the ancient creeds come up for discussion. If you've been confused by the topic of the Trinity, Sayers provides one of the best analogies I've ever read. If you've been stymied by skeptics accusing the church of casting God in man's image (instead of the other way 'round), Sayers' response alone is worth the purchase price of the book.
This is the first of Dorothy Sayers' theological books I've read. I've been a fan of her Lord Peter Wimsey detective novels, and read about this book in one of her biographies. I began reading the book expecting a treatise on creative writing, but was pleased to find so much more.