Item description for Praying With Icons by Jim Forest...
In this beautifully illustrated book Jim Forest explains the use of icons in prayer to the uninitiated. Icons are not just "art" but a powerful aid to prayer and contemplation.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 1999
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 1570751129 ISBN13 9781570751127
Availability 0 units.
More About Jim Forest
Jim Forest is an internationally renowned peacemaker and spiritual writer. His many books include "All is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day, Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton, Praying with Icons," and "Ladder of the Beatitudes."
Reviews - What do customers think about Praying With Icons?
This reprint is recommended for any spiritual collection needing another, modern copy Aug 11, 2008
First published ten years ago, PRAYING WITH ICONS has since become a modern spiritual classic, recognized for its groundbreaking insights into the history and theology behind icons. This reprint is recommended for any spiritual collection needing another, modern copy: it uses classic and contemporary icons within a collection of meditative reflections on typical images, from Christ to the saints. Christian libraries will find it important.
Very Good Aug 2, 2008
This book was very informative. I purchase it to help me write a paper on icons. I learned much about the history and use of icons even for today. It is written in a way anyone can understand. I recommend this book to those who want to know more about Praying with icons.
a new, expanded, all-color edition Jun 11, 2008
The first copy of the revised, expanded, all-color edition of "Praying with Icons" came through the mail slot just minutes ago.
Thanks to PDF files sent to me by the publisher, I've been following the design of the new edition for months. Even so I wasn't quite prepared for what a really fine job Orbis has done on this. I knew all the icon reproductions (there are many more in this edition, with better examples in each case) would be in color, but didn't dare to hope the paper would this good or that the printing quality would be so excellent. Orbis really has outdone itself.
It's a much expanded edition. The first edition, published eleven years ago, was 170 pages. The new book has fifty more pages. This is due both to revision and expansion of the text plus more icons photos, and also the addition of new saints, including St Maria (Skobtsova) of Paris, St Elizabeth the New Martyr, St Gerasimos of the Jordan (one of the Desert Fathers), and St Martin of Tours.
The old edition went through at least ten printings. May the new one do at least as well.
As the book's author, it is for others to write reviews. All I can do is express appreciation for what the publisher has done to make this a larger and more attractive book than it was.
-- Jim Forest
Meet God Jul 27, 2007
Icons paint the word of God. Visual pictures bring the His words alive in your heart. You feel the generations of prayer and walk backwards through creation . Why do they cause such a reaction among society? Could it be their power of bringing us closer to JESUS and why He came suffered, died and rose from the dead?
One of God's names is beauty May 30, 2006
I read Jim Forest's _Praying with Icons_ a few years ago when it first appeared. I just finished re-reading it, and am even more impressed this time around. Anyone familiar with Forest's other books knows how comfortably fluid his style is, and how insightful his ideas are. Both of these qualities make this the single best introduction to icons I know.
To my mind, there are three different but interrelated aspects of this book that are especially worth noting.
The first is Forest's argument that "beauty bears witness to God," and that in depicting holy things beautifully, icons enhance our relationship with the Divine. This is a point well worth considering. Too often, I fear, beauty in the context of worship is either dismissed as irrelevant (all that matters is the word), venerated for its own sake (high church preciousness), or overdone and distractingly gaudy. But Forest reminds us that the beauty of icons is intended to aid in the transfiguration of those who pray before them. Icons are images of the wholeness of God, and they convey and impart some of that wholeness to us through their beauty. It takes a great deal of artistry to manifest that kind of beauty.
The second point worth noting is Forest's observation that the writing/painting of an icon is in itself an act of worship and service, entered into reverently and prayerfully. There are traditions that dictate how the wood is prepared, how the colors are selected, what they represent, and so on. The care and love with which icons are made is a good reminder that all work with God's creation is, or ought to be, mindful and reverential. The fruits of all our mental and physical labor are, in one manner of speaking, iconic.
The third especially noteworthy aspect of Forest's treatment is his tie-in of prayer with icons. It might seem that the connection between the two is obvious, but I'm not sure this is the cas, at least not in the contemporary U.S.. I've been in many homes where icons are displayed as curiosities, by totally secular hosts, on the walls right next to African masks and Peruvian weavings. Forest's reflections on prayer--that it involves the whole person, not just the intellect, that it requires the cultivation of stillness and silence, that a good prayer life is one that requires a great deal of deliberate discipline, and that the goal of our prayer life is theosis--are wonderful.
In addition, as earlier reviewers have pointed out, the last 150 pages of the book discuss specific icons--Christ, Mary, the saints, the Transfiguration, etc--pointing out their language, their significance, and their histories. Readers of Forest's book will be well prepared to begin praying with icons, and to move on to other reflections on icons such as John of Damascus' _On the Divine Images_ or Leonid Ouspensky & Vladimir Lossky's _The Meaning of Icons_.
Finally, the illustrations, in color as well as black-and-white, are fabulous. A book to read and re-read.