Someone once told me they were much less interested in books people had read once, than ones they'd read twice.
There are two fine books I've read twice - this year alone: Malcolm Guite's "Faith, Hope and Poetry - Theology and the Poetic Imagination," and Gregory Wolfe's "Beauty Will Save the World - Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age."
And now I've just finished another, which I plan to immediately begin to read again. Winnipeg author, Jamie Howison's new book "God's Mind in That Music - Theological Explorations through the Music of John Coltrane was a surprising and exceptional read."
I have a limited capacity for Jazz, and had no particular interest in Coltrane. But Jamie's love of the music, the complex story, his capacity to articulate the artistic (mystic) way of knowing, and his thoughtful theological explorations make for a unique and important experience. Ever dialogical, Jamie also draws into conversation a respectable range of writers who have thought deeply about the intersection of arts and theology.
After a short but well researched history of theology's engagement with music, a thoughtful discussion about the “contested story of jazz,” some careful biography (never hagiography,) and many touching, very human stories gleened from research and interviews, Jamie, like a gracious sommelier, illuminates eight Coltrane pieces compelling the reader to taste the music for h(er) self. Before I started to read, I wasn't assuming I'd be purchasing the music, but I found myself at several points having to put the book down, find the piece on iTunes, then taking a walk around block with my headset on before returning to the book.
One doesn't need to be a lover of Jazz or interested in theological exploration to enjoy this book, but I can't imagine the reader's interest not being piqued after reading it. The enthusiasm comes from Howison himself whose engagement is masterfully invitational and infectious. This sounds almost silly to say, but though the story itself is fraught with very human brokenness and loss, the book left me hopeful, even happy, opening new trails to adventure.
Steve Bell Winnipeg Singer/Songwriter
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 818 KB
- Print Length: 252 pages
- Publisher: Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (Oct. 17 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00A2SNTHG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 8 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #817,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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