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Wonder Beyond Belief: On Christianity

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What happens when one of Germany's most important writers, himself a Muslim, immerses himself in the world of Christian art? In this book, Navid Kermani is awestruck by a religion full of sacrifice and lamentation, love and wonder, the irrational and the unfathomable, the deeply human and the divine – a Christianity that today’s Christians rarely speak of so earnestly, boldly and enthusiastically.

With the open-minded curiosity of a non-believer – or rather a believer in another faith – Kermani engages with Christian art in its great richness and diversity. The result is an enchanting reflection which reinvests in Christianity both its spectacular beauty and its terror. Kermani struggles with the cross, falls in love at the sight of Mary, experiences the Orthodox Mass and appreciates the greatness of St Francis. He teaches us to see the questions of our present-day lives in the pictures of old masters such as Botticelli, Caravaggio and Rembrandt – not with lectures on art history or theology, but with an intelligent eye for the essential details and the underlying relations to seemingly remote worlds, to literature and to mystical Islam.

Kermani's poetic school of seeing draws us in as we are carried along by his unique perspective on Christianity, rekindling our interest in great art at the same time. We are captivated by his unique and brilliant Islamic reading of the West.

Author: Kermani Navid
Publisher: POLITY PRESS
Pages: 319
ISBN: 9781509538713
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2019

I. MOTHER AND SON

Mother

Son

Mission

Love i

Love ii

Humiliation

Beauty

Cross

Lamentation

Resurrection

Transformation

Death

God i

God ii


II. WITNESS

Cain

Job

Judith

Elizabeth

Peter

Jerome

Ursula i

Ursula ii

Bernard

Francis

Peter nolasco

Simonida

Paolo dall’oglio


III. INVOCATION

Vocation

Prayer

Sacrifice

Play

Knowledge

Tradition

Light

Lust i

Lust ii

Recessional

Art

Friendship

Navid Kermani is a writer and scholar who lives in Cologne, Germany. He has received numerous accolades for his literary and academic work, including the 2015 Peace Prize of the German Publishers' Association, Germany's most prestigious cultural award.

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