Intruding Upon the Timeless: Meditations on Art, Faith, and Mystery


Intruding Upon the Timeless: Meditations on Art, Faith, and Mystery is a collection of essays, written over nearly three decades, by the founder and editor of Image journal, Gregory Wolfe. This revised, expanded edition includes not only the short, evocative meditations written for Image in its early years—which established Wolfe as a pioneer in the “arts and faith” movement and a groundbreaking cultural critic—but also more recent considerations of contemporary artists and writers such as Scott Cairns, Alice McDermott, Christopher Beha, and Edward Knippers. This edition features works (many created specifically for this volume) by a generation of artists influenced by Wolfe’s writings.

Gregory Wolfe’s vision is the animating force behind Image, one of the best journals on the planet. Intruding Upon the Timeless, a collection of his pieces from Image, takes its title from a phrase of Flannery O’Connor. That’s apt, because not since O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners has there been such bracing insight on the pile-up where art and faith collide. This book will rev your engines and propel you down the same road.
—Annie Dillard

"A collection of brief essays by the editor of Image, a distinguished journal of religion and the arts. A nice mix of the whimsical, prococative, and devout, as befits the variegated subject."
—First Things

"I found myself stopping periodically as I read, staying with particular phrases (and contemplating the striking woodcuts that illustrate the book), sometimes hauling the words out of context for my own meditations, and finally (and very appropriately) being moved to incorporate the fruits of my meditations into my own poetry. I can only imagine that Gregory Wolfe would be deeply pleased to know that as an author, as well as a publisher and patron of the arts, he is contributing to our ongoing works of creation."
—Anglican Theological Review

"Gregory Wolfe’s reflections from his editor’s chair are much more: they are spiritual essays. For, with a prose as fine and sharp as a surgeon’s knife, Wolfe manages, over and over, to cut very close to the soul."
—Richard Rodriguez

"In an age that has been facilely identified as secularized or post-Christian, Gregory Wolfe was among the first to perceive instead a renaissance of religious humanism in the arts: of writers and artists who did not abandon their faith in Mystery but drew courage, guidance, and inspiration from it. The trenchant and erudite short essays of Intruding Upon the Timeless serve as a stirring introduction to that popular but rather subterranean movement, and establish Gregory Wolfe as one of the most incisive and persuasive voices of our generation."
—Ron Hansen, author

"For nearly two decades, Gregory Wolfe has kept a keen eye on the increasingly busy crossroads of art and religion in America; his initiating and ongoing insight has led to a wealth of significant accomplishment, but the most sustained (on his part) and sustaining (in the service of countless others) has been his shepherding of Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion. While these editorial essays can serve, most readily, as documents of recent literary and art history, recording the surprising renewal of substantive religious thought in both, we would do well to bear in mind that each has served, in its turn, as initiating, encouraging, visionary impulse for much of what it both describes and brings into being."
—Scott Cairns, poet


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ISBN 978-1-941106-06-8  |  List: $22.99