The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty

Dwight Longenecker, Author
Dwight Longenecker. Thomas Nelson/W Publishing, $15.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-8499-2195-7
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In this exploration of the underlying themes of religion as romantic ideas, Longenecker (The Quest for the Creed), a parish priest, author, and blogger, urges readers to return to a vision of religion not as a respectable, rule-bound institution but as a way of life that is “a glorious adventure or nothing at all.” To make his case, he examines the role of the romantic— a lover of stories that get at truth— and the role of story in the development of the Christian faith, from the time right after the resurrection of Christ up to modern literature’s own spiritual and romantic stories of heroes and quests. Drawing on his own ideas about beauty, truth, and love, as well as his views on the use of language in the Bible, Longenecker offers a far-ranging study. Though his love of alliteration and metaphor occasionally borders on the precious (“He combines sonnets with sugar icing and terza rima with a raisin twist”), Longenecker’s thorough treatment of the topic provides armchair students and scholars alike a way into an important conversation. (Feb. 4)
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