The Cloister Walk

The Cloister Walk

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR “Vivid, compelling... An embrace of moral and spiritual contemplation.” –The New York Times “A remarkable piece of writing. If read with humility and attention, Kathleen Norris's book becomes lectio divina, or holy reading.” –The Boston Globe From the iconic author of Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, a spiritual journey that brings joy to the meanings of love, grace and faith. Why would a married woman with a thoroughly Protestant background and often more doubt than faith be drawn to the ancient practice of monasticism, to a community of celibate men whose days are centered on a rigid schedule of prayer, work, and scripture? This is the question that poet Kathleen Norris asks us as, somewhat to her own surprise, she found herself on two extended residencies at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota. Part record of her time among the Benedictines, part meditation on various aspects of monastic life, The Cloister Walk demonstrates, from the rare perspective of someone who is both an insider and outsider, how immersion in the cloistered world-- its liturgy, its ritual, its sense of community-- can impart meaning to everyday events and deepen our secular lives. In this stirring and lyrical work, the monastery, often considered archaic or otherworldly, becomes immediate, accessible, and relevant to us, no matter what our faith may be.

Norwich Cathedral Close

The Evolution of the English Cathedral Landscape

Norwich Cathedral Close

Changes in the layout of the cathedral and its close traced over 600 years, using Norwich as a case-study.

The Medieval Cloister in England and Wales

The Medieval Cloister in England and Wales

"This dedicated volume of the Journal of the British Archaeological Association draws together ten papers which, collectively, explore something of the art and architecture, styles and uses, of the medieval cloister in England and Wales. Contributors consider the continental context, cloisters in English palaces, Benedictine and Augustinian cloister arcades in the 12th and 13th centuries, architecture and meaning in Cistercian east ranges, late medieval vaulted cloisters in the West Country, cloisters at the cathedrals of Old Sarum, Canterbury, and Lincoln, and assess the extent to which the cloister bosses at Norwich cathedral priory reflect contemporary religious politics. The volume also contains an extended consideration and gazetteer of all Cistercian cloisters in England and Wales."

Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire

The Archaeology and Architecture of a Cathedral, Monastery and Parish Church

Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire

Dorchester-on-Thames and its abbey have been subjects of antiquarian interest for more than 450 years, and during that time much has been written about them. They are, however, still far from being comprehensively studied and recorded. Indeed, the most substantial architectural description of the medieval church was written as long ago as 1845, and a thoroughgoing reappraisal has long been overdue. In this major new study on the origins, history and architecture of Dorchester Abbey, Warwick Rodwell assembles a huge amount of material from observations during repair and conservation and information derived from archaeological excavation, as well as the unexpected discovery of previously unstudied and unpublished topographical and architectural material, housed in several archives. The volume is divided into two parts: the first contains an account of the archaeology of the site and the architectural development of the abbey, while the second comprises a series of detailed notes and observations on the present structure, its fittings and furnishings.

Besides the Bible

100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture

Besides the Bible

How do you decide what to read? Dan Gibson, Jordan Green and John Pattison have created this tool to make your choices easier. Besides the Bible is a guide to the wide array of great books that they believe every Christian should read—the ones that matter to the church and the world.

Cistercian Europe

Architecture of Contemplation

Cistercian Europe

Cistercian abbeys were places of meditation of simplicity and calm, elements that were reflected in their architecture. This welcome translation from the earlier French tradition is wonderfully illustrated and looks at the relationship between architecture and spiritualism and explores how the former encapsulated and reflected the latter. After a historical overview of 12th and 13th century abbeys and discussion of the everyday life and activities of the monks and nuns, Kinder studies the different parts of the abbey building along with maps, plans and lots of photographs.

What Would Jesus Read?

Popular Religious Books and Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century America

What Would Jesus Read?

Since the late nineteenth century, religiously themed books in America have been commercially popular yet scorned by critics. Working at the intersection of literary history, lived religion, and consumer culture, Erin A. Smith considers the largely unexplored world of popular religious books, examining the apparent tension between economic and religious imperatives for authors, publishers, and readers. Smith argues that this literature served as a form of extra-ecclesiastical ministry and credits the popularity and longevity of religious books to their day-to-day usefulness rather than their theological correctness or aesthetic quality. Drawing on publishers' records, letters by readers to authors, promotional materials, and interviews with contemporary religious-reading groups, Smith offers a comprehensive study that finds surprising overlap across the religious spectrum--Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, liberal and conservative. Smith tells the story of how authors, publishers, and readers reconciled these books' dual function as best-selling consumer goods and spiritually edifying literature. What Would Jesus Read? will be of interest to literary and cultural historians, students in the field of print culture, and scholars of religious studies.

The London Archaeologist

The London Archaeologist

The third volume in this popular series traces the role of the horse in the Middle Ages. From a knight's gallant steed to the traditional role as beast of burden, this book gives a clear understanding of the great importance of the horse.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Cloister Walk, a book about Christianity, spirituality, and rediscovered faith. Struggling with her return to the Christian church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith. Words like "judgment," "faith," "dogma," "salvation," "sinner"—even "Christ"—formed what she called her "scary vocabulary," words that had become so codified or abstract that their meanings were all but impenetrable. She found she had to wrestle with them and make them her own before they could confer their blessings and their grace. Blending history, theology, storytelling, etymology, and memoir, Norris uses these words as a starting point for reflection, and offers a moving account of her own gradual conversion. She evokes a rich spirituality rooted firmly in the chaos of everyday life—and offers believers and doubters alike an illuminating perspective on how we can embrace ancient traditions and find faith in the contemporary world.