Monday, January 24, 2011

East of Eden

"The direction of a big act will warp history, but probably all acts do the same in their degree, down to a stone stepped over in the path or a breath caught at sight of a pretty girl or a fingernail nicked in the garden soil."

"'An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's a punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion. I haven't the courage for that.'" -Samuel Hamilton

i am loving this book. i haven't read a really good novel in so long. it is absolutely wonderful. i highly recommend it as a fascinating look at the human struggle/condition with all the depth of Steinbeck's descriptive voice and rich character development. The front flap describes it as "the work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence. A masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, East of Eden is a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis."

If i have any kind of "perspective" (post Bible College) on the study of theology, I would say that good literature has the potential to (and often does) teach what theology books cannot. That is, the practical vision for why truth matters, how we wrestle to believe and disbelieve, and how faith is lived out in meaningful (and not so meaningful) ways on this earth...among other things. Good literature tells the stories of our lives in such a way that we can find our place in them and learn through them what it means to be human (or not) and what it means to know God (or not).

No comments: