Words That Listen

A Literary Companion to the Lectionary

Ian S. Markham and James Barney Hawkins, IV, Assistant Editor Greg Milliken

Jun/2018, 656 Pages, PAPER, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780898699005



• A two volume set. Available only as a shrink-wrapped set in a slip case
• An accessible and distinctive anthology of texts to support preaching and enhance individual devotion
• Consulting editors include former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, Cynthia Kitteridge, Mark Oakley (Canon Chancellor, St. Paul's Cathedral, London)
• Volume 1 covers Advent to Ascension, Volume 2 Pentecost to end of Church Year

The great themes of faith are also the great themes of literature and the arts. As we come to terms with God, hope, faith, tragedy, guilt, fear, and love, so the poets, writers, musicians, and artists pick up the same themes, and their understanding can enrich and deepen our own. Words That Listen brings these two worlds together.
For each gospel, Markham and Hawkins offer four connecting resource suggestions—e.g., a poem, extract from a novel, a film/television/sporting illustration, and/or a humorous story—to illuminate, make connections, and spark new ways of looking at familiar stories. The suggestions for each Sunday include a brief summary and explanation of the extracts.

Read the introduction

DR. IAN S. MARKHAM is the Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and a Professor of Theology and Ethics. He is the author of numerous books including Against Atheism and An Introduction to Ministry (co-written with Oran Warder). His awards include the Robertson Fellow; Claggett Fellow attached to Washington National Cathedral; Frank Woods Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne; and F. D. Maurice Lectures at King’s College, London.

Barney Hawkins is Vice President, Associate Dean, and Professor at Virginia Theological Seminary and has more than 30 years of parish experience.


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  • art
  • literature
  • music
  • clergy
  • sermons

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